Which is all well and good and everything—like, kudos to all the missionaries out there that are living it out. But how am I supposed to do that? What does it even look like for an American teenager to walk out Jesus’ last command?
I Step Out to Mentor
A mentoring relationship is where a more mature Christian takes a new Christian under their wing and teaches them the basics of the faith. It’s a relationship that models what Jesus had with his disciples—the discipler and disciple spend time with one another, becoming friends and confidantes, praying and fasting together, seeking the Lord together, and encouraging one another to keep fighting the good fight. It’s actually a pretty complex thing that varies from church to church and relationship to relationship, but the gist of it is that the mature Christian takes care of the baby Christian.
Since I was eleven, I had been on the disciple end of the mentoring relationship, but the late summer of 2013 marked a new chapter of my life: I became the mentor.
I've had the privilege of watching a beautiful young lady mature in the Lord for nearly two years now. We talk about anything going on in our lives that’s difficult, asking for prayer and advice from one another. We discuss how our quiet times are going, what God has been teaching us through them, and questions that have risen from studying the Bible.
But our relationship doesn't end in that hour-and-a-half window.
We’re friends. We spend time with one another at events and at church, we have sleepovers. We go to the mall, to the movies, or we sit lazily in the other’s room and chat about whatever comes to mind. We're in one another's lives, and we grow closer with passing time.
The way the discipleship relationship works is quite simple, yet it requires an investment of oneself. You have to be willing to devote your time, your energy, your love, and your persistence. But it's worth it.
And it's only one of the many ways to fulfill Jesus’ last command.
My brother-in-law and another one of the young men from our church started a ministry where they play basketball in a nearby neighborhood, invite the residents, and use that opportunity to share the Gospel.
I help teach Sunday School to four- to eleven-year olds, sharing Bible stories and their practical application in the kids’ lives.
My church has both a teen and a young adult program, ministries that are geared toward bringing in and building up people in those age brackets.
There are so many ministries available to us, waiting to be employed in the pursuit of making disciples. All we have to do is look, and join in. Finding a nearby ministry—whether it’s an extension of your home church, or some kind of organization that takes care of the widows and orphans and allows you to share your faith—is never all that hard.
And once you’ve found your ministry, you dive in. Start sowing into people’s lives, caring for the broken and the needy—making disciples.