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Mentoring and discipleship


“Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.” – Isaiah 8:20 NIV

Mentoring works well in the Christian faith, because the concepts represent a foundational principle of discipleship.

Disciples understand that we learn to become more like Christ, and that we have mentors in the faith who help us mature as disciples.

The “PBT” principle (Paul, Barnabas, Timothy) centers around Paul’s discipleship system. Paul had a faith teacher but needed someone to hold him accountable, and to challenge, pray for, and encourage him. Barnabas was someone who could serve in that role. Timothy was also someone whom Paul was investing in. Paul served as a mentor in Timothy’s maturation process. This sphere of influence created a village of growth in becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Prayer sets the foundation

Just as discipleship is a foundation of the Christian faith, another is prayer. It makes sense that prayer has a strong presence in our mentoring program. Prayer has many beneficial properties as we consult God. It gives us a meditative state to hear God’s instruction, clear our thoughts, and move focal points. It allows His nature to center us, and helps us confess the areas where we have fallen short in our discipleship journey.

Our youth mentoring program emphasizes prayer, enabling us to separate ourselves from other mentoring programs; it is our unique edge. Prayer gives us an outlet to go forward when the world doesn’t have answers for the struggles presented to us daily.

Doubling down on prayer

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation.” – Matthew 12:43-45 NIV

We are doubling down in our emphasis on prayer, a requirement at all levels of volunteering for the youth mentoring program, by adding a corporate prayer time each month. Starting this month, we will be hosting a community prayer session each month. Our staff is excited to continue to build our community, and prayer is a great way to increase the bonds within the team.

Partner with our youth mentoring program

The City Gospel Mission youth mentoring program is looking for churches to partner with for the school year. If your church has a calling to minister to Greater Cincinnati’s youth, please email us at to learn how you can make an impact in their lives.

Joe Dixon is the Director of Youth Mentoring at City Gospel Mission. He can be reached at

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