“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.” (Colossians 1:15-20)
Due to some recently events in my life, I’ve really been thinking about the centrality of Christ. How does He impact my everyday life? How does Jesus influence my conversations with others? And how does He direct how I interact with those who I am trying to mentor? The past couple weeks I’ve needed to take a step back and look at the end goal of all of my mentoring relationships. And because of this passage I’ve had to refocus my efforts and revaluate if Jesus was central in those relationships.
But First Jesus
In Colossians 1, I see three ideas about Christ that should influence mentoring in the church.
- Christ’s power. (15-17)
Jesus is the creator. Everything was created by Him and He is sovereign over all. That includes all thrones, dominions, rulers, and authorities. The power used to create the universe is the same power that breathes new life into the hearts of sinners.
Jesus is central to mentoring, because only His power is strong enough to change a sinner.
- Christ’s position. (18-19)
Jesus is preeminent. Jesus is the head of the church. Jesus is completely God. Christ’s position in this world, our churches, and the believer’s heart is supposed to be above all. What Jesus teaches should be above any personal ideology. He should be the reason we gather at church. He is the reason we proclaim the gospel.
Jesus is central to mentoring, because He is preeminent.
- Christ’s payment. (20)
Jesus reconciled all to himself by dying on the cross. He made peace with the Father by shedding His blood for you and for me. Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay. And it is only through Him that we can peace with God.
Jesus is central to mentoring, because it was through His blood alone that we can fellowship with God.
Jesus is central to all of the Christian faith, and that includes how we mentor. Because of His power, position, and payment for our sins we should have an occasional pulse check to make sure we still have Christ where He needs to be, at the center.
Here are a few questions that I had to ask myself about my mentoring relationships to help gauge if Christ is where He needs to be:
- Only Jesus has the power to change men’s heart, so am I mentoring with the Bible or my opinions? If with my opinions, why and are they Scripturally-based?
- Christ is preeminent, so am I mentoring to encourage all out pursuit of Him or the things of this world?
- Christ is preeminent, so am I pointing to Him as the goal of sanctification or am I trying to create a little me?
- Christ is preeminent, so do I spend more time talking about Him or about the latest sports game or political article?
- Christ is the only way to have peace with God, so do I encourage those that I mentor to completely rely on Him or trust in our own strength to make it through life?
When it comes to mentoring, across all age groups, Jesus must be central. All the strategies, ideas, blogs, and books that are being written and distributed are great, but before any of those can be used effectively, we need to focus on Christ and put Him at the center of our mentoring relationships.
Next time I meet with my mentor or those that I am mentoring, I must think and put Jesus first.