As a 26 year-old minister and music director/worship leader, I find myself very thankful that I grew up with a great mentor. I had the great pleasure of sitting under the leadership of Andy Ferguson, one of the greatest musicians and music directors in all of Pentecost. Bro. Andy encouraged me, taught me, and spent the time needed to help a young man see and accept his calling. He invested in my future and is continuing to do so in others around the world. His influence extends far beyond his home town and local church because he walks with God and understands the importance of developing talent and encouraging young people in their own talents and walks with God. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for Bro. Andy.
I often wonder what my life would have been like if someone hadn’t invested in me. Would a different road have lead me to where I am today? Would my spiritual life be where it is? Would I have the great opportunities that I have today? The answer is probably not! Many of you can probably relate with this sentiment. That’s why investing in others is so important. Andy has a gift for investing in people and helping them become what God has called them to be. Other people like him have the same giftings and abilities but choose, however, not to invest in the lives of young ministers. They don’t attempt to mentor young people. They don’t foster growth by sharing their knowledge. They take what they’ve learned and continue to use it for their own growth and gain, instead of passing it along to young people that look up to them. Fostering and mentoring people and their talents should be of the utmost importance in today’s society. If you are a music minister, worship leader, praise team/band member, or preacher, you should have someone or multiple people that you are investing in. There are multiple reasons to do so and multiple ways to make it happen. We’re going to go over just a few:
1) The growth of your church and kingdom of God depends on it.
As the old adage goes “The young people are the future of the church.” I heard this all of the time when I was a pre-teen and teenager. Every youth service, youth camp, and youth conference had this message sprinkled throughout its services. The fact of the matter is, when I was that age, I never thought I would see the day come where my age group would be the driving force in a church. Here I am 10-12 years later and it has happened. I didn’t know that what my mentors were preparing me for would ever come to pass. Well, it has; and boy, am I glad they invested so much time, money, and everything else into me. So, the people you mentor today will be the mentors of the future! Make sure that you are making an impact not only in the church you currently inhabit, but the church to come also.
2) It helps prepare for ministry.
More than ever before, we are in need of men and women that are prepared for ministry. There are churches around the world that are in search of ministers that can walk into a situation and be prepared for the tasks that are laid before them. So many ministers are thrown into bad situations because their mentors and predecessors didn’t prepare them for ministry. Keep in mind that not everyone you mentor is meant to lead, but find those that are and instill in them the knowledge needed to one day lead their own departments. One of the greatest accomplishments a mentor can have is training someone that readily and adequately steps into ministry and flourishes.
3) It allows them to make mistakes with supervision
This point cannot be overstated. When I think about my early years of worship leading, I can vividly remember some of the mistakes that I made. Whether it be during a worship set or exhortation or by the mishandling of people, I can remember both the instance and the feelings that came with the mistake. One of the greatest things about the mistakes that were made was that my mentor was there to both correct and encourage me. The moment someone makes a mistake they usually know it, but they may not know how to recover from or correct the mistake. This is where the value of mentors are really felt. They show you how to correct the mistake so that it isn’t made a second time and they help you to recover from the mistake as well. Some people don’t have the luxury of making mistakes under supervision. They don’t have a guiding and encouraging voice in their lives to help them and they are literally left to learn the hard way. This isn’t to say that you won’t make mistakes while you are fulfilling your own ministry, but you learn a lot when mistakes are made while under the supervision of someone that can help!
4) The mentored become mentors
Mentors are needed now and they will be needed in the future. There will never be a day when the church ceases to need mentors. We have to make sure that we are training a generation that can not only fulfill their God-given callings, but can also step into the role of mentor when their time comes. There has to always be knowledge that is freely shared and passed from generation to generation. If those that came before me didn’t share knowledge freely, my ministry would have suffered. Likewise, If I don’t share my knowledge, the generation to come will suffer. This isn’t to say that my knowledge is of any high value, but rather that my knowledge should be shared so that those after me can avoid the same pitfalls that I’ve had to endure and they can also enjoy the same victories that I’ve enjoyed!
WorshipSource.org was born with the purpose helping people in ministry free of charge. We want to help people become what God has designed for them to be. Mentors are needed to help this come to pass. There has to be people around the world that aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and help the next generation. I feel that the preparation of the next generation’s leaders is a duty that we, as ministers, should take very seriously and it’s something that we here at WorshipSource consider to be of the utmost importance. It’s our job to ensure that the growth of the kingdom continues because if we fail to “pass the baton,” then we could be failing to adequately prepare the future church!