A mentor is just a fancy term for an experienced or trusted adviser. If you mentor someone you advise or train them and usually this person is younger than you.
My first mentorship came about very unexpectedly. I was attending women’s group at church and as a result I was “assigned” a prayer partner. We were to pray together once a week until the class ended.
I was in my late 20’s and was a stay at home mom of two daughters. The woman assigned to me was about 8 years older than I was. She was also a homemaker with one son.
When you pray with and for someone on a regular basis, a bond is created. Even after the class ended…although we didn’t continue our weekly prayer time…we remained close friends. However, she became more than a friend to me…she was my mentor.
I never actually referred to her as my mentor, but that’s what she was.
I respected her, admired her, asked for advice and learned so much from her….and the best part is that she still holds that role in my life…after more than 30 years!
I’m so thankful we were linked together or I would have missed out on her wisdom and expertise. Her influence has made me a better Christian, mother, friend, and woman!
Mentoring in the Beginning
The Bible doesn’t use the word “mentor”, but here are a few examples of mentorship in the Bible:
Moses mentored Joshua
Eli mentored Samuel
Elijah mentored Elisha
Priscilla & Aquilla mentored Apollos
Jesus mentored the apostles
These are just some of the scriptures that reference this type of relationship:
Titus 2:3-5 tells the older women to train the younger ones
Proverbs 27:17 uses the analogy of iron sharpening iron
Proverbs 9:9 encourages to give instruction to a wise man and he will become wiser
And finally, Proverbs 13:20 says whoever walks with the wise becomes wise
If you have ever wanted to become a mentor or even found yourself thrown in the role of being a mentor these tips might help.
10 Tips For Mentorship
- Evaluate…..Ask yourself WHY you want a mentor since this will help you know what you’re looking for.
- Pray….Start asking God to put on your heart a woman who could fulfill this desire.
- Look Around….Where might this woman be? church? MOPS? gym? a neighbor? relative?…even a website like this one!
- Be Discerning….You want someone with the same core beliefs that you have.
- Who Do You Admire…..You want a mentor you respect and as a result you want to emulate.
- Be Brave…When you feel led, take that leap of faith and ask her to mentor you.
- Set Guidelines….Once you’re connected, communicate how you both want this mentorship to look.
- Be Honest…Transparency establishes bonds quicker, so share openly.
- Commit….All relationships take time to develop….don’t give up.
- Serve….A mentor is teaching and training you, so find ways to bless her in return.
The Impact of a Mentor
I was recently walking in the park with a friend and in addition to other subjects I mentioned I was writing on mentoring. She told me that her daughter just wrote a paper about one of her mentors. The woman her daughter focused on was one of her past Sunday School teachers.
She said that even though she was the only participant in the class on many Sundays, this woman faithfully continued to teach her, answered her many questions, and would even remember to find out the answers she might not know right then.
She considers her to be her own personal Bible scholar and as a result her mentor.
It’s the SAME woman who was MY first mentor! What a woman! A blessing! What a mentor!
Have you ever had a mentor? Have you ever been one? Would you like to have or become one?