PART 1 | PART 2 | PART 3
I was extremely blessed to have men mentor me early on in my walk with the Lord. Each mentor was skilled in certain areas. Some preaching, others the practical aspect of ministry, discipleship, and evangelism. While each of my mentors over the years were gifted in unique ways, all of them provided three keys to my spiritual growth.
During rough times, the Lord used mentors to keep me from a spiritual death by isolation.
Each one asked me hard questions. They pried deep into my motives and actions. They were not afraid to press in when I dodged questions. They forced me to deal with my hard heart. All of this is only possible when there is a level of comfort and honesty. To simply meet up and go through the motions is not real accountability. When there is comfort and honesty, a mentoree is not afraid of judgment and is thus free to share. They can expect being confronted in their sin, not in harsh criticism, but in love.
A mentor not only tells you what is best, but lives it. They go before you by showing you what it means to walk with the Lord. They model humility by being open to correction by other individuals, even those that they guide. They themselves are being shepherded by others. Those who see themselves as "above" those they instruct are not beneficial role models. Real mentors are the first to share their struggles, the first to seek guidance, the first to seek prayer. Look for a person who humbles themselves and seeks the Lord to instruct you.
A mentor can see your potential better than you can. There are times we need someone to show us our limitations, other times we need someone to encourage us to test out our gifts. I never would have thought I would be in ministry, much less preaching or discipling others. They would encourage me to step out of my comfort zone in leading projects, ministries, and even stepping up to share God's Word. Each of them had recognized the potential calling of ministry and would consistently push me to explore it. Maybe vocational ministry is not your calling, but you have been gifted to serve in and through the local church. A guide can help identify and will encourage you to utilize the gifts God has given you.
There are many benefits to mentorship. Each one has their unique gifts and callings. Yet all offer accountability, a role model, and encouragement. There will be times of struggle and strain, the right person can help guide you through these seasons. They can help identify gifts and will encourage you to test them out in the local church. When done correctly, mentors help avoid a spiritual death by isolating ourselves from the church body.
In part 3 I will focus on how to enter into a mentoring relationship.
Join the conversation. What has been the most beneficial aspect of mentorship in your life?