“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit there to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Tim 2:2)
“For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov 23:7, NIV)
Renewal follows rebirth. It is possible to overlook this goal! So much press is given to rebirth that we miss the fact that rebirth is only the starting block in the race of life. God never intended that the Starting Line would replace the race or the Finish Line. The Sinners Prayer, to receive Christ’s gift of forgiveness and payment for sins, invites the Holy Spirit to begin renewing lives. As believers, we break from our blocks to begin in a lifelong journey to live like Christ. This renewal journey is about living purposefully in the way that God created us to live. So, now what? We draw closer! We go deeper!
Barry Lynch, who serves on the Christian Mentors Network staff and leads their Mentor Coaching Training, has lots to say about going deeper. Going/Growing deeper is about teamwork learning. Isn’t it odd that, in secular training, we apprentice ourselves to journeymen with know-how. In college, we pay professors to simplify lessons and prepare us for vocations. In faith, however, we think that God has abandoned us to grow through Do-It-Yourself (“DIY”) struggles of bumps and bruises. In his booklet called, Go Deeper, Dr Roy Comstock tells the story of how Barry apprenticed a fellow believer (Tim) to go deeper.
Barry mentored Tim by being a friend. Together, they read through Comstock’s three book series called, Mentoring His Way. Together, they applied spiritual, personal and lifestyle characteristics. Together, they worked through personal and family crises that caused Tim to question his faith and his decision to follow Jesus.
In his book The Spiritual Mentor, Dr Jim Garssi writes, “Being a spiritual mentor is ultimately about building a relationship that helps both parties become stronger in their faith.”
Barry did not have all of the answers. Tim did not have all of the questions. Over several months they studied and discussed Christlike faith and character. They talked about being a believer, being empowered, being love-motivated, being wholesome and motivation from a servant’s heart (and more). Their knowledge and faith deepened and sharpened each other. (Prov 27:17)
Christian Mentors Network, Man in the Mirror and other resources are available to help men go deeper. Checkout the “Resources” tab if this website to begin your growth journey to be more like Jesus. Consider walking with a brother-in Christ to share battles and struggles. Faith is not about bootstrap renewal. Every guy faces challenges and battles. However, no temptation, disappointment or struggle is unique (1 Cor 10:13). A good journeyman has been there and done that … and probably has the scars of failure to prove it! Open the door for the Holy Spirit to help strengthen your walk.
Barry would later write, “How God worked in my relationship with Tim has been a process that God used for both of us. Tim was in an extremely difficult place in his walk and God used me in a powerful way to help him. While Tim was in his low spot, God was using him to help me for what was ahead in my own journey. This can give men hope that even while they are struggling, God is still God and will bring good from the hardship they are in.” (emphasis added)