Has a mentor changed your life? Mentoring might change yours or someone else’s.
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” ― Phil Collins
This week I have been thinking, therefore writing, about experience. Experience is essential in life and that experience allows for us to develop knowledge and wisdom. If we do experience anything and gain knowledge and wisdom through it, then we must teach and share it with others. This is why I feel it necessary to address the importance of mentoring.
Mentoring is necessary for the growth of individuals, families, the Church, and communities. Without walking through life with either an individual or group, we miss out on an important aspect of gaining experience. God gives us experiences in our journey for the very purpose of passing what we learn on.
We all must (I know this is bold, but when you think about it, we have all been a mentor in some way), however some of us have doubts of the importance of mentoring. I am listing the top 3 reasons as to why mentoring is valuable to us, but also to those who are the mentees:
1) Jesus told us to do it!- In the great commission given by Jesus at the end of Matthew 28 we see the words “Go…make disciples…teaching them…” We have learned about the glory of God and the good news of Jesus and it would be irresponsible of us to hold on to that knowledge without sharing it. However, we must also be teachers and guiding others in the right way to live in the world as followers of Christ.
2) Personal Development- As the quote above from Mr. Collins states, we become learners when we teach others. While we mentor individuals or groups we learn amazing things about ourselves in the process. We learn about what upsets us, what inspires us, and what brings us energy. It allows for us to develop new skills too. We may not be confident enough to make new friends or feel qualified enough to influence another individual. While mentoring we develop the skills necessary to be qualified. You will never know what influence you will have until you take the necessary steps to get involved in the life of another.
3) Growth- Think about what happened to the disciples when Jesus asked them to follow Him. They were a hodgepodge of individuals that He took under His wing as their rabbi. They weren’t special individuals in society; in fact, for the most part they were individuals that had zero value at all. While they were with Jesus they discovered the relationship God wanted with His creation. They learned how to love and bring peace to those who needed it. They discovered a whole new reality and purpose as they walked with the Savior of the world. They grew into influential members of society.
As you become a mentor and an individual or group is guided by your leadership, they are redefined. You have the ability to give them a new understanding of their potential. You can give them an opportunity to serve, to experience what you have experienced, and you can watch them grow in the process. Being a mentor is essential for communities to flourish and churches to grow.
What about the mentees? You aren’t the only person who gains something out of the deal, the person you are serving benefits as well.
My fourth grade teacher was one of my mentors. She taught me a lot in the little time I was under her influence. She sat and taught me how to handle my anger. She helped me understand math. She allowed me to express myself, but engaged in conversation to assist me in my communication skills. I am not sure if she knew how much she did for me.
I am sure I am not a rare case. So, I am listing three ways people being mentored benefit:
1) VALUE: When I was mentored, I gained a sense of value. I felt like someone actually wants to spend time with me. They were sacrificing their time for me to achieve something more. They believed in me and made me feel like I could do something great someday.
2) RELATIONSHIP: There are so many young people, even adults, who feel alone. They are longing for someone to care enough to consider them a friend. Relationships are key for thriving in life. Far too many people are lacking healthy and deep connection with other individuals. This is an equal reward for both mentor and mentee.
3) VISION: I don’t think I felt like I had a positive future as a kid. Even into middle school, I doubted I had potential. I bought into lies and I had a poor self-image. The mentors I had allowed me to see past my present into a broader horizon. They helped me see that I had the ability to push beyond statistics and do something with my life. My vision became clearer and I was able to see further.
Mentors have the ability to broaden the outlook in the lives of their mentee, but they experience a reciprocal feeling in return.
Mentoring is worth it. Find a way to do it today.
Question: Are you a mentor? If so, how? If not, what has kept you from it? How can the Church benefit from more mentors?
Visit Bobby at BobbyBenavides.me.