Talk to someone about mentoring another person and the first reply is usually “I can’t do that!” Most potential mentors suffer from a poor self image, believing that they are not good enough or qualified enough to mentor. Mentoring can be an intimidating concept and usually comes with a few fears that need to be addressed in the heart.
I’m Nobody Special:“I don’t have anything special. I don’t know my bible like… and cannot teach it well. I have never led a bible study and I am certainly not going around proclaiming myself as a role model or someone to be looked up to.”
“Superstars” have neither the time or adaptability to spend time mentoring a specific person. They can develop inspiring talks and encourage large groups of women, but individuals are the only ones who can make that call to a man/woman once a week to find out how they are doing and encourage them through a difficult time. It is that individual that will share that specific truth that is relevant to their lives and circumstances.
When God calls us to do something, He is also faithful to empower us to do something. Although I may not feel adequate, my adequacy comes from God and not myself and He will help me to complete that which he has called me to.
This is Risky:“Something like this is too dangerous to my privacy and personal breathing space. It will mess up my schedule and I have other responsibilities. Won’t this get out of hand?”
Risk and a life with Jesus go hand in hand. Jesus took risks in spreading the gospel and so did His disciples. If we consider ourselves followers of Jesus, we may need to reconsider some of our thinking in terms of comfort and convenience. Risking ourselves in relationships is part of the Christian walk.
However, commitments of time can be managed by being focused and having clear cut off times, or dates for time spent with mentees. You alone decide how available to be, but developing a giving and inclusive lifestyle makes this easier to manage.
I don’t know how:“I don’t know how to disciple or mentor someone, what will I do when I meet the person, what will I say, what am I supposed to do?
This is what training in mentorship is all about and seeking training is as far away as a book on mentoring. You engage in the process of being trained yourself, in being able to train others. But more importantly, the Holy Spirit is available to furnish any moment-by-moment guidance or insight you may need. He has a knack of putting you in situations that He has already equipped you for, yet you did not see that equipping process happening.
With God’s equipping and seeking out training in mentorship from others who pursue mentorship ministry, you position yourself to be better able to know how to do it. But in the end, the Holy Spirit is the one who equips you with “everything you will need for life and godliness.”
The final decision is if you are willing to forgo your fears and enter into the adventure of what God will do in the lives of others. As you meditate on this decision, pray for God’s guidance and help in deciding on being a mentor.
Think you have never been mentored? Write your age in increments of five or ten years on the left side of a blank piece of paper. Then go back in your mind to that period to anyone who taught you at least one thing about living wisely or having a godly lifestyle. You will find yourself delighting in the way God has put specific people into your life to teach you what you would have never learned all by yourself. You probably didn’t even realise that you were being mentored.