Leadership is not complete until someone walks in the footsteps of a leader. Disciple-making begins and ends with investing in people. It was no coincidence that we see a marked change in the original disciples from the end of the Gospel according to Luke to the first few chapters in Acts. Out of genuine love for His disciples, Jesus mentored them for this moment to shine. The Apostle Paul did the same for Timothy, Titus, and many other church leaders. A leader replicates himself because he loves his followers.
Business leaders understand the value of intentional mentoring. It is embraced by corporate leaders and first-year laborers alike. Mentoring builds stronger organizations and ensures a brighter future. Yet, long before Donald Trump hired his first apprentice, Jethro mentored Moses, Moses instructed Joshua, Samuel guided David, and Solomon shared his wisdom with his sons. Unfortunately, discipleship in many churches has been redefined and reduced to a video course to watch or a class that is offered at the least opportune time during the week. A Christian leader must be a disciple-maker in order to be obedient to the call of Christ. Gene Wilkes says, “Servant leaders are not a success until they mentor successors to carry on the mission.”
A few years ago, I began a list of people who have invested in my life through disciple-making since I became a Christian in 1992. At present, the Lord has brought to my memory twenty-eight people who helped to build my foundation of theology and ministry. Most Christian leaders can point to at least one believer who has made a significant difference in their lives through mentoring.