Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On Mentoring

I think churches need to spend more time doing mentoring. A mentor is like a person who has already walked a path and then turns around and shines a light on it for someone else. It takes a personal commitment by the mentor and the person or person he or she is mentoring, but I am not sure that we can say that is the reason why people are not doing more of it. Speaking for myself and for friends in my church, I think many people would be open to the idea of being a mentor, but no one has approached them and asked for that kind of help.

What many people fail to realize is that it is not the responsibility of the mentor to approach people about mentoring. The mentoring relationship does not work well that way. The person being mentored has to be actively seeking help to learn and improve in some area of their life or the mentor can do little to help. Only a person who is willing to make efforts to improve will approach another person about being a mentor.

Even though some people might appreciate the help of a mentor, it can be a scary thought to think about approaching someone about being a mentor. Often the people who can help us the most are people we do not know very well, so we may be uncertain about how they will respond to the idea. If we do approach someone about being a mentor, we should not take it as rejection if the person refuses. There are many reasons why a person might refuse and very few of those reasons have any reflection upon the person who is making the request.