Mentors are important people. Where can we learn from others who have gone on before us? Who will listen to our questions about issues we are facing—really listen? Who will pray for us, both in person and on an ongoing basis as we slog through tough decisions or navigate daily life as student, employee, parent, citizen, or person of faith? Do we feel safe asking our real questions, or are we afraid we’ll get shut down? Or judged? Or get that glassy-eyed look that says someone isn’t really listening at all?
The apostle Paul, church planter and problem solver, had a gift for raising up other people to do good work and for bringing his “mentees” before God in prayer. He used a very direct form of speech that might seem “in your face” today, but he got the job done in tumultuous times. He freely shared his guidance and pointed out what was helpful and unhelpful, or just plain wrong.
I watch our worship leader, Lois, mentor our younger singers. She encourages and coaches them, and then gives them opportunities to shine. One of our tech leaders, Ken, has encouraged one of our teens to run the slides during worship. She is doing an awesome job.
I have been given the privilege of mentoring a group of clergywomen in their first calls. They are a blessing and inspiration to me. So, mentoring sometimes goes both ways.
Who are you mentoring? Who is mentoring you? Maybe it’s time to look around for someone to help or to learn from.