I’ve talked to many people who are intimidated by the name “mentoring.” They don’t feel like they’re knowledgeable enough, experienced enough, or mature enough, to be a mentor. So instead of seeing that as a reason to step out of their comfort zone and grow, they instead use it as an excuse to remain where they’re at.
Some people are also intimidated by the name “discipling.” They think that’s just the pastor’s job. Or they think they aren’t “holy” enough to help someone else follow Jesus. Or they just simply don’t know what it means.
Don’t get me wrong. Good mentors should be growing in knowledge of God, deepening in their love for Jesus and other people, and maturing in their faith. And I wouldn’t say that every Christian should be mentoring someone.
But too many Christians set an impossibly high standard in their minds for where they need to be at spiritually before God will use them to mentor or disciple someone.
God Will Grow You
Mary, one of our volunteer mentors at ATLAS, is a good example of this. When her church first shared about ATLAS and this idea of mentoring, she pushed it off because she didn’t feel like she knew the Bible well enough. She told herself that she didn’t have anything to offer someone as a mentor.
Yet she still felt God nudging her to do it, so she obeyed. As she went through our ATLAS Mentor Workshop, she knew God was promising to be with her and help grow her through mentoring together with her mentee.
Mary has now mentored six different women through ATLAS. She says each mentee has been a tremendous blessing to her and her faith in God has deepened through mentoring.
But she undoubtedly has also been a blessing to each of these other women simply by showing up. She was obedient to the Spirit’s nudge, even though at first the thought of mentoring was intimidating to her.
Like with Mary, God will grow you through mentoring. A mentoring relationship is just as essential to a mentor’s spiritual growth as it is to a mentee’s.
When I first started teaching an adult class at my church, I had a heavy sense that when I taught I needed to speak rightly of God (Job 42:7) and I needed to teach in a clear, effective way for those I was teaching (Colossians 4:4). The responsibility of teaching others then helped me grow in deeper ways than when I just learned for my own sake.
The same is true in mentoring. When we have a holy sense of helping someone else follow Jesus, we will want to grow in new and deeper ways ourselves so we can better serve the person we’re helping.
Do You Feel God Nudging You?
Has God been nudging you to find ways to help someone follow Jesus? Then consider these four things.
Be in prayer – Begin by praying that God would be with you and help you. Ask him to help make clear who you should mentor.
Be equipped – There are many good books and resources our there on mentoring. We have a resource page on our website with many good books, articles, and videos. We also offer a mentor training to help prepare you for a mentoring relationship. We are currently updating our training and hope to offer it again soon this fall.
Be mentored – Sometimes it’s hard to do something that you’ve never seen done before. One of the best ways to prepare to mentor is to be mentored yourself for a time.
Be obedient – If God is nudging you to mentor, I encourage you to be obedient. Take the first and just talk to someone you trust (maybe a friend or pastor or even us at ATLAS) about how and where to start.
God Will Be With You
The great thing about anything God calls us to is the fact he is with us through it. Trust his promise of his presence and take a step today.