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  • Writer's pictureW. Austin Gardner

Life on life

A second OT example of life-on-life leadership mentoring is found in Moses with his successor Joshua (Deut 31:1–8; 34:9). Realizing that he would die before entry into the promised land, Moses commissioned and prepared Joshua to lead the Hebrew people into Canaan.

Repeatedly he identified Joshua before the people as God’s future leader of the nation and encouraged him to find his strength not in his own abilities but in the Lord and the LORD’s continuing presence (Num 27:18–22; Deut 31:7, 34:7).

He also began passing on the leadership baton by entrusting Joshua with important responsibilities (Num 13:16). Joshua was expected to spend time with Moses before taking on the mantle of leadership. Having been taught by the Lord and himself mentored by Jethro, Moses was able to pass on important spiritual experiences to his young protégé (Exod 24:13; 33:11).

As a result of Moses’ intentional mentoring, we are told Joshua was “full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him” (Deut 34:9). Related OT texts confirm that the Lord himself is the giver of wisdom and skill (Exod 28:3; 32:3; 35:31; Mic 3:8), but significantly here we see that God used the veteran leader Moses to help equip Joshua for the leadership challenge ahead. In the end, Moses empowered Joshua by modeling leadership and giving him credibility in the eyes of God’s people.

Ken Davis, “Mentoring Church Planters,” Journal of Ministry and Theology Volume 14 14, no. 2 (2010): 27.

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