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February 2023 New Horizons

Mentoring Across the Generational Divide

 

Contents

Mentoring Across the Generational Divide

“Imitate Me”: Ministry Mentors and Mentees

Our Company, Our Family, Our Future

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Mentoring Across the Generational Divide

College campuses are known for plucking eighteen-year-olds out of real life and placing them in a sort of alternate universe where the daily contact they have with people of other age groups is typically professional: professors and staff. Sue Jackson, an OP elder’s wife who lives in State College, Pennsylvania, home to the sprawling public university Penn State, wanted to begin to build relationships with students, but wasn’t sure how. At an open discussion at a congregational meeting at Resurrection OPC in early 2022, she hesitantly threw out an idea: what if she sat on Penn State’s campus with a sign that invites students to come and ask a mom whatever they’d like? No one in the meeting said anything. “It felt like a dud,” Jackson laughed. But afterwards, to her surprise, fellow OP elder’s wife Lori Rose walked up to her. If you do it, she said, I’ll do it with you. But “what you need is a dog,” Rose followed up. “And I have a dog.” So the two women carefully parsed out ... Read more

“Imitate Me”: Ministry Mentors and Mentees

Ministry mentors play a vital role in the life of the church as they guide, direct, and counsel aspiring and young ministers. The mentor-mentee relationship parallels patterns “common to human actions and societies,” to borrow a line from the Westminster Confession of Faith (1.6). Whether in business, sports, or education, the inexperienced seek the wisdom and guidance of older, wiser, and more experienced practitioners. The Scriptures, however, paint the mentor-mentee relationship in a slightly different light. Mentoring in the Scriptures One of the earliest mentions of the Holy Spirit comes when God endowed Oholiab and Bezalel with the “Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship,” so they could construct the desert tabernacle (Exod. 31:3). But the Spirit’s gifts were not restricted to them alone. God filled them with the Spirit, and “inspired [Bezalel] to teach, both him and Oholiab” (Exod. 35:34). In other words, both men were supposed to build ... Read more

Our Company, Our Family, Our Future

Many Christians attend worship services with their local church every week without realizing the cosmic, spiritual context of that assembly. They gather to sing and pray and take the sacraments and hear the ministry of God’s Word. They greet their brethren and enjoy fellowship with them during the week. But their experience of the church is narrow, limited to the congregation (and maybe fraternally related congregations) where they regularly attend. United with Believers Present and Past in Christ The Scriptures, however, describe Christian worship as an otherworldly experience in the presence of a heavenly host. We worship with the glorified saints and angels in heaven whenever the church assembles and on a daily basis in family worship and private prayer. When the church on earth worships, we do so with the church in glory: For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of ... Read more

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