I was in a mentoring session with one of our student leaders this afternoon. We had an amazing time talking and we both ended up seeing God’s faithfulness in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. Here’s a picture we asked the waiter to take before we left the restaurant.
On my way home, I got to talk to someone who asked me what happens during a mentoring session. Because we are currently trying to build this as a culture amongst our leaders, I thought of writing down some of the points I’ve learned about mentoring.
Why We Need Mentoring
The best people on earth have mentors. I just Googled “mentors to famous celebrities” and found a website called “The Mentor Hall of Fame” which contains a detailed list of famous people from all around the world and their mentor pairs. I did a little research about the history of mentoring and here’s what I found.
Mentoring has ancient roots in European society. Mentor was the man Odysseus entrusted his kingdom to when he went to the Trojan wars. In classical Greece young men often lived with more experienced elders to learn not simply knowledge but, in addition, skills and attitudes. The mentoring relationship was also evident in the Guilds of medieval Europe and the forms of apprenticeship that evolved from them. Mentoring implied not just guidance and suggestion, but also the development of autonomous skills and mastership. A great value was placed on expertise and development of self-confidence over time. Mentoring was seen as informal and also as a relationship – and relational learning was viewed as critical in passing on skill but also in establishing a secure place to learn more. –The Master’s Voice: Learning Through Mentoring
I personally love getting mentored because there is always much to learn from the experience of those who have gone ahead of me in the ministry, in life.
When You Want to Be Mentored
1. Determine which area you need mentoring in. This would be as good as saying – get a mentor for every area of your life. Proverbs 11:14 says: “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory (NASB).”
2. Look for people who are willing and able to give sound and godly input in the area that you need mentoring in. I talked about this on my post Two Blind Men.
3. Set an appointment with the person you want to get mentoring from. If it’s someone you have a relationship with, a text message or a phone call would be good. If you don’t really know the person but you would want to learn from him or her, you can ask someone to introduce you to that person.
4. Be ready with your questions. You can only make the most out of your mentoring session when you do this.
5. Be ready to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
If, on the other hand, you are learning how to mentor others, watch out for my next post.