[Column] Mentoring and Church Growth

Mentoring and Church Growth

Written By Rev.Dr. Joshua Hong

Senior Pastor of Full Gospel Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.


Mentoring contributes to church growth. The missionary organizations and churches with a one on one discipleship program based on effective mentoring are reaping the fruits of success. I have many mentors overseas. One of them is a pastor named Tom Houston. He was a man of great reputation with experience as a missionary to Kenya, president of the Bible society in England, president of Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization, and president of World Vision.

When I was in England for study, there was fire at the place I was staying. Everything in the house was lost to fire and it was a difficult time for me emotionally. However Lord in His mercy extended His hand of comfort and love to me through many people. Through this process I learned that invisible faith is more valuable than visible faith and most importantly, to my benefit, I had a chance to stay at Mr. Houston’s house for three months and got to know him. I was deeply impressed with Mr. Houston’s ministry and character. He had the heart of a pastor to sincerely care for and consider others first and was also an excellent Bible commentator. He was a leader possessed with both intellect and character. Once at a dinner I had with him, I asked him, “Rev. Houston. You have ministered all this time as a global Christian leader. If you could give me word of advice, I would appreciate it very much.” Mr. Houston responded, “Have a mentor and also be a mentor to others. Mentoring is essential in church growth and leadership development.”

His words were very profound. The pastor who had successful and respectful ministry all his life mentioned about mentoring. For church growth, mentoring is necessary. Professor Clinton at Fuller theological seminary likened to mentoring as “the relationship that exerts influence by one man’s sharing of God given resources with others.” We can discover the model of mentoring from Jesus. Our Lord declared the vision of world evangelization and realized that vision by mentoring and nurturing the disciples.

If we closely examine the churches that effectively adjust new members, it is apparent that a one on one discipleship training program is actively in use. Such an effective program revives church. Rick Warren, the pastor of the biggest church in the U.S., had a mentor named Garth Hunter. Garth Hunter was Warren's Sunday school teacher in the fourth grade. Because he could not read, students read each week's lesson and Hunter taught the Bible. Rick Warren recalls that his Sunday school teacher loved everyone like Jesus. He had a tremendous effect on Warren's spirituality. Even if a leader falls short in some areas, he can exercise profound influence by practicing the love of Christ.

Lord's ministry is built up through people. Ministry is nurturing people through God's Word. To do so, we need an exemplary model of spirituality and character. We need mentors and must become mentors to others. Mentoring ministry yields spiritual reproduction as well as the revival of church. All changes start with a change of one person. I pray that each and everyone of you will grow spiritually and play the pivotal role in church revival through effective mentoring ministry.


  1. Great article, hey I found this post while surfing for bible study. Thanks for sharing I’ll email my friends about this too.

  2. Many thanks, and please do so…

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