“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name He may give you.” 
John 15:16











“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go

And bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the

Father in my name He may give you.” John 15:16


            I am sure you have used this verse in a number of ways, but I would like to use it as our reason to taking mentoring seriously.  We have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit that will remains.  The only fruit that will remain are the lives we touch for the Lord.  Our building project will not remain.

            Responding in obedience to “go and bear fruit” is intentional.  This verse also alerts us to the need of prayer.  It is in the line of being fruitful that Jesus assures the disciples that the Father will give whatever they ask in His name.

            The term mentor was chosen over discipleship.  Usually we think of discipleship in terms of one receiving biblical and doctrinal training.  It can mean more than that of course.   We think of disciples as those who learn and follow.   However, mentoring refers to a relationship for personal development, in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person help a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.  

            We want to help members of the body of Christ strengthen their relationship with God so their serve for God is approved.  Our goal:  to see Christ reproduced in their lives more than seeing them faithfully working in the church with lots of activities.  There must be a balance between ministry and their relationship with Christ their Savior.  Their relationship with God must take priority.

Intimacy ensures our love for God is maintained. God’s complaint to the Church of Ephesus had nothing to do with them carrying out their assignment—fulfilling their vision.  God stated:

“I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance.  I know

that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who

claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.  You have

persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not

grown weary.  Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your

first love.  Remember the height from which you have fallen!   Repent

            and do the things you did at first.”  Revelation 2:2-5a (NIV)

            When more emphasis is put on ministry than the development of an intimate relationship with God, it can put the ministry between us and God.  When something or someone gets between us and God, it opens the door for the devil.    In our mentoring relationship, stress must be put on our relationship with God.  Too many people mistakenly think their work for God is what pleases God.  Focus is put on what we do instead of what we are becoming while we are serving God.


            Mentoring is a deliberate act of assisting another person in reaching their goal.  It could also be mutual goal.  It is a partnership based on mutual respect.  Both parties contributing in the discussions    as the mentor and mentee work together.  Mentoring can be accomplished in either an informal or formal manner.  Informal mentoring is casual.  The person learns from their daily interaction and observation of the person.  If any of us are visible in the church, the office, or community, we could be mentoring individual without being aware.

            Formal mentoring is a spoken or written agreement between two people to spend some specific time together and with some specific goals in mind.  Our goal for mentoring is to assist the mentee in allowing the Holy Spirit to reproduce Christ in him/her, while training them in a specific area.  It can be most effective when the relationship is explained:  what are the expectations?  What is the time span?  What is required? 

            As we train a mentee in a particular area of ministry, we want to do more than transfer biblical knowledge and procedures for the job/task.   We want to transfer practical wisdom for daily life and examples of Godly character.   For this session, we will focus on one on one mentoring.  However, there can be group mentoring.  Jesus used group mentoring for his disciples.

The Mentor and Mentee

            What does it take to be a mentor?  A mentor is not someone who is perfect, but someone who has made their mistakes and knows the grace of God:  An individual who knows how to allow the Holy Spirit to use his/her life experiences—even their failures. These should be humble individuals who have a heart to make others successful in their service to the Lord.

            How do you find a mentee?    A mentee can be a niece or nephew, a child, a coworker, your neighbor, or someone in your local church.  Remember, not all of our mentoring is formal, but we must know what we are doing.


“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.  You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk to them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (NKJV)

            This gives us a glimpse of the role of a mentor:  (1) The mentor has the backing of God. (2)  It is a ministry that comes from the heart. (3) The mentor is sent with a clear purpose.  (4)  The role of the mentor is more than teaching biblical doctrine to the mentee. (5) The mentor is to help the mentee incorporate God’s word in every aspect of life.  These facts alert us of our responsibility to train the next generation.

