There is a powerful tool we can use to help people grow, heal, and cause lifelong change. It is called mentorship. Guest writer Dan Saint, Youth Director at the Mission Church, Appleton, WI, has written an article for us on how to do mentorship. Dan not only has been mentoring students for all of his adult life, but he also experienced firsthand the benefits of it. Dan describes his mentor as a pivotal reason for why he was able to persevere and become the person he is today. He was able to ask his mentor tough questions about marriage, careers and life, and through spending time with his mentor he was able to see 1st hand how to navigate the troubled waters of life.
There are people in the world that can learn from books easily, I am not one of them. The well documented learning style ‘learning by watching and then doing’ is the only one that people are actually born with. The rest are taught, and so mentoring comes into play. Mentoring is inviting someone that you value and see great potential in, to be a part of your life. This could mean someone on your sports team that you invite to practice with, instead of practicing alone. This could be a coworker that you take to lunch once a week or ask to help you with an important project. I have seen amazing mentoring done when a senior high student stuffs their annoyance with a younger student and shares life with them instead. Sharing the joys and pain of life has a cost, as do any truly deep relationships, but you will find life so much better when you share it.
What is a mentor? (from the Quest for Authentic manhood by Robert Lewis)
a. supports rather than competes
b. primarily a cheerleader, not a critic
c. seeks to encourage the development of gifts while seeking to protect you from costly mistakes
d. admires and delights in you because they instinctively recognize your value and potential
e. not necessarily a close friend but is a close confidant.
For a mentor it is important to choose a READY person to do life with (from the Be-With Factor by Bo Boshers and Judson Poling)
A mentee is:
- R- Reliable, must demonstrate trustworthiness and handle basic responsibilities well.
- E- Excited, should be eager to be mentored and be a self-starter.
- A- Authentic, must be honest and willing to be real.
- D- Daring, must be willing to grow and be stretched and have an appetite for progress.
- Y- Young, must be willing to learn, to be teachable and open to receiving feedback and correction.
If you want to be mentored or mentor, I could not more highly suggest reading “the Be With Factor”. It is full of helpful information and guides you through the important parts of being a mentor.
Mentoring can be a life changing process. You could help a person turn a corner and achieve things they never would have otherwise, and have your own life changed in the process.