by Ming Tian & Joanne Peng . 20 March 2011


Mentoring is about allowing others to see our lives and how we live up to what we believe before others. How we mentor is closely related to our personal encounters and experience with God. The challenge is to allow God to first create in us His work so that we in turn will have the material or authority to mentor others.  Mentoring is not limited to a list of do’s and don’ts but it is about how your life can become an inspiration, a source of encouragement and a lasting influence for others.



For Christ-followers, inspiration plays an important role because they need to get hold of the truth that serving God is awesome. I used to attend a youth community group near my army camp. During one gathering, a young student who had just joined us was inspired to learn more about God after hearing stories about my army life. You could see the hunger in him to want to know God.  There was no mentoring structure, but he got really excited about God.  It was indeed rewarding to know that your life could play a part in making someone excited about knowing God. You don’t need a fantastic life story to inspire others.  Being real and sincere are what touches people. Our journey with God should reflect an excitement that inspires others.

Encouragement is another important focus.  When people step forward towards God, there will be challenges and setbacks. To move forward, they need encouragement. We need God’s Word to bring “courage” to these trialling souls.  There are many good examples from the Bible like Moses, King David, Apostle Paul and many others that we can use as illustrations to bring encouragement to others.  We have a friend who was trying her best to live for God.  Although she purposed to live for God, things did not change for the better.  After some period of waiting, the situation did not improve, and we could sense that she was getting discouraged.  How would you handle such situation?  If you have God’s Word as your foundation, you need not worry about the result.  God’s Word is infallible and is important when it comes to encouragement.  Knowing that God’s Word will never be wrong, we continue to encourage and believe together with her for God to see her through. Encouragement is not limited to words of comfort or positive confession; it involves believing with the person for God to move in their lives. Your encouragement coupled with faith can make a great difference.  God never fails. Things have since improved for this friend of ours.



Lastly, mentoring involves influencing people.  During my secondary school days, I have a classmate who was a devoted Christian. He was a quiet person.  Although he was a Chinese, he spoke only in English.  His Mandarin was horrendous.  In his own quiet way, he exemplified his Christian faith in his studies. From Secondary 1 to 3, he has never done well in the Chinese subject.  But half year before “O” level, the whole class noticed a sudden improvement in his Chinese.  From a F9 grade in Chinese, he scored A2 in the final examination. This caught my attention and made me wonder about the God he served. One day, he bought some of us Bibles.  I began to read the Bible and thus commenced my Christian journey with God.  He reminded me about Isaiah 30:15, “in quietness & trust is our strength.”  My friend has never preached a sermon on trusting God, but I was influenced by him to trust God with my life. Last year, we had a class gathering and amazingly quite a handful of us are now Christ-followers because of the influence, this quiet but devoted Christian has on our lives.  Influence is powerful because it can affect you after many years.  I have been a recipient of the blessings from someone whose life has influenced me, and I hope to do likewise for others.