A few months ago, I experienced a bone-chilling fear when a particular friend of mine began referring to me as her “mentor”. I thought I wasn’t good or experienced enough to be a Mentor, at least not yet.
With this thought in mind, I looked up the meaning of the word Mentor and realized that I had been mentoring a handful of people who do not openly call me mentor.
The Oxford dictionary defines a Mentor as an experienced person who advises and helps somebody with less experience over a period of time. So in one way or another, we all are mentors.
The difference between ourselves and those we look up to is INTENTIONALITY.
So, while you help someone who is struggling to pass a particular course, or you are a great adviser to your friends with relationship issues, or you are helping someone perfect their cooking skills, we should mentor them with a large dose of intentionality.
Here are a few steps I think would help.
- Be the best version of you: While you will be required to mentor people with different personality traits and character, one way to successfully achieve this is by being the best version of you. Successful mentors do not hide their imperfections, rather they constantly work on them, becoming a better version of themselves than they were yesterday.
- Focus on the True Mentor: Trying to be a perfect example for your mentee is a good thing, but it is important that you constantly remind them that Christ is the true mentor. While you help them with certain areas where they most need it, do remember to teach them, that the end goal is to be Christ-like.
- The Power of Choice: It is important that you remember that you are an adviser with more experience, not a decision-maker. Your mentees have the power of choice. Even after so much talk and advice, some of them would still make the wrong decisions. Your duty at this point is to pray for them, asking that God’s wisdom floods their heart and mind, giving them understanding. You can’t afford to beat yourself for the wrong decisions or mistakes your mentees make. Christ, Himself gave us a choice between life and death, encouraging us to choose life.
- Rebuke in love: What happens when the “prodigal” mentee returns? This is so not the time to sing the “I told you so” song. He/ She probably has enough regret. It is time to lovingly rebuke such a person. After saying all that is needed, help them move past their mistakes. A simple exercise like writing about their experience focusing on the things they should have done differently could help them make better choices next time. Remember that self-pity is not an option.
- Work and Walk with Christ: Man was created in whose image? God’s. So if you want to be a successful mentor of man, you must first be a successful follower of Christ, praying for them at all times, submitting yourself to the leading of the Holy Spirit, so as to successfully lead your mentees.
While we become intentional about this journey in mentoring, I pray that at every point, we always emulate Christ.
Happy Mentoring, People!