Summary: verse by verse through Acts
You know there’s all kinds of people out there trying to sell you on some investment scheme. You know the kind. All you have to do is invest in their product or invest in their stocks or invest in their marketing plan and you’ll be wealthy beyond your wildest dreams! Of course the only people who are guaranteed to make money are the ones you’re giving your money to. You’ve got to be extremely careful with these get-rich-quick investment strategies out there.
But this morning I’m going to tell you of another kind of investment of a lifetime opportunity and it won’t cost you a single dime. And it’s an investment that will reap dividends for eternity.
I’m talking about the kind of investment you make in someone else’s life when you’re a part of a mentoring relationship. Mentoring is a relationship in which you share the wisdom you’ve gained in life with someone who’s yet to go through what you have. Mentoring is a relationship in which you share the wisdom you’ve gained in life with someone who’s yet to go through what you have.
Now there’s all types of mentoring you can engage in. You can mentor someone in athletics and the arts. You can mentor someone in just about any career field. You can mentor someone in relationship issues. I guess you could mentor someone in just about every arena of life. But today we’re going to be talking about how we as Christians can and should be mentoring people in the faith.  That’s the investment of a lifetime – mentoring your faith! That’s something that will make an eternal impact!
Now what I’d like to do is have everyone look around the sanctuary for a minute. There are so many different age groups represented here. And along with the differences in ages, there’s also people that are in different stages of their spiritual maturity level. And you know what, every person here still has questions about God and life and about how to match the two together. And guess what, many of you have the answers to each others questions simply because you’ve already been down that road. Mentoring is a relationship in which you share the wisdom you’ve gained in life with someone who’s yet to go through what you have.
Mentoring is something that can have an eternal affect on people because it helps them grow in their eternal faith. Listen to what Warren Weirseby says about the need for mentoring in today’s church’s:
"...In most churches, the congregation pays the pastor to preach, win the lost, and build up the saved - while the church members function as cheerleaders, (if they are enthusiastic), or simply spectators. The "converts" are won, baptized, and given the right hand of fellowship, then they join the other spectators. How much faster our churches would grow, and how much stronger and happier our church members would be, if each one were discipling/mentoring another believer. The only way a local church can "be fruitful and multiply" (instead of growing by "additions") is with a systematic discipleship program. This is the responsibility of every believer, and not just a small group who have been 'called to go.'
God wants to use each of us here to help someone else grow in their faith. We need to invest in the lives of each other and look for opportunities to be in a mentoring relationship. We all have something to offer.
[Have all kids, volunteer adults, write out questions about God/life/matching.]
Now this mentoring thing isn’t something new. It’s been an effective way of training and encouraging people for centuries. And we can clearly see the emphasis on mentoring in the book of Acts as we’ve been studying through it. We’re in Acts chapter eighteen this morning where we’ll see three principles for effective mentoring.  The first thing we see is that we should be mentoring faith through relationships.
Now remember what’s been going on in Paul’s life up to this point. He’s been traveling from town to town helping scores of people get saved and then he helps the people start up a church. He then moves on to another city and starts all over again. We’re at the point in the story where Paul’s been in the city of Corinth for a year and a half and it’s time for him to move on. Things have gone well, but there’s other people who need to hear the message.
[Read Acts 18:18-22.]
Paul had spent 18 months there in Corinth building relationships with the people and mentoring them in the faith. And remember, the pattern of the ancient church was to meet on a regular basis in each other’s homes for fellowship, teaching, worship and meals. To them, going to church was about worshipping God together in the context of relationships. That’s why the early church was so strong – they spent time investing into each other’s lives.