The Mentoring Church: How Pastors and Congregations Cultivate Leaders | a Book Review

Those who know me know I am passionate about coming alongside women to aid them in their spiritual walk. I am content in my God-given role as “the older woman.” It only seemed logical when Kregel Publishing offered the opportunity to review The Mentoring Church: How Pastors and Congregations Cultivate Leaders by Phil A Newton, that I would jump at the opportunity. I have been both enriched and encouraged to read this book and not for the reason that would seem to go with the first sentence of my review. Here is why:

This book is primarily about church leadership in regards to developing sound pastoral leaders and church planters. So, as a woman of God, Kimberly is going to have to sit out on the sideline on this one, right?  After all, less than a handful of sentences were mentioned on raising women leaders within the church. So, what’s in it for you, and me as women, you say?  I’m glad you asked! 

As a Woman of God

  1. As a woman of God, I need to know what discipleship can and should look like for the men of my church so that I can fully support, pray for, and encourage it.  In turn, I will no doubt be a benefactor of these sound principles laid out in Newton’s book.
  2. As a woman of God, if I am looking for a gospel-centered church that is healthy in their model of mentorship, I need to know what that looks like.  I walked away with my convictions of discipleship being affirmed and even challenged through Newton’s book. 
  3. As a woman of God, many of the principles of “life on life” and “face to face” ministry challenged me to evaluate where I am in my own discipleship model. Am I mentoring women as I should, or am I thinking that is someone else’s responsibility while I happily “grow” in isolation? 

This book faithfully shows what biblical discipleship looked like in the Bible, beginning with Christ, then the first church, followed by numerous examples in church history, all the way to today.  

I did not walk away from the book feeling left out or ignored as a woman of God, but rather, I found it inspiring to read of the saints of old, passionately engaged in discipleship. I was encouraged that there are churches that still believe we are just that, a church; a body, and not a sterile, cold, corporation. I was blessed to read of churches all over the country taking this call so seriously and even working alongside seminaries to give our future leaders practical guidance. As a woman of God, I was encouraged and grateful for those who practiced this model in the churches I have attended in the many decades of my faith. 

As a woman of God, I am encouraged, that there are still GREAT churches, being led by great men of God and that it is being encouraged still through Phil Newton’s book, The Mentoring Church.