Distinguishing Discipleship from Mentoring
Recently I have been on a journey to discover the intricacies that distinguish discipleship and mentoring. I wonder if we could draw a parallel with the depth of relationship necessary to accomplish each one. Jesus influenced multitudes, taught many, and only directly discipled a few. As you look at the ministry of Christ on earth, it would seem that the depth of the relationship defined each level of influence he had on others. With the twelve He had a deep intimate relationship that qualified them as disciples. If the ministry of Jesus is the standard for measuring discipleship, relationship cannot be ignored. Making discipleship a category that is visible through the lens of relationship helps us understand the difference that distinguishes levels of influence. Is this what Warren Blank was suggesting in his book (The 9 Natural Laws of Leadership) when he asserts: “Because the personal relationship defines the existing quality of interpersonal interaction between the leader and would-be followers, followers will not join the leader without the requisite relationship. Leadership is the relationship.”? This is certainly not the only definition, but I think the depth of relationship is one means that can be embraced in our efforts to distinguish discipleship from mentoring.