What is mentoring, and why is it important?
“Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19 NKJV
What does this mean to you? What do you think of when you hear the word mentor, or mentoring?
– verb: an experienced or trusted advisor
– noun: advise or train
I volunteered as a cook at Faith Builders for one year, and as part of their volunteer program, they offer mentoring. The three of us cooks and the two housekeeping girls were together in a mentoring group, with two older ladies as our mentors. One was married, the other was single, and they had such diverse personalities and life experiences that between them we were given a much wider perspective than if we’d just had one mentor. Our meetings were never dull or boring, and I greatly appreciated their wisdom, encouragement, and practical sense of humor. We were each required to write two journal entries a week to bring to our weekly meetings, and then our mentors would read them later and pencil in comments before returning them to us. I was blessed and challenged by many of their responses. We girls took turns sharing our life stories in the group setting, as well as bringing questions to discuss. Being in the same mentoring group helped us volunteer girls get to know each other better and deepened our relationships so we could be a stronger team. I am so grateful to my mentors for challenging me to leave my comfort zone behind and dream big with God, trusting him with my future and allowing him to open my heart to experience and enjoy Him, and all of life, more fully.
Not every mentoring situation can be as focused and intense as the mentoring program at Faith Builders, but any time you invest in the life of another person to strengthen your relationship and encourage growth, you are obeying Jesus’s command to make disciples. Another way to say it is to just be a very intentional friend to someone older or younger than yourself – talking often about where you’re at and what you’re going through with the purpose of giving and receiving advice and encouragement. Since my time at Faith Builders, I am blessed to have other ladies speaking into my life, encouraging me to continue pursuing God and his people, despite the pain and brokenness in our lives. We will never be perfect, this side of heaven, but we can continue to tear down the walls we build to protect our hearts, replace lies with truth, and commit to loving those around us with the unconditional love and forgiveness that God has given to us.
We were designed for relationship, and there is something so wonderful and beneficial about learning from people who have walked the road of life ahead of us. We love to see a little boy trailing his daddy, learning to be just like him, and we 20 and 30 year olds need to be just as excited to learn from the wise, respected 50 and 60 year olds in our lives. Have you ever asked anyone to be your mentor, or is there anyone in your life that you should be mentoring?
Thank you Bethany for being willing to share with us! I’m grateful for your friendship. I appreciate what you had to say and have been grateful and blessed by the ‘mentors’ I’ve had in my life. – Damarus