Men Need Women to Mentor Them at Work and in Ministry

[An archived post on work and ministry for Labor Day.]

When I graduated law school my mentor at the firm I worked at was a woman. When I got on the bench and had been a judge for a while, I mentored a woman who joined the court. Gender qualifications were meaningless both times.

Gavin Peacock at the Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood argues differently.

In the 1980s as a young Christian and professional footballer (that’s soccer to the uninformed!) I saw older players mentoring younger ones. One experienced star player took an interest in me. He encouraged and corrected my game, and he developed my character.

One of the great needs in the church today is for men to mentor other men in the things of God—a distinctly masculine mentoring in the face of a culture that does not value manhood. God designs the church to grow under the protection and provision of biblical men. But they will not simply appear. Men of God must cultivate men of God.

(The Desperate Need for the Mandate of Masculine Mentoring)*

Mr. Peacock’s call for mentoring is fine. His call for masculine mentoring is hogwash. It’s apparent in the aspects of mentoring he argues are essential:

  1. Presence
  2. Teaching and Testing
  3. Character and Example
  4. Wisdom and Patience

None of these are specifically masculine. The Bible shows women and men both being present in people’s lives, teaching, giving good examples, as well as being wise and patient.

Mr. Peacock then specifies two goals of mentoring: maturity and holiness. He insists that these are required in men so that the church does not suffer:

The need for masculine mentorship is desperate because a dearth of men is the death of a local church and the family. Men were made to take initiative and cultivate life and godliness in those under their care.

True manhood is cruciform loving leadership, like the true man, Jesus: who took initiative for God’s glory, and despite the shame, overcame sin, Satan, and death on the cross, rising again to give life and redeem masculinity itself.

This conclusion is the most troubling. He speaks of true manhood as being an emulation of Christ. Where does this leave women? It apparently leaves them not needing to grow in Christ’s likeness in those areas Mr. Peacock identifies as specifically pertaining to “redeemed masculinity”.

This leads to the astonishing conclusion (astonishing to anyone who has read the Bible) that there are supposedly aspects of Christ’s life that are thus irrelevant to women because only men are to emulate Jesus in these “masculine” endeavors. I imagine CBMW would deny this by saying all of Jesus’ life is relevant to women, just not directly. They’d say the relevance reaches women but only through men.

The problem with that assertion is that the Bible nowhere says “Jesus died so that men can do this and women can do that.” It does say that Jesus sets everyone free from the limitations that came by sin. (Hebrews 9:15.)

Everyone means everyone, women and men. Free means free, so that none of us are bound by sin’s limitations.

So where did Mr. Peacock get the idea he can place limitations on what it means to grow in Christ?

I think it’s his lack of experience. He was in a profession made up exclusively of men in his sports career, and he is now in a ministry where women are never allowed to lead men. Mr. Peacock has a narrow understanding of the Bible because his experience in life has been narrow as well.

There’s a way to fix that.

He needs a woman to mentor him.


*My thanks to Kathi Bonham for bringing Mr. Peackock’s post to my attention.


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4 Responses to Men Need Women to Mentor Them at Work and in Ministry

  1. Pastor Bob says:

    “One of the great needs in the church today is for men to mentor other men in the things of God—a distinctly masculine mentoring in the face of a culture that does not value manhood. God designs the church to grow under the protection and provision of biblical men. But they will not simply appear. Men of God must cultivate men of God.”

    Throughly valid, just as women mentor women. There are some things that must stay with in the gender.

    Then there things that need not this gender protection. We as society that seek what is good (often through questionable means) make rules to avoid problems. Some good, some not.
    The “Billy Graham Rule” was not started by him, but he made it famous. Good idea, yes. The Golden Rule for society — no. Exceptions will always exist. If we trust not, we either have issues of our own, a very good UNIQUE reason.

    In the professional realm this gender division is unneccessary. There may be that one instance, but it is wise to avoid the “all or nothing” fallacy.

    This is how error propogates, take one valid point for a specific case and build a lifestyle aorund it. The logical conclussion (and very bad!) would be that mothers could not have an impact on sons, and fathers have no impact on daughters.


  2. Christian-in-rehab says:

    Pastor Bob @”some things that must stay with in the gender.” do these some things include mentorship at all times, and in all respect?
    “Mentorship is a relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person helps to guide a less experienced or less knowledgeable person. The mentor may be older or younger than the person being mentored, but he or she must have a certain area of expertise”.
    =Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.
    She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’ ”

    Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

    “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah.
    Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” Judges 4:4-9,14

    From this text, it is clear that Barak was not experienced at understanding God’s will in the deliverance of Israel and had to be coached[mentored] by Deborah.
    what do you think?

    • Pastor Bob says:

      I am more inclined to agree with the original premise than not, but there are clear exceptions to this idea.
      “mentorship at all times, and in all respect?”

      ALL is a dangerous term. Thank about it, the answer is NO. Why? -(Need you ask?)-
      Start with the obvious, I am a strong but compassionate father figure to many, and I have grown older, the fathering figure includes young adults. There are topics I will not discuss with young women or teen girls. If you ask what, refer to -(Need you ask?)-

      So, there are those topics that are essential in the professional realm, yet the original premise skipped these. I had to remove a leader who did not see the difference, so I thought it good bring up that 100% is not correct.

      Now back to the professional realm. I am mentoring and guiding 4 people in the work force, 2 are women, and both are showing that they understand the job required of them. The men are too, so the point is all should guide the less experienced. I am accountable to some direct leadership, one is woman is very sharp.

      In the past asked a very tough manager to guide me, and help me to be the best. When asked if i knew what I was getting into, I said something like, she is tough and produces results. I want to that effective.

      100% NO!
      many time to MOST of the time – YES!

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