God is raising up latter-day shepherds (mentors) according to His heart who are feeding His sheep with knowledge and understanding and who will receive the crown of glory. This prophecy in the book of Jeremiah is being fulfilled in our day.
You may already be one of these mentors, and if you would like to be, here is how to get started. The harvest field is not closed to the faithful. You can’t miss this opportunity to face the what, why and how of becoming a Christian mentor for God’s glory online or off!
What is the Current State of Shepherding, or Mentoring?
Saturday, 9:00 A.M. “Hello Pastor Morgan! Did I wake you?” Sheep aren’t very smart
These words irritated Dad more than he ever let on. He was a bi-vocational pastor for 35 years – a very good finished carpenter. He worked harder than most men I know. When he came home at noon, he laid flat on the floor to rest his back.
He was up at 6:00 a.m. every morning, even weekends, trying his best to have a sermon on Sunday and able to teach every Wednesday night. There was also a committee meeting almost every night of the week where he was expected to be. We four kids saw very little of our father.
In every place we lived, which was never over four years, Dad either built or remodeled the church building. He was the contractor using the architect’s drawings; men of the church helped when possible. Sometimes he even had to have an additional carpentry job besides this in order to feed his growing family.
At his last pastorate, he and mother physically tore down the old church building and reconstructed it into a beautiful parsonage. Of course, that was after Dad had built a wonderful new church building that left the congregation without debt!
It wasn’t long before they left the ministry so they could buy a house (without having to live in a parsonage) and have it paid off before they died. That house paid for mother’s care after Dad passed away. Their $200 monthly-retirement benefit plus Social Security would not have done it.
Never did my parents have the time or felt the freedom to ask friends over for fellowship. They felt they would cause someone to be jealous. Mother craved to be able to do something besides go to meetings, but Dad was always too tired.
When I came across some statistics about pastoring, I realized my dad was one of millions [i]:
72% of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week. 57% believe they do not receive a livable wage, so like Dad, they probably have another job. 80% believe the pastorate negatively affects their families, and only 1 out of 10 retire as a pastor.
While 54% find the role overwhelming, and 45% spend only 10-15 hours a week on sermon preparation, is it any wonder some Christians feel they’ve never been fed or discipled, and people are leaving the church.?
No One Leader Can Do Alone the Work of Pastor, Shepherding or Mentoring
One person cannot do the job of pastoring sheeple alone, whether it’s a small church or large. Although Moses had been a shepherd, he was an overwhelmed and overworked leader of millions, and he had a lot to learn. His father-in-law Jethro looked on as Moses tried to govern the people all by himself.
Jethro advised Moses to teach faithful men who would be able to teach others also and put them over 1,000s, 100’s, 50s, and 10s. Only the difficult situations were brought to Moses and for all the others, the people took responsibility for themselves.
In other words, Moses was assisted by mentors who taught in small, medium and large group settings. The sheeple didn’t have to stand around and wait from morning until night to see Moses. Every person was accounted for and no one was left behind.
In sheep terms, when one became ‘cast’ – (overturned on its back due to heavy wool) people noticed in the small groups and helped them get on their feet again before they died.
The Moses’ example shows how the sheep got fed, tended and cared for. My dad’s greatest worry as a pastor was having time to study in order to feed the sheep. Even after he had built a new church building, a lady I will call Martha complained to him about not being fed. So, he moved away, feeling inadequate.
I believe Martha later realized her mistake in complaining, because she began studying the Bible, learned about the Holy Spirit’s desire and ability to help her become a mentor, and fed a small group of sheeple herself. She became a good and willing teacher as she kept learning herself.
THE SOLUTION: Take Responsibility to Mentor Others While Feeding Ourselves
Probably, without even realizing it, Martha was doing what the Bible instructed her to do. Titus, Chapter 2, speaks about older women being an example for younger ones, showing how to love their husbands and children, being virtuous and pure, and good homemakers. It also gives instructions to older and younger men to lead disciplined lives with integrity and wisdom. However, this next Scripture is more thorough about what it means to be a mentor and the reward for being so:
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 5:2-4).
My dad was a willing example to his flock and led with integrity. While planning one new church building, an older lady was upset at the prospect of putting in a basement with stairs. Dad listened to her and changed his plans. Although my dad and I differed on the biblical teachings about the Holy Spirit, he was called and qualified to be a pastor shepherd and glorified the Lord.
Dad has also received the crown of glory. I believe this crown of glory is reserved for all mentors, although it is also called the elder’s crown, or shepherd’s crown and here’s why:
The root word for glory is doxa: splendor, radiance, and majesty centered in Jesus. Doxa is the majestic, absolute perfection residing in Christ and evidenced by the miracles He performed. Jesus prayed to His Father for us all, “All Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (John 17:10 NKJV). As we willingly watch and care for the flock in our sphere of influence, He is glorified through us.
