Whereas others did not see the disciple’s potential, Jesus looked beyond physical appearances and peered into their souls as He called them to follow Him.
For three years of His life, Jesus invested Himself by devoting His time to building personal relationships with each man. Jesus’ love for his disciples was shown by how He gave Himself to them entirely. Jesus taught the disciples by example.
For instance, in John 13 He modeled humility by washing His disciples’ feet. Jesus gave the disciples opportunities to put the lessons they learned to work under His careful supervision. He made sure the disciples were adequately prepared to be leaders when He issued the Great Commission. All these qualities are the hallmarks of a mentoring leader (Towns, Elmer, 2007).
Three Strengths of a Mentoring Leader
Jesus displayed three outstanding strengths of a mentoring leader.
The first strength is that they usually possess the gift of teaching.
This talent shares information with others. This type of leader has a burning passion for studying God’s Word and passing these lessons onto others.
Second, these leaders also have the gift of exhortation.
This exhortation is positive in its motivation seeking to inspire people to serve God out of their love for Him rather than due to feelings of guilt or shame. Followers of this leader learn practical Christianity and experience changed lives due to their time spent with this leader.
The third strength of the mentoring leader is the use of the Law of Communication.
This law is simply that people will follow leaders who can articulate their plans, objectives, and visions. A leader who gives clear directions will have people who are willing to follow (Towns, Elmer, 2007).
Three Weaknesses of a Mentoring Leader
There are glaring weaknesses for the mentoring leader.
There are three major ones of which this leader must be aware.
The first weakness is the tendency to become discouraged if there are not rapid results from the training.
The second weakness is the tendency towards shortchanging the learning experience by these leaders deciding to do the tasks themselves rather than delegate to their followers.
The third weakness is insidious.
It is a leader’s tendency to burnout.
This happens when a mentoring leader pours too much of themselves into their trainees holding nothing back for themselves.
Jesus was the most exceptional mentoring leader and serves as the role model for all.
Leaders must be aware of their strengths to enhance them further. These leaders must be conscious of their weaknesses so that they may manage them.
Towns, Elmer L. (2007). Biblical Models for Leadership. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning. 6