After many lessons learned from teaching the Bible for 10 years and having successfully launched a women's small group ministry at our former church, I wanted to take time to pray and research before launching a women's mentoring ministry. After reading a few articles and researching online, I read Regi Campbell's book Mentor Like Jesus, in which he presents Jesus as the world's best mentor and highlights lessons gleaned from Jesus' mentoring relationship with his twelve disciples.
What's Prayer Have to Do with It?
For starters, Jesus selected the disciples after spending an entire night in prayer (Luke 6:12-13). There were no applications or referrals. Jesus simply prayed to his Father and selected the ordinary men his Father revealed for his missional task. From a biblical perspective, mentoring is for the purpose of discipleship. It requires a serious commitment of servant leaders willing to sacrifice and lay down their lives for the sake of others. If a person is not fully committed to the work, she should not do it. Therefore, praying for God's direction concerning leaders is a radical first step.
For many years, I have been appalled by some of the people allowed to lead in the church. My observations are not that they were bad people. In most cases, the people were sincere Christians who wanted to please the Lord but lacked spiritual depth. Others had sound theology but were emotionally immature; they lacked either self-awareness, personal integrity, or discipline. Because these people were hurt and unhealed, they often (with no intention) hurt other people. Those type of leaders are rarely corrected because they are in positions of power and the hurt parties either remain silent or leave the church, never to be heard from again. In cases like this, the person with the "title" should not have been leading in the first place.
The church is one of very few organizations where people are allowed to volunteer and then be placed "in charge" with no real evaluation or training. Sometimes church leaders do this for lack of resources and at other times, out of laziness because some ministries are deemed more important than others, so we focus on our "pet ministries" with little regard for what is best for the other ministries or the entire church. In short, this practice is irresponsible and must stop. In the church, we are God's agents of change for winning souls and shepherding them. I submit that this work is more important than anything that takes place in the secular arena and therefore requires much more care.