During the year 2022, you may have a desire to be a mentor or mentee. Much can be learned in mentoring relationships as sharpening for the Lord occurs (Prov 27:17). Jesus mentored the twelve disciples. Paul had several young men he mentored as indicated in the books of Timothy and Titus. Mentoring takes on a variety of forms, but some common elements exist.
As I hiked the Hundred-Mile Wilderness on the Appalachian Trail recently, I observed several parallels to elements regarding mentoring. God’s creation has a unique way of presenting truths in a way that facilitates understanding. Hopefully, your understanding of mentoring will be enhanced as you hike this blog.
Prayer was one of the back bones of my hike. I prayed before, during, and after. Likewise, prayer is a huge part of mentoring. Praying about who to interact with, what to say, what to do, how to respond, what to discuss, and many other items (Eph 6:18) help align us with God’s agenda and empowers us with the Holy Spirit.
Along the trail, several things kept me going the right direction including the blazes, the GPS, the map, the signs, the sun, and direction from my husband. Similarly, the Scriptures provide things that keep me going in the right way of life (Psa 119:105). As I am in mentoring relationships, the focus is on living life God’s way with His Word as my guide.
I had the privilege of hiking with an experienced hiker (my husband) that researched the trail, helped me procure appropriate gear, pack lightly, and keep going. His experience was invaluable before and during the trek. As a woman, I am to be trained by older women and to train younger women in various roles and in character (Titus 2:3-5). Much wisdom can be gleaned from those that have gone through seasons before us.
On several occasions during the hike, my husband cautioned me of treacherous terrain and how to traverse them successfully. He also reshuffled items and lightened my load to make my pack easier to carry. Comparably, mentors share their life experiences and the gospel (1 Thess 2:8) to stimulate maturity and success in their mentees (Gal 4:19; Col 1:28).
Surprisingly, I had everything I needed and was able to finish the hike. God had led me to take the right equipment; prepare physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually; and pack nutritious, light food. Likewise, God equips and prepares me for the journey in life He has planned for me. I find I am competent by His Word and equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16-17) He has planned for me (Eph 2:10).
I pray these common elements of mentoring that I observed on my hike will spur you on in your mentoring relationships. Your trek in mentoring will be meaningful and fruitful as you look to and depend on the Lord!
For your consideration: Regi Campbell’s book, Mentor Like Jesus: His Radical Approach to Building the Church, Atlanta, GA: RM Press, 2016.