At one point or another, we’ve all felt inadequate to tackle the journey that was in front of us. Many of us are looking forward at a grueling uphill battle today. It’s in these times where we often find ourselves wishing that we had someone alongside us who has been through what we’re going through now.
Mentorship is biblical. In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul commands, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Paul, as a mentor to Timothy, urged Timothy himself to do just as he had, to father and raise those that he had been entrusted.
Here are six tips for being a better mentor to those around you:
- Be Fully Present – It is your privilege and calling as a Christian leader to share what you’ve experienced with the next generation of leaders. If someone thinks highly enough of you to come to you as an expert in your area, let them know that you value them also. If you’re unable to fulfill a request immediately, set apart a time where you can focus in on that person and share your knowledge.
- Be Transparent – A mentee is looking to gain a deeper understanding of what it is that brought you to where you are today. Don’t hold back on the good, the bad, or the painful stories that shaped you. Share how God has worked in your life this year. Share your triumphs this month. Share your personal struggles from today.
- Ask More Questions – Encourage deep thought from your peers. If you always answer the question, it will be more difficult to solve issues independently in the future. Jesus often taught his disciples in parables, which encouraged deep understanding for those hungry to learn the meaning behind them.
- Honor Confidentiality – Part of being transparent with someone is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Who will be willing to share with you if they’re not secure in the fact that their information is safe in your hands?
- Follow Through on Your Commitments – Show your peers the importance of keeping your word. In the book of Numbers, Chapter 30, Moses spoke to the leaders of the tribes of Israel, commanding them, “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word.”
- Encourage Networking – The truth is, we can’t always be there for all people. Plus, getting many perspectives from leaders of various backgrounds and areas of expertise is healthy and can provide for a more well-rounded view.