Mentors Are Needed
The Bible says that the devil is like a roaring lion looking around to consume anyone he can.
Now one of his favorite tactics is to keep people distracted. Turn to your neighbor and say one of the
favorite of the enemy is to keep us distracted. Turn to your neighbor and say that. Now there is
nothing wrong with cell phones. There is nothing wrong with footballs. There is nothing wrong with
playing games. All of these are benign. They have no moral meaning but when they are used to
such an extent that they distract us from coming to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus, then we
have to stop and reassess this whole thing. Don’t you agree? Now it’s not only kids who are
distracted but guess who else is distracted? We are. Well I’ve got to work all the time. I get up
early. I work all day. I come home. I’m tired. Hey, I don’t have any time. Maybe we need to
reorient ourselves. Maybe we need to step back and look at our distractions.
Now today I want to share with you a message. This message is a first of three messages to
have to do with making our lives count. You want to make your life count. Don’t you? I know I do.
The way to do that is to consider yourself as a mentor. The title of this message is Mentors Are
Needed. That’s how it should read actually. Mentors Are Needed. And I’m going to tell you why.
We live in a time when people are distracted including our kids and it is absolutely necessary for us
to stop right here, stop and reassess ourselves. If you’re a teenage, I ask you to reassess your life. If
you’re a young adult, I ask you to reassess yours. If you’re grandparents, same thing and all the
Here’s the way we’re going to do this. Would you take out your sermon notes please? I
want to have – I’m going to ask you a few questions, only two today. You’re going to need your
sermons notes number one, and you’re going to need your Bible number two. And I’m going to ask
this question – here’s the question – would you read it with me up here please on the screen? This –
Why are mentors needed today? Why are they? Why are they?
I want to give you an example in your Bible. Turn your Bibles now to this particular verse
1 Samuel chapter 3 starting in verse 4. When you get there, say amen okay. Praise the Lord. Okay.
I’m in verse 4. This is chapter 3 of Samuel. We’re answering the question. The question is why are
mentors needed today? This is going to answer our question right here. It says in verse 4. Then the
LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And then verse 5 says And he ran to Eli and
said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went
and lay down. Now here in verse 6. Take a look at verse 6. Again the LORD called, “Samuel!”
And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did
not call; go back and lie down.” Now read verse 7 with me. Here we go. Now Samuel did not yet
know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. Verse 8 says The LORD
called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if
he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ “ So Samuel went and lay down in
Now you remember the story of Samuel. Samuel was a little boy who was prayed for by his
mother. His mother had no children. She came to Eli. She said I want a child so much. Eli prayed
for this woman. The woman prayed and God gave her a child. She was so blessed and overwhelmed
by God’s mercy that she said Lord I’m going to give this child to you all of his life. So this young
boy by the time he is weaned probably – we don’t know really – 5, 6, 7 years old lived at the
tabernacle. There was no temple at that time. It was the tabernacle that they had in the wilderness
that they could take it apart. They could move it. They could put it up again. It was beautiful and
this is where Samuel grew up. And so by the time he is about 12 years old Josephus tells us is when
the Lord began to call him. Now think about this – the question is – see why are we reading this
scripture? Why? Because we are asking the question – why are mentors needed today? Well just
think if God were calling Samuel and there was no one to tell him my son go down, go back and lie
down, when he calls again, you say the words “speak Lord. Your servant hears.” Without Eli’s
mentoring there would be no Samuel. That’s why we need mentors today.
Now we not only need mentors for our children but we need to be a mentor to one another.
Now don’t get freaked out. Oh I couldn’t be a mentor. Look at my life. Don’t do that. Don’t get all
freaked out and say I don’t qualify. But you know what a mentor is? Would you read this please? A
mentor is somebody who advises and guides a younger person. Now it just so happens that
sometimes young people guide older people. This happens because God’s wisdom is being poured
out on all people.
One illustration was Ginny and I was taking a walk. We happened to be at our son’s house
and, of course, he is at the seminary preparing for ministries you know so we’re taking a walk and
it’s just about sundown. Now in Michigan sundown comes about 9 o’clock so it’s pretty late. We
said hey let’s go take a little walk. Ginny and I felt safe because we had a guide. A mentor could be
a guide too. Mitch knew the way we were going. We didn’t know the way but he did and so we
followed along. We felt safe and secure because we had a mentor with us.
