A Letter From My Mentor



Becoming Equipped to Influence Others for Christ


Mentoring Sessions from 1 Thessalonians

Couples In Christ, Sunrise Community Church, Winter 2009


Every one of us learns from others.  Perhaps the most valuable lessons are connected with the lives of those who have invested in us.  In turn, satisfaction in life cannot be separated entirely from people.  God made us that way.  When you have an opportunity to invest in someone else, to pass on important truths to them, both you and the recipient are enriched.  I believe this is the way God designed life to be, that this is His will for believers.


The ultimate model of this occurred when God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to teach us about the Father.  Jesus hand-picked twelve men to teach life-changing truths about God.    And then eleven of these men, along with Paul, changed the entire world by investing in the lives of others. 


The New Testament records the lessons Jesus taught these men, along with the lessons He teaches us through them.  As God’s Spirit cements these lessons in the hearts and minds of godly men and women a new crop of mentors is born.  As Christ’s disciples you and I have the privilege of participating in this progression.


I Thessalonians is a great example of the “journal notes” from the apostle Paul and two of his co-mentors, Silas and Timothy.  Let’s read these notes with the intention of becoming spiritual mentors to others. 


The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Tim 2:2 NASB)


What Makes A Mentor?                                                                                                                                                    Introduction

1 Thessalonians Overview                                                                                                                                                                                                January 18, 2009




Mentor: A wise and trusted counselor (Webster).   Somebody, usually older and more experienced, who advises and guides a younger, less experienced person.   In Greek mythology Mentor is the friend whom Odysseus left in charge of the household while he was at Troy, and who was the teacher and protector of Telemachus, Odysseus's son.  (Synonyms: Advisor, counselor, guide, tutor, teacher, guru.) 


and #9658;          Who would YOU appoint to train up your son in the ways of the Lord?  Would a friend of yours appoint you?


-                  Have you had a mentor in your life? 

-                  What do you consider a mentor to be? 

-                  What lessons do you remember learning?


Who were these mentors? (In Thessalonica)

Paul, Silas and Timothy arrived in Thessalonica in the early summer of A.D. 50. They planted the first Christian church in this wealthy, influential city, but had to leave in a hurry because their lives were threatened (Acts 17:1-10). At the first opportunity, probably when he stopped at Corinth, Paul sent Timothy back to Thessalonica to see how the new believers were doing. Timothy returned to Paul with good news: the Christians in Thessalonica were remaining firm in the faith and were unified.   But the Thessalonians did have some questions about their new faith. Paul had not had time to answer all their questions during his brief visit, and in the meantime, other questions had arisen. So Paul wrote this letter to answer their questions and to commend them on their faithfulness to Christ.   (Life Application Bible Notes)


and #9658;

Who are some examples of mentors in your world? 

What qualifies them?



-            Parents, grandparents



-            Older brothers and sisters



-            Teachers



-            Employers



-            Mature Believers (including pastors)


Who were the mentees?

The Thessalonians were determined to follow Christ, and stood firm amidst much persecution (1:6; 3:1-4, 7, 8).  The church was only 2 or 3 years old; these Christians needed to mature in their faith.  They had some misunderstandings about Christ's second coming.  Paul commended them for their “work produced by faith, labor prompted by love, and endurance inspired by hope” (1:3).


and #9658;          What makes the difference between a person needing to learn (i.e. an immature believer) and a mentee?


-                  Attitude (willingness to learn)

-                  Strength of their Faith

-                  Humility

-                  Other:                                                                          


What was the setting?

Thessalonica was the capital and largest city (about 200,000 population) of the Roman province of Macedonia. The most important Roman highway (the Egnatian Way), extending from Rome all the way to the Orient, went through Thessalonica. This highway, along with the city's thriving seaport, made Thessalonica one of the wealthiest and most flourishing trade centers in the Roman Empire.    Recognized as a free city, Thessalonica was allowed self-rule and was exempted from most of the restrictions placed by Rome on other cities in the empire. However, with its international flavor came many pagan religions and cultural influences that challenged the faith of the young Christians there.   (Life Application Bible Notes)


and #9658;          What challenges does our society place on people today to discourage them from faith in God?  Is there someone in your personal world who is struggling to “believe God” in some way?  Is it possible that God is nudging you to spend time with them and help them to mature in the Lord?


DISCUSSION: What Makes a Mentor?

From the following verses in 1 Thessalonians identify a quality of a mentor:



Gives T                                              to God.


Diligent to P                                for others.


Experiences and overcomes S                                                              .

2:4, 9

Willing to S                                        forth God’s word.


Treats others with G                                                              and respect.


Has the effect of Strengthening and E                                                            others.


Delights when others S                                      F                      in the Lord.


Sees what is lacking in others’ F                                .  Helps them learn and overcome this.


Provides clear instruction as to how to walk and P God.


Familiar with the specifics of God’s W                              (commandments).


Lives a life marked by P                                        . (Not perfect, but under control.)


Their life is also marked by a sincere L                            for other believers.


Understands God’s perspective about                                                                                                                                                     .


Which of the above qualities means the most to you?


-      As a parent / grandparent

-      As a spouse

-      As a friend


How important is TRANSPARENCY in the life of a mentor?


NEXT WEEK: The Position and Posture of a Mentor – 1 Thess. 1:1-4


© copyright 2009, Daniel Kinnoin

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