[For a free printable of all the 5 crowns, go HERE>> 5 Eternal Crown Rewards]
Furthermore, Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us Jesus “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.”
Did you catch that? We, as the saints and ordinary people, are to do the work of the ministry to edify the big C Church, the body of Christ worldwide. We are shepherds operating ultimately under the mighty hand of Almighty God, and Jesus Christ who is the only perfect, good Chief Shepherd!
Jesus said, “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). He did it through Peter and the early disciples and He wants to do it through us latter disciples, too. We are accountable to Him to teach and mentor others in everyday life.
How Are We to Care for the Sheep?
Ezekiel was a prophet who brought out how important it was for the individual to take responsibility in watching, speaking up and warning the sheep:
“You, son of man [Ezekiel], are the watchman. I’ve made you a watchman for Israel. The minute you hear a message from me, warn them. If I say to the wicked, ‘Wicked man, wicked woman, you’re on the fast track to death!’ and you don’t speak up and warn the wicked to change their ways, the wicked will die unwarned in their sins and I’ll hold you responsible for their bloodshed. But if you warn the wicked to change their ways and they don’t do it, they’ll die in their sins well-warned and at least you will have saved your own life” (Ezekiel 33:7-9 MSG).
Deaths of people are on the rise around the world from taking risky selfies. India has the most, with young people doing anything, no matter how dangerous to get a good selfie to go viral on social media, like standing on high narrow bridges. A young man reports he lost 24 of his friends one by one as they were swept into the river where they sat on rocks in it. On Mt. Everest in Nepal, people stack themselves like dominos against each other as they strive to reach the top for a selfie. Nine people died in one week.
People are going into eternity thinking they are not worth more than a fly we swat on a table. We must speak up and warn them of danger and mentor them in the ways of Lord–that “the thief comes only to steal and kill, and destroy. I (Jesus) have come that they may have life and that they may have it to the full” (John 10:10).
Whose Responsibility, Really, is it to Shepherd the Sheep
Jesus is the only Good Shepherd. He laid down His life for the sheep. He bought them with His blood and, therefore, is the owner. He is the only one who really cares enough for them to not abandon them. The hired hand will run away when wolves attack (John 10:11-13). Jesus is the only one who can save us, has saved us, and cares for us.
Ezekiel, chapter 34, is a whole chapter about irresponsible shepherds, how God feels about them, and what he is doing right now about the situation:
“God’s Message came to me [Ezekiel]: “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherd-leaders of Israel. Yes, prophesy! Tell those shepherds, ‘God, the Master, says: Doom to you shepherds of Israel, feeding your own mouths! Aren’t shepherds supposed to feed sheep? You drink the milk, you make clothes from the wool, you roast the lambs, but you don’t feed the sheep. You don’t build up the weak ones, don’t heal the sick, don’t doctor the injured, don’t go after the strays, don’t look for the lost.
“You bully and badger them. And now they’re scattered every which way because there was no shepherd—scattered and easy pickings for wolves and coyotes. Scattered—my sheep!—exposed and vulnerable across mountains and hills. My sheep scattered all over the world, and no one out looking for them!” (Ezekiel 34:1-6 MSG).The shepherds of Israel, and many today, have fleeced the sheep rather than having fed them. What is God’s response to this?
“God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I’m going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I’m going after my sheep. I’ll rescue them from all the places they’ve been scattered to in the storms . . . And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I’ll go after the lost, I’ll collect the strays, I’ll doctor the injured, I’ll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they’re not exploited . . . I’ll come in and save my dear flock, no longer let them be pushed around. I’ll step in and set things right between one sheep and another.
“I’ll appoint one shepherd over them all: my servant David [Jesus Christ of David’s lineage]. He’ll feed them. He’ll be their shepherd. And I, God, will be their God. My servant David will be their prince. I, God, have spoken” (Ezekiel 34:11-24 MSG).
Whose Responsibility is it to Feed the Sheep?
Jesus will feed His sheep. He has done so with His Word and given us many translations of the Bible today for us to be able to understand with the guidance and counsel of the Holy Spirit that He sent us. Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep three times––to teach others with His knowledge and understanding.
You can be a good teacher and mentor, too, if you have overcome a difficulty in life and desire to comfort others also (2 Cor. 1:4) you can encourage them with your story and witness (Rev. 12:11); the love of Christ compels us to do so. “He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).
Maybe God is calling you to write? Have you written a journal for years knowing it has to lead somewhere? Here it is…now is the time!
“Then [in the final time] I will give you [spiritual] shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and [true] understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15 AMP).
Isn’t this what must happen if we, as the bride of Christ, are to be without spot or wrinkle, so that the Chief Shepherd will want to return to claim us and give us the crown of glory? We must be willing and obedient to mentor with knowledge and true understanding.
I know one thing for sure. He doesn’t want to marry an immature bride. He won’t. He will wait until she grows up to mentor others.
