Ok, so in a past post I talked about how in my own life some of the mentoring that has occurred for me in my life has been through particular classic authors (like Bonehauffer, C.S. Lewis, Nouwen etc…). Now I have to admit I don’t know if that is just because there was a gap in my life of older men who took on that role for me… or if maybe I was not a good target for any of the usual suspects for that. Because, even though I talked about these authors filling some of that in my life, I truly believe the more powerful voice of mentoring comes from live face to face conversations about life.
But then again maybe I am just following along with another one of those voices in my life through his writing. Larry Crabb (probably wouldn’t want me calling him one of those classics.. as I don’t think he is a lot older than I am), has made an impact on my life through a number of books that I have read of his. This blog has been titled wrestling with church, and I sense that same thing in a lot of his books… in one of his books he even wondered out loud if he might become one of the “doners” (a newer group of Christ followers who have become disenchanted with the church in America… and after years of faithful service in and through those churches have left the organized church). Crabb is a Christian counselor and you would hear him point towards the lack of the voice of counseling and the ear of counseling (and not talking about professional counseling here) within the church and from the church being way under-utilized. That would be the gift of or the voice that would be employed in mentoring partnerships… face to face interactions.
In Larry Crabb’s book “Men of Courage” towards the end of the book he shared a dream that could address the greatest need of our world today!!
“The greatest need in our world today is simply this: godly men and women who possess and display a quality of life that reflects the character of God, and that provokes curiosity in others about how they too can know God well.
If we recognize the path to spiritual maturity, if we can identify and respond to the appetite for Christ placed within us by God’s Spirit, then perhaps thirty years from now my dream for a generation of mentors might come true. Think of it! Spiritual fathers and mothers, godly brothers and sisters, creating communities of people who care about outsiders and draw those outside the circle into something they’ve never known but have always wanted. Communities of people whose passion for Christ is stronger than their grudges, their competition for recognition, and their jealous feelings. Christians who have been mentored for long seasons of time by spiritual fathers and mothers, and who – as a result – are so consumed with knowing Christ better that they hang in there through the messiness of community and never give up on themselves or others, because they know that Christ hasn’t given up and never will. They have seen him in their mentors.”
Is this such an unrealistic dream… I think not!! What do you think??
In God’s word we see this displayed in the lives of the priests… in Hebrews 5 the writer of this book points us to the important role of priesthood in a community of followers.
3 Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it’s like from his own experience. But that also means that he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the peoples’.
I wonder if this role of a priest is really any different than that of a mentor in our day? The priestly role had a very human and Godly directive to it. Is that so different for the call of a mentor today? But who is hearing and responding to the call?
But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted. I Peter 2: 9-10