Earlier in this series, I wrote about how I’d once heard that one of the best ways to encourage growth in the Christian life is to continually be mentored, and be a mentor. In the Bible, this is what it says in Titus 2:3-5:
3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
I believe that we are called to mentor. The older women are called to “urge” the younger women. It can be a life-changing experience for both people involved. I shared how my life was changed because of the women who have mentored me, but I’ve also been changed by the wonderful girls I have had the privilege of mentoring.
It doesn’t matter that they’re younger than me – I still end up learning a lot from them. I am inspired and challenged by them, and it is true accountability to keep my spiritual act together by having my own regular devotions, and making sure that my personal relationship with God is continually growing.
If I’ve got nothing going on, I’ll have nothing to share with them.
Now, I realize that when it comes to finding someone to mentor, I have a slight advantage: Ben and I have been involved in ministry since we first met each other at Red Rock Bible Camp. When we left camp, we got involved in youth ministry. After a number of years doing that, we came back to camp. There have been constant opportunities to mentor.
So what do you do if you are not married to a youth pastor or a camp director? It’s a little bit tricky, because you can’t really force yourself on somebody – it kind of has to be their idea.
Here are a few suggestions to try, as you search for your victim:
1) Become the type of person who mentors.
When I’ve gone searching for a mentor, I’ve been drawn to strong godly women, who are so connected with Jesus that it easily flows out of them. I think that people with similar hearts’ desires find each other. Or God brings them together.
So if you are wanting to mentor someone, I think it starts with a strong connection to Jesus. Study your Bible. Read a ton of good books. Get yourself a mentor, if you can. Be growing continually.
2) Become available.
In the different churches I’ve attended, there have been opportunities for teaching Sunday School, volunteering with the youth ministry program, or mentoring newly baptized church members. Go find out who’s in charge of organizing that kind of stuff, and let them know that you’re interested in getting involved.
Just like I mentioned in this post, God knows the desires of our hearts, and He can provide, even when things are looking pretty impossible.
And while you’re praying for God to miraculously provide someone for you to mentor, you might as well pray for Him to purify your motives and your heart. Are you wanting to mentor just for your own good, or do you feel a true desire to invest in the life of someone who is searching and growing? Having someone hanging on every word of “wisdom” that comes out of your mouth can be very flattering….and can easily go to your head.
Basically, don’t mentor because it boosts your spiritual ego. Do it because God is moving in your heart, His love is flowing through you, and you want to live in obedience to Him. (If you’re like me, that will be a constant struggle in prayer as you learn how to be a mentor.)
Is mentoring hard? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. To have the opportunity to watch someone growing and maturing in Christ, right before your eyes, is a beautiful gift.
Any other suggestions out there on how to find someone to mentor?