Mentoring the Mission

By Mike Ruhl  |  May 1, 2016 

Some mission leaders have been stopped from doing something they really wanted to do. 

It may have been serving in the global mission field … or planting a new ministry … or launching a church planting network … or multiplying missional communities.  It hurts when your heart’s desire is denied.  Think of King David, King David rose to his feet and said: “Listen to me, my brothers and my people.  I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark of the covenant of the Lord, for the footstool of our God, and I made plans to build it.  But God said to me: You are not to build a house for my Name, because you are a warrior and have shed blood.”  (1 Chronicles 28:2-3)

Denied his heart’s desire, David could have done two things: (1) Rebel against God and build it anyway or (2) Sulk at being rejected and be upset with God.  But God had a better plan for David – and that plan involved MENTORING.  David proved to be a ‘man after God’s own heart’ by leaving a legacy of MENTORING THE MISSION that would endure for generations to come.  David chose to mentor the person God had chosen for the task of building the Temple (House of God) – namely Solomon, his son and successor.  David mentored Solomon, not because he was his son, but because God had chosen Solomon to build the Temple (1 Chronicles 22:8-10).

As mission leaders, we too are charged with ‘building God’s temple’ – not with bricks and mortar and gold and silver – but with mentoring God’s people to advance the Missio Dei by connecting lost people to Jesus Christ through the appointed Means of Grace. 

As mission leaders, we cannot build the Temple of God on our own.  Like David, we must mentor others to build God’s temple, the church.  So let’s walk through 1 Chronicles 28 and 29 and discover four exemplary ways in which King David mentored Solomon.

1. David was an encourager   

David said: “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought.  If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)

David encouraged his mentee, Solomon, by (1) Expressing confidence that God had appointed him for this ministry (2) Expressing cautions against selfish and impure motives and (3) Expressing challenges to know the Lord intimately and serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind.

2. David was an example

David said: “Moreover, in addition to all that I have provided for the holy house, I have a treasure of my own of gold and silver, and because of my devotion to the house of my God I give it to the house of my God: 3,000 talents of gold, of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, for overlaying the walls of the house and for all the work to be done by craftsmen, gold for the things of gold and sliver for the things of silver.” (1 Chronicles 29:3-5a)

David ‘stepped up to the plate’ and became an example to his mentee, Solomon, by giving one of the largest personal donations (‘love gifts’) in human history: 112 tons of gold and 262 tons of refined silver.

3. David was an equipper

David recognized that Solomon was young and inexperienced.  He knew that doing God’s work would be difficult and demanding – and that Solomon would need spiritual and moral support, influence and guidance – as well as material supplies.  Such equipping included giving the means, tools and resources needed to get the job done for the Lord. 

David said: “Solomon my son, whom alone God has chosen, is young and inexperienced, and the work is great, for the palace will not be for man but for the LORD GOD. So I have provided for the house of my God, so far as I was able, the gold for the things of gold, the silver for the things of silver, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, besides great quantities of onyx and stones for setting, antimony, colored stones, all sorts of precious stones and marble.” (1 Chronicles 29:1-2)

4. David was an enlister

David said: Who then will offer willingly, consecrating himself today to the LORD?  Then the leaders of fathers’ houses made their freewill offerings, as did also the leaders of the tribes, the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and the officers over the king’s work.  They gave for the service of the house of God …” (1 Chronicles 29:5b-7)

David impacted the leaders of Israel and got them interested and involved in supporting the ministry that Solomon would perform.  Touched by David’s own personal sacrifice, these leaders were willing to give themselves and their resources in order to bless the ministry of Solomon.  So a huge part of David’s mentoring of Solomon included the enlisting of others in support of the ministry of his mentee.

What a marvelous testimony of true spiritual maturitySolomon’s performance and success in building the Temple of God had now become David’s ultimate joy and success. 

By God’s grace and David’s mentoring, Solomon could fly without a parachute!

Moment Extras

Questions for Discussion

1. What are some of the ‘special ministries’ (heart’s desire) that you have been stopped from doing for the Lord?

2. What external or internal forces have stopped you from fulfilling your heart’s desire in mission?

3. Who are some of the disciples that you are – or could be – mentoring in order to fulfill your ‘mission heart’s desire’?

4. How comfortable are you with seeing your Mentee’s performance and success in mission supercede your own performance and success in mission?

5. How is MENTORING one of the ultimate expressions of spiritual maturity?

Resources You Can Use

Consider attending Mentoring Church Planters offered by the Center for United States Missions.  See our website for descriptions of this high quality mission training.

In his book, The Missional Journey, Robert E. Logan explains it’s all about the Kingdom of God and are we doing the work that Jesus entrusted to us as his disciples.


Mission Moments is the e-newsletter sent by the Center for U.S. Missions to bring information and encouragement to all who desire to share God's great love in Jesus Christ with others. Permission is given to copy this article for distribution within your congregation or organization. Please credit the author and the Center for United States Missions. For more information contact the Center at (952)-221-0362, or visit our website:

Center for U.S. Missions – Contact Information 

Email us at: | Rev. Dr. Peter Meier, Executive Director;  | Rev. Michael Ruhl, Director of Training;  | Kathy Meier, Coordinator;  | Mil Behnken, Office Manager;