7 Reasons Young Men Want a Mentor

Almost 25 years ago, Robert Coleman (author of The Master Plan of Evangelism) challenged me to spend the rest of my ministry investing in the next generation. Even as he gave me the mandate, beside him was a student who was traveling with him for this trip—a young student into whom Dr. Coleman was pouring himself. He was doing what Jesus did as He made disciples, and He was modeling what he pushed me to do. 

I’ve tried to follow his lead over the years, and I better understand today why young men (particularly those called to ministry) want a mentor. Here are some of those reasons:

  1. They’ve often not had an older Christian male invest in them. Neither their father nor any church leader has not given them one-on-one shepherding—and they want that gift. They’re often afraid to ask for it, but they want it. 
  2. They understand the value of teamwork and collaboration in general. I’m thinking particularly about young seminarians today, many who want to plant churches with a team or serve on a church staff that is genuinely a team. They want others to give input in their lives—beginning with a mentor. 
  3. They long to see genuine faith lived out. Authenticity is a huge deal for this generation. They’ve had enough of surface-level, cultural Christianity, and they’re looking for models of deep faith. 
  4. They want to see faith in action in all of life. They want to know how to be a Christian in a secular work environment, how to love their spouse as Christ loves the church, and how to raise their kids in the Lord. They’re looking to share life with a brother—not just meet occasionally. 
  5. If they’re called to do ministry, they’re often overwhelmed by that responsibility. I give them credit for recognizing the seriousness of a ministry calling, and I understand their anxiousness about leading a church. They’ve seen too many churches divided and dying. 
  6. They’re sometimes afraid they’ll fall if they try to follow God alone. They’ve grown up in a culture where the fall of ministers of the gospel is often quickly public. When you see enough of it happening, you see your own vulnerability. 
  7. They want someone to teach them basic life skills. Sometimes it’s as simple as helping them develop a budget, make insurance choices, paint a room, or work on their car. They are willing learners if someone gives them time. 

Men, I challenge you as Dr. Coleman did me many years ago: invest in some young men. 

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