In order to be successful in any area of life – family, business, religion, education, etc. – you NEED mentors. Mentors are men and women who are further along than you are in your respective field, and are willing to teach, encourage, and train you.
The Apostle Paul understood this powerful concept. He wrote about this exact subject to a young pastor that he personally mentored:
You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. – 2 Timothy 2:2
The use of mentors, especially in church leadership, causes exponential growth. As each person faithfully mentors a handful of people, each one of those students can then become mentors to another small group of people. Mentoring done right is an incredible cycle of growth and teaching. It is through this intentional, life-on-life process that disciples of Jesus Christ are formed and nurtured.
I am beginning a new season in my life that will be largely influenced by mentors. I have been accepted into the Kairos Project at Sioux Falls Seminary. This project will structure my education around three mentors: a faculty mentor, a ministry mentor, and a personal mentor.
Before even beginning this process, I have been meeting with a pastor on a monthly basis for growth and encouragement.
As I have been thinking through the benefits of mentors, I have two questions for you:
1. Who is your mentor?
Whether you desire to grow in business, family, religion, or a different area, you NEED to make it a TOP PRIORITY to meet on a regular basis with a mentor. As you meet with the mentor, come with a teachable attitude. Mentoring fails when the student is arrogant and refuses to learn from the experience and knowledge of the mentor.
2. Who are YOU mentoring?
We see that Paul’s instruction to Timothy includes teaching other people. Mentoring should be a cycle – you are taught so that you can teach others. Is there someone in your respective field that is inexperienced? Offer to buy them lunch and form a mentoring relationship with them.
If you are on staff at a church – Who can replace you? Good leadership is shown through the ability of being replaced easily. Being irreplaceable is simply a sign of failing leadership (Pastor, I am looking at YOU because we have an unhealthy tendency to rarely delegate which results in burnout and depression!)
What are some of the benefits you have experienced from mentors? Let me know by leaving a comment!