He wasn’t you know don’t think oh yeah from now on children, attention everyone! I am
your mentor. Okay if you have to do that, you are not the mentor. The mentor is a person that
people are going to come to and say you know what, what do you think about this? Now you’re
mentoring okay. The idea is we need ourselves to rise up to mentor status. Don’t we? Huh? We do.
And I think God wants us to and it is none of this rising up um I am now the mentor of the church,
therefore, I am better than you. No you’re not. No. It has nothing to do with betterness because
there is none righteous. No, not one. All this has to do with you’ve been down a path before and you
know a little bit about it. That’s what a mentor is about.
See like Mitch taking us on a walk. We went over the hills and over the dells. We turned
right. We went by a lake. I’m going hey man. It’s dark out here you know. Mitch is I jog here
every day. So it’s pitch dark. We had this wimpy flashlight turned on and the batteries are about
1996 you know and um but we felt safe because Mitch had been on the trail. No problem and we
came back fine. I did get a blister. It wasn’t Mitch’s fault though.
See Samuel needed someone to mention to him the Lord is speaking to you. God is calling
you. See. I do this a lot. I talk to people a lot about this. And I ask the Lord how did the Lord speak
to me this week? And I have a lot of different stories on how God speaks to me. And one of my best
stories this week is I took my lawn chair and I went over to the La Mirada Regional Park. Spread out
my lawn chair you know got my spot right by this picnic table, big tree, nobody is there. Oh there
were a few people there. Sat down and the Lord began to speak. And basically when God speaks
it’s basically think in terms of prayer. Have you ever had an answered prayer? If you have had an
answered prayer, say amen. You’ve had answered prayers you know the voice of God.
And as we begin to – oh look at what your Bible says. Now what was Eli’s exact counsel to
Samuel. Look in verse 8. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli
and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So
verse 9. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, what? Read this with me
you guys. ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ What is the last word? Listening.
See what we’re talking about today is there are so many distractions that we can’t listen.
We’ve got the iPhone going. We’ve got the iPOD going. We’ve got the thing going. We’ve got the
computer going. We’ve got the TV. We’ve got everything. Movies. You got it. It’s all out there
including us and there is little time to listen. See. Try this when you go home. Now don’t leave here
you guys saying Lord every hour next week man I’m going to spend with you. Don’t do that. Start
with five minutes. Say you know what I am going to this week by God’s grace always say I’m going
to start by walking in the kitchen however you start your day I’m going to sit down for five minutes
with Jesus. See what I mean. Now when you do that take a piece of paper and a pencil and sit down.
If you have a Bible, open your Bible, read one verse and then say Lord, I’m listening and see what
happens okay. That’s the way you start.
Now if at first you go hey Pastor man I did it every single day this week and you know I was
there. I was faithful. I was in my pajamas. Nothing happened. It’s okay. You know God knew you
were there so don’t – just take it easy because we need to tune in. You know we’re so use to
activities and being busy. It’s really hard to be quiet and listen. You know what happens to a lot of
people when they try to be quiet and listen? They fall asleep because we’re tired. You know what
starting today because this is the first of three sermons on this theme of making our lives count, I
want to show you, and I’m going to suggest that some of us with children now begin to look
seriously at being part of this Kids In Discipleship. This is a process that we’re going to start in
Sabbath School the first Sabbath of October. It’s going to be October 3. We’re inviting parents who
have kids like around 8 years old, 7-8, so they could read that’s all to be a part of the Sabbath School
training to be a mentor. If you’re a grandma and grandpa or parent and you have kids close by be a
part of this. After this service, we’re going to have a table out there. Linda Bewley will be at the
table. If you’re interested in this, we can sign you up today.
Now why are mentors needed? Look in verse 7 everybody. Please look in verse 7. I’m
going to ask you to read verse 7 with me. Here we go. Verse 7. Now Samuel did not yet know the
LORD: What did that say? Samuel did not yet know the LORD. Does that surprise you? See the
intent of the Bible in this one is this Samuel knew about the Lord. Did he know Kobe Bryant? No.
He knew about him. How about Manny Ramirez? You know him? No. You knew about him.
Okay. See what I’m talking about? How many of you guys had anybody had lunch with our
President Obama? Anybody here? We all know about him. See. It’s one thing to know about Jesus.
It’s another thing to know him. See.
