by Dr. Herb Fain
John C. Maxwell’s Mentoring 101: What Every Leader Needs to Know is the inspiration for this article. Mentoring others is a rewarding investment for both the mentor and mentee. As lives are changed, the structure of any organization or church is strengthened. Oftentimes, society views mentorship only through the eyes of the mentee. However, it’s important to discuss the significance, reasonable expectations, and the mutual benefits of mentorship. Fortunately, since spiritual leaders know the emotional, mental, and professional benefits of mentorship, they often engage in this an invaluable process.
Nevertheless, avoiding competition is one reason why more people don’t become mentors. There’s this belief that the mentee may surpass the skills of the mentor. However, this concern should not dissuade a skillful mentor. When leaders are working toward their fullest potential, they don’t distress over whether they will lose their position. Another reason why some leaders are dissuaded from acquiring a mentee is their sense of ego. Some people must be the center of everything. Therefore, they are unwilling to share the spotlight with a newcomer. But, sowing the seeds of success in another assists both parties in reaching their fullest potential.
Perhaps, one way to avoid concerns over competition and one’s ego, mentors must reevaluate their definition of success. Does one determine success by the number of awards they receive or the money he or she makes? If a person’s measure of achievement is determined by material and earthly rewards, then he or she may not see the value in mentoring. People should adopt a more biblical perspective of success. Instead determine success via the prism of living a purposeful life. Of course, along your spiritual journey, your purpose will evolve and grow like the mentoring seeds you plant. However, viewing high achievement through a prism of purpose may provide a greater sense of satisfaction in the mentor-mentee relationship. As both the mentor and mentee accomplish their goals, ensure they feel an individual sense of self-worth.
Once a mentor finds a mentee, it’s important to clear the pathway for his or her success. Here are few suggestions on facilitating the mentor-mentee relationship. After your mentee has learned the necessary skills for success, provide direction and a positive outlet for meeting their spiritual goals. Another issue is nurturing the creativity that your mentee has from the outset of the relationship. Remember not to squash their enthusiasm for Church building by constantly reminding them of obstacles. Thirdly, a sense of community is needed as a spiritual leader. Oftentimes, without the mentors’ direction, mentees don’t know how to form a community to support their efforts or purpose in life. Furthermore, mentees should see the value in the lessons you teach. Suggesting books, organizations, or conferences that fail to aid in building a strong spiritual center serves neither party any good. Remember, every recommendation should communicate the goals sincerely and effectively. By keeping these suggestions in mind, mentoring will always provide spiritual growth.