Hello Hello! It’s time to dive in and explore some more thoughts on mentorship.
We’ve talked about mentoring (which is a relational process of sharing resources and empowering others) and about how to find a mentor: identify, ask, and talk about it. But there is one last thing I have to tell you:
YOU NEED TO BE A MENTOR FOR SOMEONE ELSE.
We have seen you in action. We know that you bring so much to the table and there is a generation of people just behind you on the same journey you are on. You could bring so much to their lives by being a mentor to them. By investing in their lives and sharing your resources and empowering them.
You need to be a mentor for someone else.
Now I can already hear your response. If you are like me I imagine a number of excuses started popping up. Here are some of the biggest excuses for not being a mentor: time, fear, and skill
Excuse #1: I don’t have time.
We are all very busy. But a small investment in someone’s life could change the course of their world.
Take a look at your schedule and seriously consider what it would mean to make an hour for someone else. We all have more time than we think and your sacrifice of time could help another person grow.
Excuse #2: I don’t have what it takes.
You may not feel worthy or suitable for mentorship but the lie of mentoring is that mentors are perfect and have it all together. No, mentors are real people on the same journey as everyone else. What people need are not perfect people but people willing to invest in them.
If you are feeling that kind of fear I have an exercise for you. I want you to spend some time this week focusing on a passage of scripture. Write it down on some paper and put it everywhere. Make it your phone’s wallpaper. Memorize. Absorb it. Here’s a passage for you to dwell on:
So do not fear, for I am with you do not be dismayed for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Look God is calling you to be a mentor, to pass the torch of faith along and if he is calling you he will be with you.
Excuse #3: I don’t have the skills to be a mentor.
But here’s the thing about skills: Skills develop through practice.
So to become a better mentor you need to be mentoring. And if you do feel unprepared you can take steps to prepare yourself. Great resources are out there. Such as the book I am using to prepare this material (Great mentoring: for real-life change). Find them and get going.
Say you are past the excuses but still unsure.
Stop for a second and consider what do you have to offer? Who are you? Where are you in your life? What have you been through? Note this isn’t about being perfect but offering what you do have to make a difference to a younger Christian.
I have a list here of things that make a great mentor.
Even having just one of these qualities means you have something to offer the next generation.
Even better if you’ve ever struggled with these things you could actually have a lot to give to help guide someone else through their struggles.
Check it out.
Spiritual: Jesus-Centered, Spirit-filled, prayerful, learner
Character: Humility, integrity, safe person, trustworthy
Relationship: Empathetic, active listener, encourager, asks good questions
Service: Available, skills(experience), commit to helping others grow, and an empowerer.
The point here is that your willingness to invest in someone else is all that is needed to step into mentoring someone else.
I believe you should be a mentor and to do that you really need to be one thing:
Be yourself: In the book Great Mentoring there is a quote that says what I’m trying to say but much better than I could: “You are uniquely designed with personality, abilities, and experience. Your greatest value to another person is to provide time for relationship- to bring your best as you intentionally invest in another.”
Maybe you are still humming and hawing…. But here’s the truth:
I know you can do this because you already have. Your summer at camp was about mentoring young people to become people of faith and to develop into leaders. All levels of camp, whether you were serving as an LIT, a section head or a Boys Camp Director, all levels are about serving the next generation and walking alongside that generation as they grow in faith and into their own.
So you can be a mentor. You’ve already done it.
Stop listening to this file and start thinking about who you can mentor. Someone from camp. A youth a church. Someone a few grades behind you. Think about it and reach out to them today.
If you are looking for a way to continue in mentoring as you did at camp let me recommend coming back to camp and serving again. It’s a great environment in which you can mentor young people and also receive some mentoring yourself.
Do you have friends who you think could be a good mentor to our campers? Get them to apply. We need great young leaders like yourself and your friends to build up the next generation of leaders. So apply to camp today and become a mentor. Get your friends involved and mentor together.
At the end of the day, we have seen you be a mentor and know that you could dramatically change a person’s life by choosing to invest in it. All it takes a willingness to put yourself out there and choose someone to invest in. We believe in you. We are praying for you. We are always available to support you whatever you need. You can connect with Michelle by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep your eyes open and find someone you can invest in. You can make a difference in their life.
In the meantime, keep being awesome.
This post is part of our Leap of Faith Audio Check-ins. We want to encourage you to leap into your faith and continue to grow at home, at school, and in your church. These audio check-ins are meant to encourage you as live out your faith every day.
Want to keep growing?
There are more episode of Leap of Faith and other resources for you to grow in your leadership and faith here.