Now I want to say this – now please don’t think oh man I don’t know him Lord. I don’t
know him either. Yes you do. Yes you do. Just take it easy. You know going back to your
answered prayers – remember the times when you’re praying. And you’re saying oh God please
answer my prayer and God answers your prayer. God is speaking to you. You know the Lord. You
know the feeling of having an answered prayer and saying oh Lord thank you for answering this
prayer. And you know you feel good inside. You feel like man God cares about me. You know the
Lord. What we’re trying to do today is think in terms of now take that and now we need to help our
young people know the Lord.
It says in your Bible go back to verse 7. Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: He knew
about the Lord. The next sentence says The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. So
he really hadn’t had that one-on-one with the Lord yet and it took someone to say just take it easy. If
he calls you again, just say speak Lord. Your servant is listening. That’s all you have to do. We
need to have adults here in our church who says follow me. Do as I do. Say what I say. Eat what I
eat. Drink what I drink. That’s what we need here. Amen. Can I get a couple of amens on that?
Now whether or not you have children don’t tune me out. Oh boy man am I glad I don’t have kids.
Pastor is not talking to me. Yes I am because we need to mentor each other. We need to be available
to one another. Don’t we? We’re the church of God.
Now I want to go to point two. How am I doing? Oh man. Yes. You guys are going to love
me because I’m shortening my sermons. All right. Here is point two. So the first point was why are
mentors needed? That’s the first point because we have kids that Jesus is trying to contact and we
need to help them learn to listen to his voice. That’s point one.
Point two is – Why do kids need a mentor? What about these kids? Well I have some
statistics here. Now what it is is this and I’m the guiltiest because I’m the Pastor we have a problem
with disciplining our own children. We have a problem with this. I’m going to tell you why.
According to a survey that was done between 1994 and 2004, the 10 year decadal study, they found
that 70% of the kids do not read their Bibles. That was actually down 10%. It actually you know is
getting worse. They found that 80% of the families do not have worship in their home. You know
family worship is something to where you come together. Maybe you have dinner together and you
say before we leave the table, let’s pray together a little bit. Let’s read from the Primary Treasurer.
Let’s read from the Bible. Something that is brief and to the point for children. It needs to be age
appropriate. Something five minutes. It doesn’t have to be long. 80% of our families do not have
family worship. Now if you’re sitting there going bingo! I’m going to stop coming to church. No.
Listen. The reason that I’m speaking about this is because we all need to grow in the Lord. Don’t
we? When you guys are signing up for small groups, the small groups are intended this time to help
every single one of us go deeper in our relationship with Jesus that is what the small groups are
about. You want to be a part of the small groups and then you’ll hear sermons about this too on how
to go deeper with Jesus. That’s our goal.
But go back to the question – Why do kids need a mentor? They are not reading their Bible,
families are not having worship, 50%, this hurts my feelings, 50% of the kids believe they have to
work their way to heaven, that salvation is by works not by grace; not by the grace of God. So if a
person feels like it is works, they feel under threat that man God is up there saying if you get out of
line one more time, boom! Now we don’t want our kids feeling that way because it is not true. We
are saved by the grace of God. Isn’t salvation a free gift of God given freely? If every single – if the
Lord came at this moment, at this moment in time, do you realize we would all go to be with the
Lord? Not because we’re in church but because you have received Jesus in your hearts and Jesus is
our salvation. Not you. Not how good you are or not how bad you are. You know Jesus loves us
even when we’re bad. Does that surprise you? Jesus loves us even when we’re bad. And when I got
that through my head finally, I finally thought you know what Jesus loves me so much I am
compelled to love him. You know what when we present Jesus as the one who loves us it’s like a
magnet. You know he just draws everybody to him and you want to be with him, and you want to be
like him, you want to live your life in that way.
Anyway, this study is showing us, the reason I’m talking about this is why do kids need a
mentor? Because the kids are not reading their Bibles, the families are not having worship, the kids
don’t understand salvation, and this is a big one here to me – when it comes to the second return of
Christ, the soon coming of Jesus we talk about, 67% of Adventist youth tend to agree or definitely
agree with this statement, they agree with this statement, I am worried about not being ready for
Christ’s return. That to me is shocking. 67% of the youth say I am worried about not being ready for
Christ’s return. See the thing of it is, the thing about being a Christian, is being able to say thank
God man I love the Lord because when the Lord comes I’m going to be with him because he loves
me. He died for me. He died on the cross. He saved me and I am in a safe relationship with him.
