Mordecai the mentor: A reflection on Esther 2:7-11

Posted Feb 25, 2016 | Pastoral Excellence Network

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By Erica Whitaker

When you think of mentors in the bible your mind does not automatically go to Mordecai. He’s probably not your top five or top ten pick, but then again most good mentors are never well-known. 

Mordecai’s great grandfather’s name does not hold up in the history books against Daniel, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego who were all in the same caravan from Jerusalem to Babylon under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. 

But than again great mentors are never bothered by the glory of mega leaders. 

A teaching church will rarely be the hottest place for worship with super cool communicators preaching powerful messages that pack the pews every Sunday. This does not happen with teaching churches probably because they allow room for inexperienced preachers such as myself to use the pulpit like a junior high dance with our awkward swaying, uncomfortable sweating and the risk of inappropriate things being said. 

No, mentoring churches are more concerned with the greater Church that goes beyond their own institutional success. They propel people out the doors, affecting the wider church community, impacting the kingdom of God for today and for tomorrow. Your name may not be at the top of the history books but you will be remembered in the hearts of those individuals you personally mentor and send out. 

Even in her royal success, I believe Esther never forget Mordecai. After all they were cousins and he did create a home for her when she was homeless. 

As a young minister, when you leave seminary you are often leaving a beloved community, a place you called home for years. Your professor parents are no longer with you and you are off on your own trying to make a life in ministry. 

Mentor programs create temporary homes for the next generation of church leaders. However, creating space for the leaders next in line isn’t easy. It means you, as the current leader must scoot over and share your space. 

This is the paradox of parenting, the mystery of mentoring – in order to succeed you must let go. You must let go of some of your space. Let go of your pulpit from time to time. Let go of your schedule in order to teach and to guide.  

You must even let go of your ego because at the end of the day we all need to remember that the future of the Church is not about you or I. The Kingdom of God is never about one person’s success but rather the salvation of all people. 

Great mentors are constantly living beyond themselves. 

Mordecai didn’t know the role Esther would play in the salvation of their people. All he knew was that he was called to do his part in assisting the future well-being of the next generation. 

Impacting one life impacts the whole community. 

I wonder what Mordecai told Esther every day as he walked around the court of women? I wonder if he spoke encouraging words of wisdom? Maybe he told her to listen well, use her words wisely. Maybe he reminded her to trust in YHWH for He will be your guide when times get difficult. Because everyone in leadership has that day when you want to just give up.  

You may not know the role you play as a pastor, a lay leader or a mentor, but know this: the passion and the wisdom that you impart in small everyday ways are tools that will be carried into future challenges and future churches. 

Esther needed a Mordecai and the church needs more Mordechais.

Erica Whitaker is currently in her second year as a Pastoral Resident at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, TX. In August 2014, she earned a Master of Divinity degree from George W. Truett Theological Seminary. She holds a Bachelor of Arts & Science from the University of North Texas where she majored in Radio, Television and Film with a minor in French. During her time at Truett, Erica served as a Resident Chaplain for Methodist Health System in Dallas, a special education teacher for Arlington ISD and was the Outreach Minister at Agape Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX. She has been married to her husband Josh since 2011 and they have two furry children named Fred and Lucy.

The Pastoral Excellence Network at CTS seeks to connect and nurture groups for clergy at all stages of ministry. To request permission to repost this content, please contact wsordillo@cts.edu.

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