Editor’s note: We are continuing our blog series on mentoring using the Mentoring Pillars written by Jim Feiker. This fourth pillar talks about the need to discern where God is working in the life of the mentee. This determines their level of readiness for further growth.

My brothers and I own a lake cabin in northern Minnesota. Every year Bev and I trek to a small bay on the south side of Big Pelican Lake to observe water life and just to enjoy the beauty and solitude. The bay is often calm and mirror-like and is surrounded by forest. Early in the morning one can see air bubbles rising all over the water, indicating life under the surface exhaling their last bit of air before resurfacing. The bigger the bubbles, the bigger the creature. These bubbles have led us to find turtles, muskrats, and marine life. We go to the bubbles to find life.

 The same is true with a person’s heart. People express “life bubbles” from their hearts that reveal what is really going on in their lives. It is when we are sensitively watching and listening for these heart bubbles that we can often detect what is happening in someone else. We see what are root causes and issues, not just symptoms. These “bubbles” often reveal people’s needs and desires, where God is working, and what people are ready for. How do we detect the “bubbles”? How do we discern where God is working so that we can join him there?

Co-laborers with God

Accurately understanding how God views people and what our role is in ministering to them is critical to our effectiveness. We will minister to people with respect and grace if we have a biblical perspective on these things.