Have i ever been a mentor to someone? It’s hard to say. I HAVE had a lot of regular weekly ‘coffee, breakfast and working through a chapter of the Bible or some book’ sessions with a whole bunch of different guys over the last couple of years though, in various contexts and places.

As i continue to participate in NaBloPoMo, otherwise known as National Blog Posting Month, in which the invitation or challenge is to post a blog every day, i decided to continue my answer to this prompt they so kindly prompted:

Do you have a mentor? Tell us about him or her. Are you a mentor to someone else? Tell us what that relationship has added to your life.

mentorI already looked at some aspects of being mentored over here. But what about mentoring? It sounds so official and what if I am not qualified enough?

Well, the way I see it, if you can shine a light on a step that someone else has not yet walked on, you have it in you to mentor.

I would suggest that it will generally be someone younger than you and usually someone of the same gender, but those are not fast rules.

And for me, possibly the greatest gift of mentoring someone is Time. Being intentional about building relationship with another person over time, giving them a space to speak and be really heard [a safe place where they can free to share anything without risk of judgement]. Being a cheerleader who is present for them whether times are good, bad or less than photoshopped.

I also imagine a lot of mentoring is done in secret. It is not so important that someone knows or understands that “they are being mentored” – what is important is that someone knows they are loved and important enough for you to spend time with them.

WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

Jesus hung out with 12 men for three years. And so i guess another term for ‘mentoring’ could be ‘discipleship’ because ultimately that is what it is. And He didn’t work through the latest book or program with them. He ate meals with them and He demonstrated His mission on earth and for a while they got to observe Him and then at some point He gave them the opportunity to step out and try it themselves. So often Jesus stepped away from the crowds that would gather around Him, simply to teach His twelve. And within that there were even times where He would take Peter, James and John aside and give them special attention and opportunities.

Sometimes it can look like a cup of coffee every now and then, or perhaps, if you’re an outdoor person, an invitation to a hike or a regular run or game of squash. I personally believe it is likely to be more beneficial to meet on a more regular and set-timed basis [and I have always viewed this as a two way thing – as the older person I might have lots to share through experience or from having been taught certain things, but the other person will have the benefit often of seeing life or a passage through younger and fresher eyes and so may see things i have never thought of and so as i pour into them, i am always gaining something back, although that is never the point].

 So at the moment I have coffee or breakfast every Friday morning with two younger guys and we are working through the book of Ephesians a chapter at a time. When I was in Stellenbosch it was morning coffee or breakfast [spotting a trend? caffeine and food!] with a number of different guys over the six years i was there, sometimes one at a time but often two together. Back in East Claremont days, three of us used to meet once or twice a week in the earlyish morning for prayer [when we would all wake up].

We worked through a chapter of an inspiring book or the bible every week and then would come together and share something that had ‘jumped out at us’ or that we had found particularly meaningful, or brought a question about something we didn’t understand. There was also time to check in in terms of how the week had been, or current temptations we were struggling with or help with decisions that had to be made.

And at the end it really looks like friendship. 

The question i have for you is, who are you mentoring or discipling? And what does it look like? Would love to hear some stories in the comments…

 

 

 

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