The Cycle of Mentoring

            Mentoring is cyclical.  Paul gave instruction to Timothy to identify men that would be faithful to teach other.  In other words, the individuals in whom you pour your life into should be aware of their responsibility to pour their lives into others.  This is seen clearly in:  “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NKJV)

The Influence of Barnabas

            As we observe the ministry of Barnabas, we can see the long range affect of his life and ministry.  Barnabas was consider to take the place of Judas because he had been with the disciples since John the Baptist unto the day Jesus was taken up to heaven (Acts 1:21-26).  His name was Joseph and the Apostles changed it to Barnabas, meaning “son of consolation.”  He was also a Levite from the country of Cyprus.  He sold land and laid the money at the feet of the disciples so that those that had need would not lack (Acts 4:32-37).

            When Paul tried to join the disciples in Jerusalem, they were afraid of him and did not believe he was a disciple.  It was Barnabas that brought Paul to the apostles and declared to them his conversion experience and how he preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

            Men from Cyprus and Cyrene came to Antioch they preached the Lord Jesus to the gentile and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.  The apostle sent Barnabas to minister in the church of Antioch.  Barnabas saw the grace of God on the church and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should cleave unto the Lord.  It was Barnabas sought Paul in Tarsus and brought him to Antioch.  Barnabas and Saul were teachers in Antioch.  The Holy Spirit directed the Church of Antioch to send out Barnabas and Paul on their missionary journey (Acts 13:1-3).

            Paul had a problem with Barnabas when he wanted to take John Mark, his cousin, with them on their missionary journey.  Their contention caused a separation with Barnabas talking John Mark and Paul taking Silas.  Later, Paul requested that John Mark come to him because Mark was useful to him in ministry (2 Timothy 4:11).  John Mark ministered to Paul in Rome (Colossians 4:10); and John Mark also was a companion to Peter (1 Peter 5:13).  He is credited with writing the Gospel of Mark—believed to have been the first gospel written with information obtained from Peter.

            Paul’s ministry is well known.  And he mentored many others and we have his counsel and guidance given to Timothy and Titus.  Because of the Epistles he wrote, we are still benefiting today. 

The Role of the Mentor Jetro with Moses

            God used Jetro, Moses’ father- in- Law, to mentor Moses at a critical time in his ministry.  After Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt, he was given the responsibility of turning these freed slaves into a nation.  Moses was tied down in the urgent, settling problem between the people.  The instructions that Jetro shared with Moses can be relevant for  us today.

Scripture Focus:  Exodus 18:13-24

            “And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening.  So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, ‘What is this thing you are doing for the people?  Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?’

“And Moses said to his father-in-law, ‘Because the people come to me to inquire of God.  When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statues of God and His laws.”

“So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, ‘The thing that you do is not good.  Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out.  For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.  Listen to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you:  Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.  And you shall teach them the statutes and laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.  Moreover, you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of ten.  And let them judge the people at all times.  Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge.  So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.  If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people will also go to their place in peace. So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.”

Advice from the Mentor

1.     Approached Moses in humility

2.     First he observed Moses actions all day.

3.    He asked several questions of Moses:    “What are you doing for the people”

            “Why do you alone sit and all the people come before you”

4.    He gave Moses the time to answer the questions.

            The people come to me to inquire of God.

            The people bring their difficulties to me.

            I judge between them and make known God’s statues and laws.

5.     Jetro identifies the problem but shares his concern.

            The thing that you do is not good.

            Shows concern for the people                  --You will wear the people out.

            Shows concern for Moses                         -- The job is too much for you.

6.     Jetro provides counsel                                           --States God will be with you.

                  Stand before God for the people.              --Intercessor for the people

                  Bring the difficulties to God.

                  Teach the people the statutes and laws

                  Show the people the way they must walk.

                  Show the people the work they must do.

                  Select overseers of the work.

                  Whenever you are going to identify the problem, be able to suggest a solution.

7.    Jetro provide the standard to select these leaders

                        Able men who fear God                  --not just natural ability

                  Men of truth                                      --selection according to character

                  Men hating covetousness

                  Men were given responsibility according to their ability.

                  They will judge the people in the small matters

                  They will bring the great matter to Moses.


                  Nothing will frustrate an individual more than to be placed into a position that is beyond their ability.  Individual respond in a positive way when given an assignment that benefits others.

8.     Jetro provides encouragement

            This will lighten your load and it will be easier on you Moses.

