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?
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!
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!
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.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
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.
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?