The roles of mentor and apprentice, leader and protégé, teacher and student are not optional in the kingdom of God. They are at the heart of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. As both clergy and lay leaders, we find ourselves on the teaching side of the mentor/apprentice relationship; at other times we are the learners.
In The Heart of a Leader, Bishop Edward S. Little moves through 2 Timothy, drawing on the lessons and teachings of Paul as a guide for mentoring and encouraging others to a life deeply committed to Christ. While we live in a radically different culture than Timothy and Paul, we struggle today with some of the same hard spiritual questions. We puzzle our way through intractable conflict. We face a world that is sometimes indifferent to the gospel and other times, outright hostile to it. Like Timothy and Paul, we wonder: What is essential to our Christian faith?
Paul’s second letter to Timothy can instruct us as surely as it taught its early readers. We are all Timothy. We stand in need of mentoring. We are all Paul, with apprentices in our care.