The Bible says we are to seek wise counsel from godly people. In fact, it tells us to ask for guidance from our mentors. But what does that mean? What makes someone a mentor? How do we know if a person is qualified? And most importantly, how do we actually begin to look for one?
What Does a Spiritual Mentor Do?
A spiritual mentor is someone who helps guide you in your walk with Christ for a season of your life. They are there to support you, encourage you, and challenge you. Each relationship is most successful when the mentor and mentee establish the goals and boundaries ahead of time with clear boundaries. It may even be a good idea to include a re-evaluation period to see if new goals should be set.
Why Do I Need a Spiritual Mentor?
You don’t want to do anything halfway. You want to give it everything you’ve got. But we all know that life gets busy sometimes. And there are times when we just aren’t able to give it all we’ve got. When that happens, we need someone to help us keep moving forward. A spiritual mentor is someone on the outside who has been where you are now. They’ve walked in your shoes, and they understand what you’re going through. They can tell you how to move forward and help you make better decisions.
- A spiritual mentor doesn’t judge you, they help you see yourself clearly and hold you accountable to your goals. Their role is to give you honest feedback about your strengths and weaknesses.
- A spiritual mentor keeps you focused on what matters most. Your mentor reminds you why you started down this path in the first place and encourages you to continue growing in your Spiritual life.
- A spiritual mentor knows when to push you and when to pull you back into reality. They know when to let go and when to step up. They understand that you need to learn how to manage your emotions and feelings.
- A spiritual mentor is someone who cares about you and wants the best for you. Your mentor should be willing to put aside personal needs and wants to help you succeed. A mentor is always ready to lend a helping hand and encourage you along the way.
- A spiritual mentor makes sure you never lose sight of your goals. They help you set realistic expectations and teach you how to achieve them.
- A spiritual mentor stands beside you during good times and bad and tells you what you need to hear and won’t talk behind your back. This should always be a healthy relationship.
How Do I Find a Potential Mentor?
Mentors are important people in our lives. They help us grow, learn, and become better versions of ourselves. We look up to them because we know they’ve been there, done that, and walked in our shoes. But what happens when we don’t have one? How do we find a mentor?
In my experience, finding a mentor is more complicated than just asking someone. The best mentoring relationship will include someone who understands the proper boundaries. A Christian mentor should always be focused on pointing you toward God in the aspect of your life you discuss.
Here Are 5 Things to Consider As You Find a Spiritual Mentor
Step One : Determine Your Goals
Before you begin searching for a mentor, ask yourself why you want one.
- What are you hoping to accomplish by having a mentor?
- Are you trying to improve your life?
- Learn something new in your stage of life?
- Do you want to gain knowledge?
- Grow spiritually?
Whatever it is, write down your goals and work to make them SMART goals.
Step Two: Identify Who Might Be a Good Fit
Now that you know what you hope to gain from a mentor start thinking about who you could possibly benefit from. This is where you’ll use your skills, talents, and personality to determine who you’d like to connect with. Think about your strengths. What areas of expertise do you excel in? Where do you have passion? Write those things down too. YOu want this to be an authentic and natural relationship. Having some common interests will be a great way to ease any awkwardness.
Step Three: Be Available
God wants to meet with you face-to-face, just like He did with me. I am now able to connect with him through prayer, Bible study, and mentoring. These three things help us grow closer to him because we’re designed for community.
It’s important to remember that you need to be available to meet with your mentor, to hear and consider what they say, and to have difficult conversations if needed. There is no such thing as a perfect mentor. Even a mature believer is still growing in their faith and will continue to learn as they meet with you.
Step Four: Be Approachable
Take a courageous step and seek out a mentor. We are told to ask people to share their lives with us. We are asked to invest our energy in others. A mentor doesn’t just give advice; they help you see what you’re doing wrong and give you the encouragement to change.
Jesus sought out men and women whose lives exemplified the love of God. These men and women became his friends. He remained in community with others even with his friends frustrated him by not understanding his teachings on occasion.
When we become Christians, we receive a spiritual mentor in Christ, the Holy Spirit. But like Jesus, we benefit from community. We must allow other people to pour themselves into our lives. This requires humility and openness.
If you want to become a Christian leader, you cannot afford to isolate yourself. As a leader, you must be teachable and open to learning. You must be able to hear the truth about yourself and admit where you’ve been wrong. Most importantly, you must be ready to make changes in your life. You must be open to receiving correction, and you must be willing to let other people help you improve.
You don’t have to do this alone. There are many people who can help you become a better person. Ask them to come alongside you and guide you toward becoming a better version of yourself.
Five: Seek One-Time Opportunities
As you go through the steps above, you may realize you don’t need a mentor, you simply need to sit down and talk with a spiritual direction coach or a pastor to answer some questions.
When you seek out mentors, you ask them to invest their time and energy into helping you for a longer season of time.
Seeking out one-time opportunities is different in three ways than a mentoring relationship:
1. One-time opportunities are easier to plan. You know exactly what you want to ask a mentor. In fact, you’ve already thought up some good questions.
2. One-time opportunities focus only on the questions you have rather than trust and relationship building.
3. One-time opportunities may involve more of a financial investment than mentoring. Meeting with a spiritual direction coach is a wonderful option, but you are paying for the time of a professional and should plan accordingly!
Your Mentor Should Not Be Your Only Teacher
I am sure I speak for many people when I say that we are often taught how to do things wrong. We learn about mistakes and failures, and that’s great. But it doesn’t teach us what to do differently. How does one become successful? What is success? Is there such thing as failure? These questions are important because our mentors don’t always give us the answer. They tell us stories, they give advice, and sometimes they even show us how to do something wrong. This is fine. It’s good to learn from those who have been where you want to go, but you also need to learn from those who failed along the way. And that’s why I think mentoring should include learning from both successes and failures.
Mentors are supposed to help us grow. They are supposed to guide us down the path toward success, but they cannot do that alone. In fact, I believe that mentors should always be teaching us lessons, whether they succeed or fail. If they fail, they still provide value to us. If they succeed, they still teach us lessons. Your mentor should not be your sole source of education. Instead, take classes, read, and talk to others who have gone before you. Learn from their successes and failures. Be open-minded. Listen. Don’t just accept what someone tells you without thinking deeply about it. Ask questions. Challenge everything. Because ultimately, you will find out what works best for you, and that knowledge will make you better.
Looking for a study on Mentoring?
As Christ’s ambassadors (2 Corinthians 5:20), we’re all called to “make disciples of all nations” wherever we live. God invites us to partner with him and live on mission every day, even in the mundane moments of life. We do this when we love people as Jesus taught the disciples to do, without stipulations.
Embracing Holy Interruptions: How Jesus Used Mundane Moments to Love People Deeply is a six-week Bible study that teaches people how to develop a disciple-making movement.
This is not a step-by-step instruction manual.
Jesus modeled using mundane moments to love people, build tension, and point them to God in a way that caused many of them to step from a curiosity about God to a fully surrendered faith. We can adapt his methods and learn from the examples in the Gospels today. This study aims to help people keep their eyes on Jesus and improve their inductive Bible reading skills while also learning to love their neighbors to the best of their ability. This 6-week study is available in both print and Kindle formats.