Mentoring a Young Leader
Mighty God, I praise You for Christ’s indwelling power. I can now live serenely, spontaneously, and expectantly today.
Read Acts 18:18-28
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
For a Christian, leadership is very different from just pushing, ordering or manipulating people to act in certain ways.
Aquila and Priscilla formed the first known husband and wife team ministry in the Christian church. They appear already to have been Christians when Paul met them in Corinth. When he left Corinth the couple accompanied him as far as Ephesus, where they remained at his request. The inversion of their names (2,19,26) indicates that Priscilla soon moves into the ministry leadership role (cf. “Barnabas and Saul” becoming “Paul and Barnabas”; Acts 13:2,7,42,43,46,50). No doubt they followed up the interest Paul had evoked in the synagogue (19), but it is their mentoring of Apollos (24-26) that Luke identifies as their most significant contribution in Ephesus.
Apollos belonged to Alexandria, which had one of the largest Jewish communities outside Syria-Palestine and where many Jews made it their business to know and appreciate Greek culture. Apollos came to Ephesus with two great strengths. He was a “learned man” (24)–that is to say, he was formally skilled in rhetoric, one of the two branches of advanced learning in Hellenistic culture (the other being philosophy). This skill, combined with his thorough knowledge of the Hebrew Bible, made him a powerful speaker in the synagogue (25,26). He was a believer in Jesus, but had a limited knowledge of him and his teaching.
Recognizing Apollos’ potential, Priscilla and Aquila mentored him. With a firmer grasp of the gospel, Apollos moved to Achaia where he fulfilled a highly effective ministry as a Christian apologist (28) and teacher of new converts (1 Cor. 3:6). Mentoring emerging leaders is still a vital ministry today. To recognize God-given potential in new Christians and then to invest time and energy in helping that to flourish remains a key element in preparing the next generation of church leadership.
Think of a young Christian with leadership potential. Ask God to show you how you might help them to become a Kingdom seeker rather than an empire builder.
Loving Lord, I am grateful for those who mentored me as I began my Christian life: Sunday School teachers, pastors, youth leaders. I want to be like them.
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