Thursday, October 20, 2011
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Thursday, June 30, 2011
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Ministry is a calling that only God can extend and it is a very honorable calling indeed. As I look through scripture I find example after example of many young men being called into leadership roles. Every man that God called had special talents and abilities innate within them. They were gifted and somehow separated from the norm, not in the sense of being superior, but in the sense of being called out of.
However great the abilities and talents given to a man in the infant stages of ministry, whether in age or in experience, these abilities and talents had to be established correctly in order to be of use in the kingdom of God. In order for these gifts to function properly, there must be a time of realization and development. The individual himself often times did not even know what they had laden within them. God chose through mentorship and elders to affirm and confirm these special talents within these young men.
It is through the mentorship of great elders/prophets that God affirmed His calling upon these young men. But not only was it important to realize or affirm the calling, but the most vital and important stage of mentorship was in the confirmation/development of the calling. To name a few examples:
- Every Elisha needs an Elijah
- · Every Samuel needs an Eli
- · Every Saul needs a Samuel
- · Every David needs a Jonathan
- · Every Peter needs a Jesus
- · Every Paul needs Ananias
- · Every Timothy and Titus needs a Paul
It is of utmost importance that young men have a mentor who will affirm the call of God upon their lives. In my opinion, following the examples of all the men previously mentioned, the first stage of development is the affirmation or the declaration of the call. In every situation involving God calling out a young man, God also provided an elder or mentor to affirm that calling. Not only did God affirm His word through these mentors, but God also confirmed His word through the development of ongoing mentorship.
I believe that mentorship follows two stages. The first is affirmation and realization and the second is an ongoing stage of confirmation and development.
From my point of view and expressing my opinion as a young man in fulltime ministry. I have found that the first stage of mentorship is important and is seen often. However, I feel that there is a lack of the second stage of confirmation and development. I have often heard men affirm or realize that there is a call in a young mans life. They often say things such as “Your anointed,” “You’re a great preacher,” “You have a call on your life” and so on, and yet there are very few of these men who will take the time to stay in contact and continue to confirm their support.
God has blessed me with mentors and men who have been quick to not only affirm their support but have also confirmed it through their ongoing support. However, the greatest complaint and concern I have heard from men of my generation is “I know God has called me to do a work, but I have no one who is willing to share their wisdom and experience with me.” I believe that this lack of confirmation and development has come out of lack of trust toward young men of this generation.
I say this based on what I have heard elder men say to me. They will make statements in all sincerity such as, “We need more young men but we can’t trust very many of them.” This opinion generally is expressed in response to seeing many young men turn another way and it is a genuine expression of concern. But if Samuel had judged every young man by the actions of Saul, there would have never been a David developed.
The example that demonstrates the relationship between a mentor and an apprentice can be seen through the process a child must go through in order to learn how to walk. The affirmation or realization that a child is able to walk is assumed by seeing its legs move. Although the child does not understand the full potential of his own legs, his parents, grandparents and other adults realize that those legs will take that child to where he needs to go in life. But in order for that child to learn how to walk, he must have guidance and development, which can only happen through the support of his superiors. In order for this child to develop a walk that is straight and strengthened, he must be trusted even though he may fall. Eventually through the process of falling and crawling, the child with the ongoing support, leadership and confirmation of his mentors, will learn how to walk on his own.
I believe often times young men have the affirmation of a calling upon their lives. But the real heart of mentorship comes through ongoing support and development. Elisha had the call of God affirmed to him through his relationship with his mentor Elijah. But if Elijah had not passed the mantle to Elisha at the proper time, Elisha may never have made it back across the Jordan and could possibly have ended up down stream.
Elijah showed Elisha how to cross the Jordan River by striking the ground with the mantle. But I am convince that had Elijah been taken up into the heavens without leaving the mantle behind, Elisha would have found another way to get across. But it was the will of God for the mantle to be passed and used properly. Every young man will have rivers to cross like Elisha, that is why it is very important for mentors to be in contact with these young men. There are many young men who have created their own methods of crossing the river and while some have gotten across, others have drowned in the deep or have been swept away by the current. We need more mantle passing Elijah’s in our generation.
I wonder how often we have seen young men lose their foothold and end up down stream from where they need to be, because the Elijah in their life only took them so far with affirmation and then disappeared into the clouds without leaving the mantle of confirmation? I do believe in my generation, one of the most important things for developing leaders is the ongoing confirmation that can only come through trust and support. I pray that God will give us a harvest of strong young men in this generation with great potential for leadership and ministry. And may God also grant unto us the men of God who will develop those young men through mentorship and guidance. My faith is strong and unwavering in this prayer, because I know that God will do it.