Fundamentals of Biblical Discipleship Part 4: Spheres of mentoring:
Pastor to layman part 2
Secondly, Paul commands Timothy to reprove those who were under his care. The phrase “in season and out of season,” means that the pastor is to do this work both when it is convenient and when it is not convenient. Few people enjoy confrontation, and if you do enjoy confrontation, I encourage you to consider what motivates this thriving on confrontation. The word “reprove” means to correct or admonish by confrontation. The word is found 17 times in the AV, and is also translated rebuke, convict, convince, and tell one’s fault in other contexts. Obviously this is a strong word that must involve confrontation. Part of pastoral mentoring is this confrontation. Matthew 18:15 says that “if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Galatians 6:1 says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” While these contexts are not pastoral, the concept of rebuke or confrontation within the body is found in these passages. If God expects this activity to take place among laymen in order to maintain a healthy body, most certainly He expects the same activities of pastor as they mentor and shepherd the flock. Pastoral mentoring must at times involve gentle yet firm rebuke based upon Biblical doctrine. Rebuking another believer in a Biblical way is never easy. Generally, we struggle rebuking properly. We often rebuke out of frustration, selfish pride, or anger. May I challenge you to walk so closely to the Lord and to your people that you have the loving discernment and grace necessary to rebuke and restore those whom you mentor into a right walk with God and their fellow men. Reproof is a critical aspect of pastoral mentoring and is necessary at times for proper growth. Remember that God’s word is profitable for “doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” The pastor’s ability to teach the word of God must go beyond the pulpit, and enter into the “one on one” confrontations necessary for maturity in the Christian life. Timothy, reprove with humility by means of doctrine.