The Gospel in Mentoring: an excerpt from "Biblical Mentoring, Life On Life", our brand new book coming out soon!
The following is an excerpt from “Biblical Mentoring, Life On Life” by Ellen Castillo. This book is soon to be published and available at www.biblicalmentor.com.
The Gospel in Mentoring
The Gospel has to be our starting point for all One-Another ministry. The implication in the One-Anothers is that we are to do life with other believers, Life On Life. Of course, we also do life with nonbelievers, but the One-Anothers emphasize the role we play in each other’s lives, believer to believer.
If you are in a relationship with a woman or girl that God has placed in your life and she has understood a clear Gospel and is a Christian, you have a very good starting point for One-Another life together. If you are not sure she understands a clear Gospel, you have an opportunity to share it! How often have you asked a new friend (or old one for that matter) what they think the Gospel is and how it applies to their life? We can’t miss this! It’s not only our starting point for Life On Life, but it is the ending point and everything in the middle, too.
The Gospel is for salvation. It is also to be applied to our lives from that point on. It is not to be applied in the sense that your salvation depends on performing a certain way or upholding a certain standard of perfection. It is to be applied in the sense that you know it, understand it, can explain it, and BELIEVE it. In the process of living life, the Gospel applied has the potential to either gradually or immediately change how you behave, how you relate to people, how you make decisions, how you view people, how you view yourself, and everything else about how you live.
Often women are intimidated about talking about the Gospel. Let’s start by being honest about this in our own lives and ask God to help us to be able to explain a clear Gospel and to understand it and apply it to our own lives before we can help someone else.
What makes many women so weak in this area? Is it fear? Lack of understanding? Maybe they are not sure they can articulate it clearly. Maybe they are afraid they will say something wrong. Sometimes they are afraid that they won’t be able to back up what they say from Scripture, forgetting where to find the verses. There are many reasons that could be added to this list. In a One-Another situation, one of the very best ways you can share the Gospel is to share your own story of salvation. You can talk about what your life was like before you came to know Christ and what was happening when you first came to belief. You can talk about your understanding of the Gospel, and how it transformed you upon salvation and how it continues to transform you now. Sometimes, our own stories speak more clearly than going through a formulated “Gospel presentation.”
There is an account in the Bible about a woman that you are probably familiar with and how Jesus shared the Gospel message with her. The story of the woman at the well is found in John 4:7-26.
Please read John 4:7-26 in your Bible, then come back here to see what we can glean from this account.
Jesus did not use a “formula” to share the Gospel with the woman. In this passage, we can take note of some ways to share a clear Gospel and to be sure it is understood:
* Jesus met the woman when she was alone. Often, people will be more honest if nobody else is listening.
* Jesus began with her immediate need — not spiritual, but tangible (v. 7). Because she was not a believer, she could not discern spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Therefore, He spoke about something she could relate to — water. We can approach people in the same manner of developing conversation. If we are not certain they are a believer, we can make them more comfortable by starting with tangible conversations.
* Jesus, after establishing tangible conversation, turned to the spiritual (v. 10). He simply talked of the things of God. The questions we ask could help us to see if the person understands what being a Christian means. We could ask “Are you involved in church?” or even “Do you love God?” We could then move on to asking about her salvation testimony and asking what her walk with The Lord is currently like. For us, this can take courage.
* If this conversation reveals that the person does not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then you can follow Jesus’ example from this passage before you go any further in relating with her. Verses 16-18 show how Jesus brought conviction, using the Law and gently pointing out her transgression. Gently speak with her and let The Holy Spirit do the convicting; let Him direct you as to what to say. Once she comes to an admission of her guilt, she is ready for hope.
* Jesus then revealed Himself to the woman at the well (v. 26). She was ready for grace. If the person you are talking to is ready for grace, be sure to present the work of the cross — that God sent His Son to suffer and die in our place. Tell her of the love of God in Christ, Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, and the defeat of death. You can say something like, “It’s as simple as this. We broke God’s Law, and Jesus paid our fine. If you repent and trust in the Savior, God forgives your sins and dismisses your case.” Be sure to include the essentials we talked about at the beginning of this lesson. If a person is truly broken over her sins and grateful to God, then her confession will flow without prompting, either silently or verbally to you. Be sure to pray with her. Make sure she has a Bible. Encourage her to go to a Bible- believing church. Start a One-Another relationship with her, Life On Life!
Any kind of mentoring, discipling, friendship, and all One-Another ministry should continue to be rooted in the Gospel.
One of the best tools for One-Another relationships is this phrase:
APPLY THE GOSPEL
What do you think is meant by “apply the Gospel”?
As you do Life On Life with someone applying the One-Anothers of Scripture with her, you will find that there will be many opportunities to share hope. Women and girls struggle in all kinds of areas. You are likely to bump into some of these struggles if you have any kind of ministry, family life, or social life. Once you are fairly certain that someone has grasped the Gospel for salvation, the help you give her from there is to help her to see the need for and ability to APPLY the Gospel to her life. You want to always be sure that you are not giving her the idea that she needs to change her behavior or mindset in order to earn approval, acceptance, or even worse, salvation. Always emphasize her eternal security; struggling people often struggle to believe this Truth. Remind her of her identity in Christ and how He views her. It is not because she earned it, but because of the Gospel — His finished work on her behalf.
Applying the gospel means to be MOTIVATED by the Gospel. When we grasp it, we are motivated to share it and apply it. It is what motivates us to change.
Someone who is joy filled and peaceful in spite of circumstances is someone who understands the Gospel.
If we are unregenerate, not a believer, we are going to be motivated by the flesh. (1 Cor. 2:14)
We are either flesh motivated, or Gospel motivated in our One-Another relationships. A believer can still choose their flesh at times, but as a new creation we are transformed, renewed, and no longer bound to the flesh nature. In order to stay Gospel-motivated, we need to keep saturating our minds with the Gospel Truths.
Preach the Gospel to yourself every day! You don’t preach it in the sense of being a sinner who needs salvation. You are already saved, and God says you are a saint. But you do still sin. These Truths of the Gospel, preached to yourself (remind yourself of them often) are profound, and you will want to share them with others as you do One-Another ministry! Here are some examples of Gospel applications that can help you to do this:
First, acknowledge your sins to God and rest assured of His forgiveness for those sins.
Recall that you have the promise of God’s forgiveness and acknowledge that your only hope of right standing with Him is Jesus’ blood that was shed (Hebrews 9:22), and His righteous life lived on my behalf.
As you engage in a One-Another relationship, after you have helped someone to apply the Gospel and she grasps these Truths, you can then also apply Scriptural principles, commands, and promises to her situations.
To learn how to practically apply this kind of equipping in your one-another ministry, please visit our course offerings and resources at www.biblicalmentor.com.