And is my life like filthy rags? Yeah. Well Pastor how can you say my life is like filthy rags and on
the other side say I’m going to go to heaven with the Lord? Because we have a God who saves. Our
lives are not in the equation. His life is. When your name is called, you don’t stand up in the
judgment. He does for you and for me. See and when I got this through my head like oh man Jesus
that’s how he loves me so much. He is standing up for me and he knows who I am. Oh yeah. He
knows me. He knows you because you know what you’re my man, you’re my woman, you’re my
child. I’m standing up for you in this judgment. See that is what we want our young kids to know. I
want them to know the assurance of salvation. Don’t you?
I’m starting to preach now. Okay now I’ve got a couple of things here – why do kids need
mentors? I want to tell you why. Because we’re living in the last days. We are in now in the time
when Jesus could come any time. Now if you don’t think we’re in the last days just take a look at the
economic situation we’re living in that we have like 12% or 13% of people living in California
without jobs. It’s probably more than that. And UCLA is projecting that this is going to happen and
continue into 2010. There is probably folks here who have lost their jobs or you have been
downsized or your hours are being cut or your wages have gone down. We’re in a crisis, are we not?
This is truly a crisis we’re in. When we think about end time events, this is an end time event. See.
You don’t have to think about what’s the end time going to look like. We may be in it right now.
It’s not about wars and guns and explosions so much because it can come any way God wants it to
come and this economic downturn could be one of them. So we’re saying we live in the last days.
The last days started when the church was born in Acts chapter 2. And they quoted this
particular scripture from Joel that has direct relevance to us today. Would you read this with me
please? Here we go. And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and
daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. . . .And
everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; Joel 2:28, 32 (NIV) Now I want you to
know that that goes from verse 28, the first part was verse 28, and then we jump right on down to
verse 32 and we combined them that’s what you’re reading today. Now check it out. Afterwards I
will pour out my Spirit on how many people? All people. Hey what about the 9 year old kid? Or
that 4 year old girl sitting on your lap? The Holy Spirit poured out on them. Why is it that we
parents and we adults including myself go you know when you get a little older you know you can do
something? Why can’t they something now? Huh? Should we be teaching our children right now
the Word of God and training them and helping them to come up here and sing, give the prayer. Hey
I want to see some kids come up and preach. Don’t you? I think some of our kids right here could
do it. Some of our kids are looking to baptism. Praise God. And my heart is this I spent about three
months studying with a group of kids to be baptized and I did that because I want them to know me
as their Pastor and I want them to know Jesus. And also it’s not just we’re going to baptize the kids
and then say now sit in the pews like good little boys and girls. No. Kids want to be involved.
Don’t they? They don’t like boring stuff. Actually, adults do we like boring stuff? No. So I say we
get some more kids up here and I think we should train them. Don’t you? That’s what this Kids In
Discipleship is about. Not only baptizing kids but bringing them in as full fledge workers and
servants of the Lord. Because it says here I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and
daughters will prophesy, these are young kids. These kids that are near you and close to you are
filled with the Spirit of God and they are looking for something. It’s really amazing how much faith
kids have. Isn’t it parents? Okay can I have one amen from a parent? Give me an amen. It’s
amazing these kids come up with things. They want to help. They want to pray. Don’t they Annie
huh? I see it all the time.
Now there is a great revival. See. There is a great revival connected to this outpouring that
happens in the last days because it says everyone who calls on the name of the Lord what will
happen? Will be saved. How are they saved? By calling on the name of the Lord. Huh. Is that
what it says? Call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved. And the people who are going to
be leading this charge are our children, adults, and children, and people, and men, and women,
I want to show you Malachi. Malachi is the last Old Testament book before the Old
Testament. So it’s the last Old Testament book. Chapter 4 is the last chapter. These are the last few
words of the last chapter of the last book in the Old Testament. And these are amazing words. Look
what it says. Would you read it with me? See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great
and dreadful day of the Lord comes. Now this is the second coming. Keep going. He will turn the
hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will
come and strike the land with a curse. Malachi 4:5-6 (NIV) Look what it says. That the time of
Elijah you know has come. John the Baptist was identified by Jesus as the Elijah to come which
means that was the trigger for this to happen and that is found in Matthew 17:12 if you’re taking
notes. You have to check that out. The ideas that in the end times in the last days it is God’s will
that he will turn the hearts of the fathers where? To their children. And the hearts of the children
where? To their fathers. You know dads you guys are key players in the lives of your children.
