Right now, our greatest need is for dedicated mentors and disciplers. These programs are some of the greatest and most unique parts of our services, and as we grow, our need for these men and women grow as well.
What is a Mentor?
A mentor is a spiritually mature man or woman who is answering God's calling to love, accept, encourage, forgive, instruct and serve someone else. Mentorship provides an opportunity for the formerly incarcerated to build a Christ-centered relationship that will contribute to their spiritual growth and maturity. A mentor strives for consistency, committing themselves to meaningful friendshipwith their mentee.
What is a Discipler?
Like a mentor, a discipler is a spiritually mature man or woman who is answering God's calling to teach, love, accept, encourage, forgive, and serve someone else. A discipler has an in-depth, holistic understanding of the bible and comes under the authority of a more mature Christ-follower for the purpose of teaching that would lead to Christ-likeness.
How do the roles differ?
A mentor's primary role is to form a healthy and Christ-centered relationship with the participant that becomes their mentee. A mentor should listen to residents and strive to see them as Christ does, invest time in building a relationship, assist and encourage the resident in job search, attend and participate in Bible studies when possible, and attend monthly support and process meetings. A discipler would do these things, as well as teach a predetermined curriculum based on a biblical foundation to a group of 4-5 participants. You have the opportunity to teach incoming participants about the essential foundation of a relationship with Christ.
The Qualities of a Mentor/Discipler
A Mature Relationship with Christ
A mentor/discipler should have a deep understanding of the Bible. Not only should they be well read with a good grasp on the text, but they should be able to see the character of God through his word. This ability to 'see through the text' to the greater truth of the Bible is this person’s foundation.
In order to lead someone else spiritually, you must be in-tune with what God is saying to you.
Desire to Invest in a Relationship
In order to become a mentor/discipler, you must commit the time and effort to build a relationship with a participant. Relationships are the way God's work is done on earth.
Being a mentor/discipler means being open to leading someone and also being willing to be led wherever Christ is taking you. Having a willing heart can allow you to experience what God can do in you, and through you, in service to Him.
A Patient and Attentive Ear
The bible tells us to be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19). Certainly, being willing to listen and listening well is a very important part of being a mentor/discipler.
Helping a person requires truly understanding them and building trust. Your life experiences are likely quite different than your mentee/disciple; therefore, your advice will be better directed when you've listened more than you've spoken.
A Willingness To Learn
For most people, being a mentor/discipler to a recently incarcerated adult is unlike anything they've done before. There is so much to learn from your participant, Texas Reach Out staff, and other volunteers.
Mentors/Disciplers frequently say that they are getting more out of their relationship than they are giving. God uses these relationships to grow both people -- His blessings are abundant.