A Class, or a Tutor?

Some time ago I took a class in jazz guitar at a local community college. Our excellent instructor taught us scales and chords that we would play together as a class. But one student was a little slow.

Often the teacher would interrupt his lesson with ‘‘ Hold on, class,’’ and he would walk over and individually instruct until the student learned to turn his guitar around, tune it correctly, and play the chords. This student basically held up the progress and speed of our class. I really could have felt impatient about the whole situation, except for one fact.

I was that student.

Now, imagine if the legendary jazz guitarist Joe Pass had taught the class. When we finished for the day, suppose he approached me (the slow one) and said, ‘‘ Wayne, I see a hint of promise in you as a young guitarist. I see some real potential. And I’d like to give you a choice: You can either remain in this once-a-week class, or I can meet with you every day for an hour. I will mentor you personally in jazz guitar. What do you think?’’Wayne Cordeiro - A Tutor or a Class

Which do you think I would choose? Do you imagine I’d even need to mull it over? Not a chance! I would instantly opt to be mentored by the renowned artist.

I would say, ‘‘ You tell me the time, and even if it’s 2: 00 A.M., I’ll be there.’’ What an honor that would be.

No more than a year later, I suspect, someone would hear me play, stop in their tracks, and say, ‘‘ Where did you learn that?’’

‘‘ Oh,’’ I’d explain, ‘‘ I took a class at a community college.’’

They’d look at me sideways and reply,

‘‘ Well, you may have, but that’s not where you got that.’’

‘‘ What do you mean?’’ ‘‘ I can tell the difference. You didn’t just take a class. Your phrasing, breathing, intonation, and voicing— I recognize those! That’s the way Joe Pass plays. You don’t get that from generic class instruction. You’ve been with the master. That’s the only way you could learn to play that way.’’

And I’d admit it. ‘‘ Yes, you’re right. For the last year, I’ve been learning daily from Joe Pass himself.’’ There’s a big difference between taking a class and being taught by the Master.


When you make daily devotions a habit— when you sit with the Spirit for at least forty minutes a day— a scenario like the one I just played out can actually happen to you. It won’t be a year before you’re sharing a prayer from your journal or describing an insight, and someone who’s listening will stop you.

‘‘ Where did you get that revelation?’’ he or she will ask.

‘‘ Well, I went to Bible college.’’

‘‘ I’m sure you did, but it’s a lot more than that. You didn’t get that just by going to school. You were taught by the Master, weren’t you? Flesh and blood didn’t reveal that to you; my heavenly Father did.’’

What a difference! The world won’t be changed by those who take a weekly class. It will be changed by men and women who sit daily at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word. Someone will hear you giving advice or offering counsel and they’ll instantly recognize that your words have the tone of the Father’s voice. They’ll identify an authority and a resonance beyond you. And at that moment it won’t be only you speaking; it will be the Father speaking through you.

You will have actually become His spokesperson.

Divine Mentor


This post is an adapted from Pastor Wayne Cordeiro’s book, The Divine Mentor