December 6, 2012 by eimrick
We might have mentoring all wrong. Or at least I might. I’ve been thinking about mentoring in a way where I sit with one guy who will invest in me or I invest in one guy who I then sit with. Nothing wrong with that, right? No, but might Jesus have shown us a different model to consider?
I’ve been looking through Jesus model for disciplemaking (mentoring) and I’m noticing that the majority of the time Jesus isn’t meeting with just James or just John or even just Peter. Rather, we hear over and over in the gospels that Jesus was with Peter, James and John. Why is he always working with three at a time rather than one at a time?
Although it’s never in John’s gospel, Peter, James and John appear together 5 times in the synoptics:
1. The Trasfiguration (Matthew 17:1, Mark 9:2, Luke 9:28)
2. The Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26, 37; Mark 14, 33)
3. The raising of Jarius’ daughter (Mark 5, 37; Luke 8, 51)
4. The healing of Peter’s mother-n-law
5. Jesus’ “little apocalypse” (Mark 1, 29-31 and Mark 13)
Do we have a lot of scenarios where we see Jesus only discipling only one of the three? I know John 21 shows Jesus seeking out Peter to get him “back in the game” after denying him, but in every day discipleship? Look up references and post them on this site.
I might be missing something here. I meet with guys often one on one and find a lot of value in that, but what if I began combining my discipleship efforts to meeting with 3 guys at a time on a regular basis? What might be some of the benefits of 3 to 1 discipleship rather than 1 to 1?
Here are some thoughts off the top of my head:
1. Growth in an individual can continue to grow outside of the meetings with a mentor
2. Having 3 guys means that accountability can more naturally happen
3. All 3 guys bring different experiences, gifts and passions that spark further discussion and growth
4. The discipleship relationship is less likely to fizzle out when more are involved.
I’m not advocating that “the more the better” scenario, but Jesus had his three that he really heavily invested in so I might want to consider that approach as well.
Why didn’t he have just one or two or even six or twelve? I don’t know and would like your thoughts.