Jesus doesn't want to marry an immature bride. He won't. He will wait until she grows up to mentor others. #ChristianMentor, #CrownOfGlory, #FaithMentor
Now is the time! We have to grow up and quit expecting someone else to do the work of the ministry. That work is ours to do. Our Chief Shepherd is waiting for us to make His mission ours. He is calling!
Volunteers Have Answered the Call
There’s a Scripture I’ve been waiting and watching to see fulfilled for many years: “Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power; In holy array, from the womb of the dawn, Your youth are to You as the dew”(Ps. 110:3 NASB).
This day of power is NOW! I asked the Lord recently how I would know when this day would be here. A while later I was praying for confirmation to know if I should start a writers’ group after a lady asked me to help her. An image came up on Facebook from times past where I had the option to share it. I did, but instead of it going to my timeline and the news feed for all my friends to see, I received a message through this one lady saying, “That’s nice!”
The image had gone directly to her, chosen from all my friends, and not on my timeline at all. The Lord spoke to my heart, “This is what I mean about the day of my power. I will get your message supernaturally to the right people, at the right time, in the right way as you are willing to share.”
I’m watching millions of people mentor with their Christian faith as mother to mother, parent to parent, marriage to marriage, older to younger, younger to older and men doing the same. Plus, all are creating beautiful printables to share Scriptures and Bible knowledge, with an explosion of books. [If you want to find them, go to Pinterest: Education]
Since I restarted blogging a couple of years ago, I’ve come across several women who teach how to get your writings to be read online and your products known. Millions of these amazing fantastic people have small, medium or very large mailing lists which comprise their sheeple flock.
>To read a word from Lana Vawser to writers go HERE>> Writers take heart-you are breaking new ground.
Suzi Whitford, a millennial mom of faith, who offers a free start-a-mom-blog course for beginners and/or advanced users, says that 1 in 5 millennial moms have a blog. They grew up with the internet, are smart and highly educated––as she is (with an industrial engineering degree).
Suzi says, “Because of our grandmothers, we want to be stay-at-home moms, and because of our own mothers, we want to be in the workforce.”
She reports that in 2014 there were 4.4 million moms blogging and they are increasing at one million per year. Many monetize their blog and make a good income.
Will You Answer the Online Mentoring Call?
If you are interested in joining the online media missionary mentors, you need to know about these other Christian women who are mentoring younger and older women and men to know how to serve in partnership with Jesus. Many pastor’s wives have found their niche online and off:
Kira Bridges – mentor and consultant – “You Don’t Have to Do It All – Equipping women to live a set-apart life on and off-line.” Kira teaches blogging and Pinterest marketing strategies.
Deb Wolf – manages Blessing Bloggers Facebook group for Christian bloggers. She has a consistent weekly strategy to assist bloggers to share each other’s posts and on all social networks with prayer all along the way. Her blog is Here.
Alisa Nicaud hosts Bloggers Corner – a Facebook group for Christian bloggers offering teamwork mentor-ship. She gives great support on any blogging question and offers courses. Her blog is Here
Kelly R. Baker hosts the Blogger Voices Network Facebook Group which mentors Christian bloggers in teamwork strategies “With One Voice.” Her blog site is Here
Kelly Holmes was a professional writer and editor for 15 years. She makes a full-time income from blogging and offering her sticky blogging course by sharing her secrets to attract readers and keep them. Her site is Here
Ruth Soukup has two good books about blogging to mentor starters: How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul and Do It Scared. She has a large following with her Elite Blogging Academy. Her site is here
If You Want to Start Your Own off-line Small Group or Mentor One-on-One
I can help you host a small group of probably 10 or less at your church or in your neighborhood.<< Click Link Here
I have also mentored one-on-one at local restaurants. Click this>> Each One Teach One link.
Both options have been the most fulfilling experiences of my life. Interpersonal relationships are the best although finding people online you can mentor is great too. That’s why I put my discipleship book on this blog site in a 15-minute e-course devotional. Learn more at the button below.
My discipleship workbook is GOD Who Are You? AND Who Am I? Knowing and Experiencing God by His Hebrew Names. A user- friendly leader’s guide for the first timer is also available at the “Get the Book(s)” link below.
The Lord gives the command, the women who proclaim the good tidings are a great host–Psalm 68:11
Recommended reading: God is Raising up His Ezekiel Watchman Prophets Now
[i] Statistics provided by the Fuller Institute, George Barna, Lifeway, Schaeffer Institute of Leadership Development, and Pastoral Care Inc. (accessed May 21, 2019).
Bible quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society unless otherwise indicated, Used by permission of Zondervan; The New American Standard Bible®. Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, www.Lockman.org; The Amplified® Bible. Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; The Message. Copyright ©1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by NavPress Publishing Group; and The King James Version of the Bible.