            The leaders will help share the burden.  --

            Moses you will be able to endure.

THE OUTCOME:  Moses heeded the voice of Jetro, his father-in-law.






            All of us are called and appointed to bear fruit that will remain.  We have touched on the role of Jetro as he mentored Moses.  One thing we may not have stressed is the role of the mentor is most effective when it comes out of our relationship.  Before beginning any form of mentoring program, learn about the mentee.

What do you know about the Mentee


1.     Have them share about their family.  The mentor does not want to take the place

of the mentee’s parent.  Broken relations should be repaired if possible.  You may be able to help them to work through the emotional problems.

2.     Have they had disappointments in their family, in their experience in the local assembly, in any area of their life?  A mentor must help to bring healing in the life of the mentee.  We have many wounded workers---and their pain can come out anywhere if it is not properly dealt with in the mentoring process.

3.    What is the interest of the mentee or their job, or hobby?  We have heard it said many times that “people do not care how much we know until they know how much we care.”  We show them how much we care about them by taking the time to listen to them.

4.    Learn how they feel about authority.  Their concept of authority  can be damaged by parents that are not sensitive to their needs, or by other experience

5.    Is the mentee in a relationship?  Is it a relationship in which God would approve of or do they want to be in a relationship?

6.     What are the spiritual disciplines of the mentee?

7.     What would they like to accomplish in life?

            Our mentee is not our project.  You are touching a unique life for the glory of God that will affect the lives of others.  It is a privilege and a responsibility.  The information that you will obtain from your mentee would be over time as you are developing a relationship.


Have the participants write down what they know about their mentee.

Qualities of a Mentor

1.    Sensitive to God’s leading. Operating in a spirit of humility.

2.    Having the ability to ask appropriate questions to learn about the mentee.

3.    Must be a great listener.

4.    Able to share weaknesses with the mentee without being condemning.

5.    Try not to share a problem without sharing a solution.

6.    Know how to provide counsel/wisdom on the level the mentee can understand.

7.    Know how to encourage while you are providing correction.



            The mentor needs to be a disciplined Christian who is intentional about practicing needed spiritual disciplines as a means to maintain an intimate and transforming relationship with Jesus Christ.  We must maintain our edge that gives us the love, discernment, courage and power needed to lead effectively in the church, our homes, and communities.

            Formally or informally, if we are leaders in our churches or even church goers, we are being observed and may be imitated.  We should be reading, studying, and meditating deeply upon the Word of God.  Each one of us is still being transformed into the image of Christ.  Our spiritual growth is totally dependent on feeding upon the Word of God.  The prophet Jeremiah said, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by your name, O Lord God of hosts.”  Jeremiah 15:16. Does God’s Word have a special place in your heart.

            Another verse that stands out to me is found in John chapter 21, in which Jesus asked Peter more than once:  “Do you love me?”  He responded with the answer to how He would know if we love him.  The answers:  “Feed My lambs.”  “Tend My sheep”, and “Feed my sheep”.

1.     Feed My Lambs—the meaning of the Greek word for feed can be translated as to give good, or to furnish something essential to the development, substance, maintenance or operation

            The term for lamb —can be translated young sheep, or a person easily cheated  

            or deceived.

2.    Tend My sheep—the meaning of the Greek word for tend can be translated as painstaking, watchful, a person that is the object of attention.


            The term for sheep—can be taken to mean a timid, docile, or one easily     influenced or led.

3.    Feed My sheep—the terms for feed and sheep are the same in the other two statements.  I believe the emphasis is telling each of us that our love for Jesus is revealed in the way we nurture the less experience Christians placed in our path.

            All of this confirms our mission to mentor and reveals our love for Jesus.  This ensures us that the mentor needs to be compassionate and caring.  This takes us beyond just teaching.

4.    The advice of Jetro:  “Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.  And you shall teach them the status and laws, show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.”  Exodus 18:19b-20

·         An intercessor: We need to stand before God on behalf of our mentee.

·         An instructor:  We teach God’s requirement for godly living.

·         An example: my demonstration showing the mentee how to walk.

