So far this week I’ve written about six qualities that mentors possess based on 2 Timothy 1:1-14. Today I want to finish this series up with the last two characteristics. Quality number seven is that mentors are models. Mentors model behaviors, values, and attitudes to their proteges. “Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:13-14, NLT). Notice the word “pattern” in verse 13. That word literally means “blueprint.” Mentors provide a blueprint for you to make your own way. Good mentors do not seek to develop imitators. They develop innovators. Paul is known for being a church planter, traveling as an itinerant preacher for the entirety of his ministry career. He might stay put for a season, but generally his practice was to hit the road so he could start something new. What we know of Timothy’s biography is that he was a stay at home body. While he did travel extensively with Paul, his post Pauline ministry expression was serving the body of Christ as a local church pastor. The take away from this is that a good mentor doesn’t demand their pupils be just like them. Only Christ has the right to make that demand.
The eighth and final characteristic is that mentors facilitate growth. Peeking into the next chapter, Paul continued by writing, “Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others” (2 Timothy 2:1-2, NLT). Paul’s goal for Timothy was to “pass the baton,” for true growth is not measured by what you get. Its measured by what you give.
Who’s your Paul? Waylon Moore said, “Everyone needs a PACESETTER ahead of them; a PEER beside them, and a PUPIL following them.” Who’s your pacesetter? Who’s your peer? Who’s your pupil?