Intentional Mentor Relationships
INTENTIONAL MENTOR RELATIONSHIPS
We become like those with whom we spend time. That is why mentor relationships are important for every man. Use the following suggestions whether you are seeking a mentor to invest in you or find yourself ready to pour into the life of someone else.
FINDING THE RIGHT MENTOR(S)
The ideal mentor is someone who is further along in their faith journey. They do not necessarily need to be older, but life experience usually brings greater wisdom. They do not need to be an expert in every aspect of manhood. It is okay to ask one man to mentor you on marriage, for example and someone else to coach you on fatherhood, your work, etc. Here are a few ideas on finding a mentor:
- Ask God to help you identify someone you respect enough to speak into your life.
- Decide in what specific areas you would like to have this person mentor you such as marriage, ministry, finances, spiritual growth, parenting, etc.
- Ask the person to consider mentoring you for a specific season rather than leaving the time frame open ended. For example, “Randy, I’ve observed how you operate as a husband. I need to learn from someone like you. Would you consider spending time mentoring me to help me become a better husband? Specifically, I would like for you to mentor me for the next four months. During that time, I would like to meet with you three or four times for either coffee or lunch, my treat. I would like to meet for 50 minutes each time, and I will provide you a list of three to four questions at least 48 hours before we meet. I would take responsibility to request the meeting times. Please think about this, and I will call you tomorrow to follow up.”
- Call the next day. If they are unable or unwilling to meet your request, approach someone else in the same way. If they are open to mentoring you, schedule your first meeting to occur within ten days.
- At the end of the specified season, it is okay for you to go a different direction or to ask if they would be open to another specific stretch of time.
FINDING OTHERS TO MENTOR
Who can you encourage and coach toward becoming a more Godly man? Some men are hesitant to ask for a mentor which is why those who are willing and able to do so should pour into younger men. Look for someone who is FAT. Not heavy, but someone who is Faithful, Available, and Teachable.
- Faithful: They have demonstrated maturity, and you see greater potential if they are given the right encouragement and coaching.
- Available: They seem hungry to learn and would take your investment in them seriously.
- Teachable: They usually respond well to coaching and instruction.
When approaching someone to mentor, use similar guidelines to those you would use asking to be mentored. A few suggestions:
- Ask God to help you identify someone who would benefit from your encouragement and coaching.
- Decide the specific areas in which you would be willing to invest in this person (marriage, ministry, finances, spiritual growth, parenting, etc.).
- Do not feel awkward about making the offer. Your goal is not to say “I’m so brilliant. I think you need me to mentor you.” It is rather to say that you see potential in him you would love to help unleash. For example, “Would you consider me mentoring you in this specific area for this certain amount of time? I will set the meetings, and I will provide you with a list of things to be thinking about before we meet."
- At the end of the specified mentoring season, reassess whether both of you would like to continue for another specified period of time.