            Our lifestyle can reveal much to our mentee:  Either a positive or negative influence.   People respond to what they see more than what they hear.  Would the church be stronger if we looked a mentoring as our responsibility?


            In John chapter 15, Jesus reveals the necessity of an abiding relationship with Him for effective ministry.  Our lives are to be hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).   I had several reasons for selecting this passage:

  1. It provides a general assignment model.  The elements in this model need to be understood by those desiring to advance the kingdom of God.  These are the same elements that Satan used to deceive Eve, which brought about the fall of mankind.  Satan also used these elements to tempt Jesus in the wilderness.  This will be covered more fully in “Vision for Warfare.”
  1. It reveals that our relationship with Jesus can develop.  Our relationship with Christ can move from “branch” to “friend”.  In this passage Jesus tell His disciples what is required to develop a friendship with Him; he also elaborates about the benefits of this friendship.
  1. It identifies prayers as God’s means for bearing fruit that will bring glory to the Father.

            Understand our General Assignment   When we partner with God it is imperative that we understand that at the core of fulfilling God’s assignment is our relationship with Him.  That ongoing relationship with our Creator keeps us aware of who we are in Christ and of our God-given purpose.  These truths are clearly identified in John chapter 15. This knowledge and assurance can give us victory over our unseen enemy.    To accept partnership with God is an adventurous journey.

General Ministry Assignment Model – John 15

Identity:                      Disciple of Jesus Christ - His branch - vs. 5, 8.

Purpose:                    Bring glory to the Father - v.8

Access to God:         Abide in Jesus and He will abide in you - vs. 4, 7.

Assignment:              Chosen and appointed to bear fruit that remains - v. 16.

Instructions:              Pray in order to bear much fruit - vs. 7-8.

Remain in Jesus with the Word remaining in you - v. 7.

Remain in the love of Jesus - v. 9.

Obey the commands of Jesus - v. 10.

Love each other - vs. 12, 17.

Warning:                    The Father cuts off every branch in Jesus that bears no fruit. – v. 2 Unproductive branches are picked up and burned in the fire - v 6.

There is much to learn as we study the fall of Adam and Eve.  They were deceived by the serpent because they lacked understanding of 1) who they were in relationship to God, and 2) their purpose in the Garden of Eden.  They were to do more than work the garden.  Adam and Eve were God’s stewards and protectors of the Tree of Good and Evil.  Their obedience revealed their respect for God and His sovereignty.  Adam and Eve had authority over all the animals in the garden.  Their failure to exercise that authority brought about the fall. 

I developed a general assignment model for Adam and Eve from Genesis 1:27-28 and Genesis 2:15-17.  I was able to identify the following elements:  identity, purpose, access to God, assignment, instructions, and warning.  Satan exploited these areas with Adam and Eve.  Understanding that we are in warfare with an unseen enemy makes it necessary to be aware of the areas which are under attack.  Adam and Eve did not know who they were, nor did they understand their purpose.

General Ministry Assignment:

Identity:                      Son of God (Luke 3:38).  Made in God’s image

Purpose:                    Reveal the glory of God by extending God’s kingdom on earth

Access to God:         Meet God in the garden to maintain intimacy

Assignment:              Rule over the earth. Extend God’s kingdom on earth

Instructions:              Work the garden and care for it as God’s stewards

                                    Do not eat from the tree of good and evil

Be fruitful and increase in number

Fill the earth and subdue it

Warning:                    Death if the fruit of the tree of good and evil is eaten

Adam and Eve understood neither the full purpose of their call nor the importance of obedience in their relationship with God.

Hopefully this general assignment model will help us to identify our weaknesses and work to build them into strengths. God’s vision for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden was not fulfilled.  Now you and I have been given the opportunity to fulfill God’s vision for us!

Jesus is instructing His disciples to take over His mission after His death.  That alone is reason enough for us to give special attention to this ministry model.  This assignment model is included as part of the multifaceted call, which is covered in “Vision for Ministry.”  We are chosen to bear fruit that will remain.

