Bible Verse: “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

Scripture Reading: Genesis 2:15-25

The nature of the relationship God has with humankind is one of purposeful partnership. How does God relate to his human partners? He has created them for purpose. They are happiest as they move toward fulfilling that purpose, and God is pleased. Under God’s administration of this world, humankind is to have a stewarding dominion over the created order. But to fulfill that purpose, they need to stay in relationship with God because he is the source of knowledge and all the resources they need for life and work.

The first mentoring relationship in the Bible is between God and Adam. We this when we consider the task of naming the animals which God gave to him (Genesis 2:19). This is what a good mentor would do to encourage development: release the mentee to undertake a project and then take an interest in the outcome.

This pattern is also repeatedly demonstrated throughout the rest of Scripture and history as God continually called human beings into a partnership with him to fulfill his purposes. As I have reflected on this, I have come to the conclusion that a ministry mentor’s understanding of how God relates to them will be mirrored in how they relate to their mentees.

How am I looking to God as my mentor? How is he at work to develop me as his partner as he works out his purposes in the world?

Who has God brought into my life to mentor toward God’s purposes as well?

— Rainer Mittelstaedt in Ministering Forward: Mentoring Tomorrow’s Christian Leaders (Word Alive, 2017).

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