Why You Need a Mentor, and How to Find One

Yesterday, I listed a question about finding a mentor as a primary one for young church leaders. A few years ago, I addressed this issue in a study called Mentor: How Along the Way Discipleship Can Change Your LifeHere’s why I believe every believer needs a mentor:

  • It’s biblical. We can name them. Moses and Joshua. Jethro and Moses. Naomi and Ruth. Jesus and His disciples. Paul and Timothy. Paul himself told us that elders must teach the next generation (Titus 2).
  • We’re created to be in relationship with others. When God declared it was not good for Adam to be alone (Gen. 2:18), He was showing us that none of us is created to be a loner. He expects us to walk together with others.
  • None of us knows everything. I don’t know anyone who would say he knows all things, but I do know unteachable people who live that way. We’re not so smart that we have nothing to learn from another.
  • All of us have blind spots. By definition, a “blind spot” is something we don’t see. We need someone else to help us see ourselves fully.
  • Life will sting sometime. It happens to all of us. The proverbial floor drops out beneath us. Our plans get redirected or shattered. Life hurts – and we need someone to help us carry the burden when it does.
  • People are God’s gift to us. Dr. Bill Lane, the mentor of Christian musician Michael Card, put it this way: “When God gives a gift, He wraps it in a person.” We miss this gift when no one walks beside us to guide and encourage us.

So, how do we find this mentor? Here are some steps to take.

  1. Forget about how old, trained, or smart you are. You will need somebody to pour into your life until you die.
  2. Pray for a mentor. God alone creates “divine intersections” when one life crisscrosses another in such a way that both lives are strengthened. Ask Him to show you those intersections in your life.
  3. Look around. Watch for believers whose lives you trust. Look for those whose walk with God you want to emulate. Pray about asking one of those persons to mentor you.
  4. Ask . . . and keep asking until you find a mentor. Consider asking someone near you or someone who might be available only via electronic means. Don’t stop looking and asking until you find somebody. 
  5. Be grateful for whatever a mentor might offer. Even if your mentor cannot give you all you want, be thankful for what you get. One hour with the right mentor is worth weeks of waiting to meet.
  6. Invest in somebody else yourself. While you seek a mentor, you have something you can teach somebody else. You might find that God will direct you to a mentor after you begin giving yourself away.

If you’re seeking a mentor, direct someone who might invest in you to this post – and then ask. I’m praying for divine intersections. 


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