The only fruit that will remain are the disciples we make in Christ Jesus.  This is a truth that needs to be kept before us.  Our ministries may involve building projects, administrative work, and other activities that help meet the needs of God’s people.  However, the results of these activities will NOT remain.  Our involvement with people during our assignment becomes most important.  Our faithfulness will reveal the Father’s glory.

            Develop a friendship with Jesus   There appears to be a progression in our growing relationship with Jesus.  We are identified as both branches and disciples in this passage.  It is the branches that bear the fruit.  As branches we draw our substance from being connected with the True Vine, and as disciples we receive and follow the instructions of Jesus. 

  • BRANCH ON THE VINE:  When we accept Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior, we become the children of God (John 1:12), being born again by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5).  We are taught by the Holy Spirit (Luke 12:12), which connects us to the True Vine as branches.  The Father watches over the branch.  If it does not bear fruit, it is removed.  As a branch we are expected to produce.
  • FRUIT BEARER:  The Father prunes the branches that bear fruit.  Accepting our partnership with God, the Vision Giver, means we accept the pruning.  Pruning reveals weaknesses that hinder us from being able to bear more fruit.  Examples of possible weaknesses include our temper, impatience, lack of compassion, etc.  We are expected to become more fruitful as we grow spiritually.
  • DISCIPLE:  We are validated as disciples when we bear much fruit (v. 8).  Fruit-bearing is the result of remaining in Jesus, the True Vine, and remaining in the Word as we pray.  Going forth with the message of the kingdom of God, reconciliation through the blood of Jesus, will bear fruit that will remain.  This fruit is the Father’s glory.  As we serve in obedience, we are called servants.
  • SERVANT:  Jesus is telling His disciples that there is a role beyond servanthood.   In the Greek the term servant is one that performs duties.  The servants have limitations because they do not fully know the Master’s business.
  •  FRIEND:  Jesus gives us the opportunity to become His friend.  We are His friends “if we do what He commands.”  Jesus will reveal to his friends everything He has learned from His Father.   Knowing the Master’s business will enable us to go into the world to make disciples (Matthew 28:19), duplicating ourselves.  How fruitful is that?  It is exciting to know that our relationship with Jesus can continue to develop.  This relationship can lead to divine revelation, an asset to transforming our vision.

            Increase our prayers.  Twice in this passage reference is made to prayer.  The first is seen in verse seven, which reveals the benefit of remaining in Jesus and the Word.  It comes with a precious promise:  “ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.”  As we endeavor to extend the kingdom of God on earth, answered prayer makes that possible.

The second reference to prayer is seen in verses 16 and 17.  In these Scriptures,

answered prayer is viewed as a vital component of God’s response to our acceptance of His calling.  Jesus states clearly that He chose and appointed us to bear fruit that will last.  It is in this context of ministry that the Father will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. 

            Prayer ensures our dependence on and partnership with Jesus.  Jesus instructs us to pray in His name with the assurance that our heavenly Father will respond.  Prayer to the Father through the Son will ensure a God focus in our ministry.


            Priscilla and Aquila spent time with Peter because they were both in the profession of making tents.  When Apollos, a man fervent in spirit, came to Ephesus and began to teach accurately the things of the Lord; though he knew only the baptism of John the Baptist.  Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.  And when Apollos desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him (Acts 18:24-28).

            Sometimes it is just assisting someone who is already in ministry and helping them to become more effective.  How do we make it happen in our churches?

1.     Identify the positions that need to be full or individual who could do a better job if there had a mentor.  Sunday School Superintendents, Sunday school teachers, NMI Presidents, Youth workers, Ushers, Nursery workers, Outreach workers, etc

2.    Identify individual who have a desire to be mentored.  Many people would be willing to step into a new position if they were assured they would receive help.

3.    Announce the positions that need to be filled.

4.    Identify the need for mentors and positions you need them to work.  Sometimes have a choice of the individuals they would like to work with.

5.    Decide whether you will have a formal or informal mentoring program.  Whether you want a one-on-one program or group program.

6.    You may need the approval of your pastor or church board.     

7.     Answer the concerns of the mentee.

8.    How long will be program run for or will it be ongoing with each person that is involved.