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Relationships Were Paul’s Priority

Paul ends his letter to the Romans by greeting 27 people. Don’t ever skip over Romans 16, thinking it is just a boring list of names. It is inspired Scripture! This list reveals the apostle’s loving heart for people. Relationships were Paul’s priority. It should be the same for you.

He brags on them for their dedication and service. He gushes with encouragement. He urges them to greet each other with a “holy kiss” (v. 16) and then says: “I am rejoicing over you” (v. 19). You should have this same fervent love for those you are discipling. Don’t let ministry become cold, professional or self-centered. Ministry is about people. Hold them close in your heart, cherish them, brag on them, pray for them and let tears flow when you miss them!

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Should a Mentor Admit His Weaknesses?

Should a mentor admit his weaknesses to the person he’s discipling? Some people believe a leader should never be open about his faults, since this will cause people to “lose respect.” But the Bible requires us to be humble and transparent. The apostle Paul is our example. He told the Corinthians: “I will rather boast about my weaknesses” (2 Cor. 12:9). You don’t have to talk about your darkest secrets with your disciples. Some things are best shared with trusted peers or with your mentor.

But don’t pretend you are perfect. Be vulnerable and open. Your disciple will respect you more–and he will be willing to share his struggles with you—if you show him how you are overcoming your sinful habits, character flaws and life challenges. Your humility will produce humility. Your transparency will help your disciple find healing.

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