Do you remember when you first accepted Christ in your life? It was an exciting and life-changing experience, right? You also may remember having hit a few bumps from time to time, and thankfully, you had an encouraging pastor or supportive friend to help along the way. Just as God placed a mentor in your early Christian life to help guide you, He may lead you into doing the same for someone else.
A mentor is a wise and trusted counselor or teacher. Many admirable examples of mentorship can be found throughout the Bible, such as Elijah towards Elisha, the Apostle Paul with Timothy, and most importantly, Jesus with the 12 disciples. Whether you’re a leader of a large ministry, or even a small Bible study group, here are five practical ways to mentor new believers in Christ:
1. Meet Them Where They Are
For those who may not have come from a Christian background, or who’ve been heavily influenced by their former lifestyles, Christianity and church may feel like a complete culture shock. New Christians may be unfamiliar with Biblical terminology or still struggle with insecurities. It’s important to make sure newcomers still feel accepted and loved as they transition into their new life in Christ, whether it’s helping them learn scripture or just spending time building a supportive friendship.
2. Build Relationships with Them
Mentoring, in essence, is discipling. Throughout the Bible, we see effective discipleship as a result of strong relationships with their mentors. It’s good to note that Christ spent immeasurable time with His disciples, teaching them and showing them His ways. By fellowshipping and building relationships, trust and confidence are developed.
3. Be Available to Answer Biblical Questions
It’s normal for new believers to have a long list of questions regarding scripture. Provide insight and teaching as the Holy Spirit leads you, or simply inform the mentee you’re available when needed. Doing so can help him or her feel comfortable and confident when reading and learning the Bible.
4. Help Them Get Involved in Ministry
What better way of meeting and growing spiritually with other Christians than getting involved in ministry? Going hand-in-hand with fellowship, getting involved in small ministries within the church helps new believers bond with (and learn from) other Christians. It’s also a great way in helping them to learn what special abilities and gifts they may have and can contribute to the body of Christ.
5. Encourage Them in Their Walk With Christ
The most important and comforting thing a mentor can do is to be honest with new believers. Let them know that their walk in Christ may get difficult at times, that trials and tribulations in life are expected. Many people, no matter where they are in their faith, still face hard times, such as death, illness, and financial struggles. Encourage new believers that they are not alone, and that they have you as a shoulder to lean on during hard times.
Great mentors inevitably make great leaders. If you’re interested in providing helpful books for new believers in whom you mentor, check out “Victorious Christian Living,” as well as a variety of other tools for discipleship and outreach on our website.
[Ephesians 4:11-12] “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” (NKJV)