Amen! It is up to you to stand up and be counted when it comes to the faith walk of your children.
Sometimes us dads are so busy. Yeah we’re making a living. Yeah I would like to talk to you. Hey
do you know that song that just comes to my mind “Cats In the Cradle?” Cats In the Cradle huh.
Did I say that right? And it goes hey dad, do you want to play ball? He says son I would like to right
now. I’m kind of busy. Hey we’re going to do this song again. Okay Father’s Day. Hey dad you
want to play a little football or catch? I would like to son. Then it reverses it. You know the song.
How many know the song? Say amen. Okay. Right at the end of the song it’s the dad who is now
the grandpa. Hey son, you know it’s grandpa calling. How are you doing? I would like to talk to
you dad but too busy. Okay. What goes around comes around but with this the Lord’s promise is
that he will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and what’s important in their lives.
Yes we want our children to be smart. Yes we want our children to have good jobs and go to
college. Amen. Don’t we? But the number one issue is we want those kids in heaven. They may be
the smartest or richest kids but they don’t know Jesus they don’t know anything. We want every
child in this house to be with us in heaven. Amen. That’s our goal. That’s what we want. And we
are dedicating ourselves today starting today to that end. We can’t just look around the church and
say hey kid get away from me. No. We need to embrace these kids and help them out. They live in
a pretty tough world. Don’t they? They are bombarded by stuff we never even heard of when we
were kids. You’ve got the Internet. You’ve got sexual exploitation all around them. They need our
help. They need mentors. They need men who will stand up for the right and do the right.
Finally, here is what Jesus is calling us to do. This is the great commission. Would you read
it? You guys know it. Read it with me. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven
and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I
have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew
28:18-20 (NIV) Wow! Do you see where it says right there one, it’s the second full sentence,
Therefore go and make disciples you see it there? It says Therefore go and make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them. Our primary purpose is not to baptize children or adults. Our primary
purpose is to disciple them. And the disciplining comes in teaching them how to pray, how to read
their Bibles, how to serve. That’s the job the Lord is calling us to right now. Disciplining our
children, training our kids to know Jesus. This program and it’s not really a program it’s a process.
It takes parents who may find it a little bit difficult to talk about faith, a little bit difficult to talk about
you know who God is, how does God interact with us. It takes that parent and those parents and it
trains them because it takes them through a process to help them know how they stand with God who
God is in their lives.
Now some of you are parents who are doing some of this already. You know you’re talking
to your kids about prayer. You’re trying to do some worship in your house. That’s great! It takes
you guys and it moves you right ahead in the direction you are already going. I encourage you
parents to be involved in this.
Now if you’re not a parent, don’t sit back and say man I want to be in the program. Guess
what? You’re going to be in the program but your program is going to be slightly different. Yours
comes in the small group format. You start coming to the small groups you’re going to be asked to
go deeper with Jesus in your personal lives. You should invite friends to this because the format is
kind of a question and answer. Look it up in your Bible. Read the question. It’s all done in the
small group and you get a little assignment that you go home with about that is called a Grace Point
looking for God during the week. I want you to be a part of this you guys. You’re going to start
signing up today for this and be a part of it. We’re going to kick it off in October. We have a chair
out there. Linda Bewley is going to raise her hand. She’s right there. Could you raise it higher?
She will be out there at that table when you leave and if you want to learn more about Kids In
Discipleship you can ask her about it and she can sign you up for it.
You know today we talked about mentors are needed and there is no pressure put on all of us.
Oh I don’t think I could be a mentor. Yes you can. Do you want to grow in the Lord? I think you
want to grow. Just say amen if you want to grow in the Lord. I think you do. Oh but I could never
be like so and so. Don’t compare yourself. Just be who you are okay. Just be who you are. See the
Lord doesn’t like us to be clones. He didn’t create clone. He’s not into cloning. He’s into
individuals like you guys. We’ve got a lot of spice in here you know. It’s kind of good. Did you see
the way Evan introduced our service today? I didn’t know what he said but it was good. No it was
good Evan. It was good. It was good Evan. Huh. You’re my man. Where are you Evan? Back
there at the control. There he is. All right. See that’s what I mean. We have to let these kids
express themselves. Don’t we? And to share with us a little bit about themselves and about their
language and who they are this makes our church something that is spicy and a fragrance to the Lord
you know. We want it to be that way. Thanks Evan.
Let’s bow our heads a minute as we close in prayer our sermon time.