1 Timothy 5 Lesson

Spiritual Mentors


Our focus verse for today’s lesson is found in the Book of Acts:

  • “Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” – Acts 8:30.

Just like the Ethiopian eunuch in the above scripture, we all need people to guide us and teach us.  As we get older and mature in our faith, God wants us to share what we have learned and to teach others about Christ. 

In other words, we all need mentors

Mentoring is defined as:

“A relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person.” (Source:Google Dictionary)


Paul was a mentor to Timothy.  He provided instructions and advice on how Timothy was to deal with situations that Paul thought were likely to occur. 

Mentors play an important part in the spiritual development of others.  Over the course of our lives, we will have opportunities to learn from those that have gone before us, and later in life, Lord willing, we will also have opportunities to share our experiences and mentor others. 

Sometimes we are being mentored by somebody without even knowing it. 


A good mentor has the following four characteristics:

  1. Somebody who believes in us,
  2. Somebody who encourages us, 
  3. Somebody who teaches us,
  4. Somebody who shows us how to grow in Christ. 


The Prophet Jeremiah wrote: 

  • “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

God has a plan for all of us, and this includes helping one another. As God’s plan for us unfolds, we need to be receptive to the spiritual mentors that God brings into our lives.  We also need to look for the opportunity to be a spiritual mentor to others that can benefit from our experiences. 

In submitting to God's plan, we need to be aware that God does notbring people into our lives by accident.  When a new person enters our lives, we should consider the possibility that God has brought us together for a reason. Perhaps there is something that we are to learn from this individual, or that they can learn from us?


There are several scriptures that talk about mentoring in the Bible.  Today, we will look at three of them:

  1. “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” - Proverbs 27:17
  2. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” - Titus 2:3-5
  3. “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.  You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” - 1 Peter 5:1-5.


All of us need mentors to help us navigate through life and mature into the Christians that God created us to be. As we gain experience and knowledge, God wants us to share that with others, to help them. That is what mentoring is all about.

Consider the following statement:

Generally, a good mentor is someone who is motivated and energized, cares about developing others, and is willing to commit their time.  At the same time, if you are a mentee, make sure to dedicate the time and energy necessary to be mentored properly. It’s most effective when there is a good match between the mentor and mentee—whether that be in backgrounds, skill sets, experiences, roles or facing similar challenges.” (Source: Forbes)

Even though the quote above was written about secular mentoring, it applies to spiritual mentoring as well. 

Over the course of our lives, we will interact with many people.  Some will mentor us, and others will be mentored by us.  God wants us to open our hearts to others and to let them do the same. 

We will conclude today’s lesson where it began, with the example of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch:

  • “Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” - Acts 8:30-31.


James Guillory

Mentoring is to share and teach what God has given to us, and in the process of mentoring and teaching we ourselves will also grow as God works in and through us!!

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Of course, another characteristic of a mentor is competent--enthusiastic, generous sharing of how-to. That's what we look for in a mentor--someone to show us how to do something. Some show us how to be dads, professionals, or mature Christians.


Agreed. The word “share” implies a benefit given from what one has. Both benefit.

James Guillory

Mentoring is to share and teach what God has given to us, and in the process of mentoring and teaching we ourselves will also grow as God works in and through us!!

James Guillory

Couldn't agree more James. The best way to learn something is to teach it. :)