Impartational Mentors

Found an interesting article on the net:

Impartational Mentors by Fred Peatross

Through most of the modern era the church has relied upon an educational model with the classroom as the primary tool and training ground for Christ-like growth and transformation. Kingdom values and identity are exhorted, sometimes discussed, in an educational setting with the hope of maturing disciples to practice selfless love in a selfish society.

I came to Christ with thirty years of dysfunction embedded in my being. Twenty-six years later the Spirit has, to a large extent, dismantled the impaired living, yet when the heat is turned up I still think justice instead of mercy, kindness and patience. I am the product of print culture’s Christian educational model.

Conversely, when Jesus incarnated culture he trained his disciples by oral culture’s apprentice model. In a time much more analogous to the 1st century (more so than any other period in recent history) the apprentice model rises from another era to charm the leader with an effectual training process.

At different times we have given lip service to discipling and mentoring but rarely have we been proficient in process and training. The fact is we’ve spent more time in educational committees that relied upon the pulpit and classroom to pursue transformation rather than get our hands dirty in the time consuming work of discipling. The result is most Christians have not had a specific someone they can point to and say, “This is my spiritual father.”

Learning the ways of Jesus is more like making pickles than listing the fruits of the Spirit in a classroom using a PowerPoint presentation. You cannot diagram or sprinkle salt on a cucumber to get a pickle—you have to soak them in salt water. To look like, and then leak the life of Jesus one must “soak” in a mentoring relationship, absorbing the things you are unaware of at the moment until one day you become conscience that you are a “pickle,” a different kind of person with a new serenity and love, a different kind of mercy and grace, a different kind or humility and openness.

The print era valued the intellectual leader; broadcast valued the motivational leader. As we transition into and through the digital era the impartational leader will value transpropositionalcommunication, intimacy, example, and time above proclamation and exhortation in the transformation process. In this way we loop back to the oral era’s apprenticeship model where the follower absorbs character and identity through vital mentoring relationship.

This, in and of itself, is a paradigm shift where leaders/mentors become significant to a few rather than continue to be marginal to many. How do we accomplish the apprentice model corporately? Do we put the same effort into an apprentice model as we did educational systems? How do we practically incorporate an apprenticeship model and then train people in community to understand its value in making deep, lasting change after years of classroom training? Should convergence considerations be given to the two models?

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