This beautiful month of September, we are focusing on the importance and blessing of mentoring. It’s a topic that stirs up my soul in a deep way! Today I’d like to welcome Sue Moore Donaldson, of welcomeheart.com, to the blog to share her heart for women coming alongside women.
Table Mentoring: Me? A Mentor? Are You Kidding Me?
Who should mentor? You?
Who should be mentored? You?
Yes and yes.
Why the first “yes?” You are uniquely qualified to mentor another because your life experience, lessons, growth, family and education are uniquely yours. As much as I like to say, “That happened to me, too. I’m just like you!” I’m really not. And you are not like me.
That’s a comfort and a miracle.
A comfort because we need to know we are special, especially created by God in the womb with our own stamp of nothing-like-it-except-for-her. She’s the one and only one! One of life’s basic needs is “significance” and God made it so from the very beginning. Here’s why we are significant:
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13,14
Others may know more than I do on a given subject, but only I know what I know. And God may want me to give that slice of knowledge to someone in need. Granted, it may only be a slice, but He brings fruit from the smaller endeavor, and I’m grateful.
Only this morning I read an excellent article on hospitality. I might know a bit about that topic, but I’m not the only one who does! (Just ask Martha Stewart!) I could say, “I’m not the expert, so I can’t teach someone else what I know.” Comparisons trap us inside our insecurities and keep us from mentoring when we get the opportunity.
So besides your uniqueness among millions, your confidence in God, and your humility before God, what does it take to be a great mentor?
A growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
That’s it. That’s the main thing.
I didn’t say a perfect relationship or sinless existence. Perfection and sinlessness is for later on when none of us will need to mentor or be mentored.
But qualified mentoring does take a pressing on mentality. Pressing on to know and love Christ better and deeper. As Paul, again the model mentor, cried out passionately to the Philippians:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
Philippians 3:12-16 ESV
Paul put himself in the mature camp, but he knew he needed to keep pressing. And he did. “I press on to make it my own.” To mentor well means we keep on pressing to make it our own. We share our own stories, our own walk with Christ, our own victories and losses and pressings to know and love Him more. That’s all. A going-on-with God til He comes or we go.
Yesterday a conference director called about the possibility of my speaking and she asked me: “Tell me when you first fell in love with Jesus. When did He grip your heart?” She went on: “Tell me how He is entering your world right now and making a difference in your life?”
Both great questions and I loved answering them. I know I love Jesus more today than fifty years ago, but that’s when it started. I can tell you right now how He’s leading and training and teaching and loving me. Today. Right now. He keeps after me, and–by His mercy and grace, I’m keeping after Him. Not perfectly. I’m not finished loving Him. He still has mounds of work to do in me. But He doesn’t want me to wait til Glory to share my walk with Him with someone else.
Same with you.
If you feel God leading you to mentor, ask yourself:
- Do I love Jesus more today than ten years ago? One year ago?
- Do I trust Him for the unknowns in my future?
- Do I know some of His promises in His Word?
- Do I live like I trust in those promises?
If you answered: “Sort of. I’m working on it.” You are ready to mentor. Paul wasn’t perfect, just pressing.
If you think you know everything, think again. If you know one promise in God’s Word, you are ready to mentor that one promise. Ask God for someone to share it with today.
Thank you so much for this encouragement, Sue! I certainly feel challenged to keep praying for God’s choice for a mentor AND a mentee in my own life. How about you?
Come back next week as we dig a bit further into mentorship, and as we discuss what happens in our lives when we aren’t participating in this relationship.