Do You Believe In The Mentor Process?

I recently had the opportunity to participate in an interview process that was unrelated to our business. During the interview with a candidate, he mentioned one of the main desires he had for the job he was seeking. This main objective was to be mentored by his more experienced boss in a one-on-one setting. He felt this was the only way he would ever grow into the person he wanted to become.

How often do you hear that in an interview?

mentor

Still Learning!

I had another experience recently where I needed some advice from an older, more experienced friend in the business. As he responded to my questions, he included some ideas he had recently learned in a seminar he had attended.

Remember that I was seeking advice from him because he is older, wiser, and much more experienced in our industry. And yet he is still being intentional about his continued learning! I was impressed!

Not Impressed?

Maybe these examples are not that impressive to you. Maybe you already understand the importance of being mentored so that you are always learning. Maybe this idea is something you have experienced many times and you are looking for something new.

Well, I think I may have something for you.

What about BEING the mentor?

As Christian business owners and leaders, I think we can all agree that continuous learning is critical to our success. There are very few, if any, solid Christian leaders that would argue against continuous learning – whether by being mentored or self-taught.

Now A Mentor?

Unfortunately, you will likely get a very different answer if you ask those same Christian leaders if they are actively mentoring someone else! Of course, you will get many excuses and reasons for the lack of activity in this area. I can even come up with a few good ones myself!

Consult Scripture

The problem is that these excuses do not hold water when compared to Scripture. Just looking at one verse in Paul’s second letter to Timothy will shoot holes in these excuses:

And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2

While that may be enough to convince you to intentionally become a mentor, let’s also take a look at the following verses:

One generation will declare Your works to the next and will proclaim Your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:4

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Shepherd God’s flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God’s will; not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.
1 Peter 5:2-3

I think you are getting the picture.

Learning Is Not Enough!

The point here is that it is NOT enough for us to be always looking for opportunities to learn more. While this is certainly something we should seek, there must be more. To follow Scripture, we must also be seeking out those who are eager to learn. We must be willing to mentor them, teaching them what we already know.

Paul taught Timothy and then told him to go teach others that would be qualified to do the same thing! We need to do this as well.

Different Formats

For some, this will mean a regular one-on-one meeting schedule with someone not as far along in their business or their walk. For others, this may mean leading a group study or teaching through a blog!

It really does not matter the format. What matters is that we are making the effort to pass on our knowledge and wisdom to those who can learn from it.

Nor does it matter if we can teach them everything they need to know! Most likely, we cannot. The good news is that we are not responsible for filling their tanks with knowledge. We are simply responsible for emptying ours!

Pray About Your Role!

I encourage you to pray this very day about who you need to mentor and how you should go about doing it. Do not put this off or it will never happen. This must be an intentional effort on your part.

If nothing else, at least begin praying that God would show you the path to being the mentor He wants you to be. I promise you He will answer if you are willing to be used!

Are you actively mentoring someone else right now?

If not, why not? What is holding you back?

Are you willing to pray about it?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Mentoring and seeking to be mentored are keys to growing as a leader. Paul revealed that truth throughout his life in the Bible. He mentored Timothy, Mark and Titus and many others while seeking to be mentored by Barnabas, Peter and James. Great reminder Chris…

  • Great post! I don’t know where I would be without a few men sacrificing time to pour into my life. As I matured in my ministry, I replicated that model for a group of students who most of which are currently in full-time ministry. I don’t claim full credit for where they are in their personal journey, but feel strongly that I had a small part. My basic motto was to “never do ministry alone.” A great resource for anyone considering mentoring is the book, “Mentor Like Jesus” by Reggie Campbell. He has a great model to follow. He also has many resources on his website (http://www.radicalmentoring.com/)

  • Rajeev

    Praise The Lord !!

  • Thanks for your comments, Dwayne! I will have to look into Reggie’s book and website. Sound like great resources!

  • Kari Scare

    Have never really had a formal mentor, though I have had some mentoring. Have been thinking about mentoring others but am struggling with feeling qualified. Am praying for confirmation in this area as far as how to move forward. Have a few people in mind but want the Holy Spirit to give the go ahead, which hasn’t happened yet. Feels like a big deal to me, to mentor others, and I don’t want to rush in.

    • Kari, I understand your line of thinking and I do NOT want to preempt the Holy Spirit leading you. That is wise.

      At the same time, do not get too caught up in having to be too qualified. You are never going to FEEL qualified. Instead, think about who you would be confident in teaching today…what about a young mother with her first child? What about a brand new blogger just starting out? Maybe there is a new believer in your church…

      The idea is not that you have to teach them everything THEY need to know (fill their tank). You only have to teach them what YOU know (empty your tank).

      Keep in mind that Scripture already confirms that you are to be mentoring. You do not need to seek confirmation on that. Even Timothy was encouraged not to let his age slow him down or keep him from teaching (1 Tim. 4:11-16).

      Keep looking for qualified (1 Tim. 2:2) candidates and pray for confirmation on them! God will answer!

  • fatrabbit CREATIVE

    In our office, we try to remember that there will be people who we can teach, but there will always be people who know more than we do. It seems like part of being a good mentor is the willingness to also be a humble student. Thank you for blessing our day with this article, Chris!

    – the team at fatrabbit CREATIVE (www.fatrabbitCREATIVE.com)

    • You are welcome, Patrick! Thanks for reading!

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