I feel like I woke up one day and I no longer had mentors. I am not sure how it happened, but it did. No longer do I have any older man in my life that I regularly look to for guidance and consult on hard issues that I face. What happened?
I was lucky to have a father that I lived with all the way until I was 18 years old. Having an older man in my life that was interested in my future was a huge blessing. My dad wanted me to make good decisions and he was there to give guidance when it was needed. I also had a relationship with a youth pastor that always encouraged me to choose God's best for my life and protect my integrity. I would say that these two men (and a few others) had a remarkable influence in my life that helped me to mature into the man I am today.
Something strange happened around age 23-24 though. All of a sudden I no longer had older men speaking into my life. What happened?
Titus chapter two talks directly to the idea of older men and women pouring into the lives of younger men and women. In the church it is a responsibility of older men to help guide and support younger men as they mature and love their families. The same is true for women. Are we doing this as a church? It is easy to talk about how churches fall short of the bar set in scripture - but it is sometimes hard to take personal responsibility for it. If the church is failing - people are failing. So, who is responsible for making sure there are mentor relationships active in the local church?
I suggest that if we want to solve this problem we need to have the older generations of Christian men and women find younger believers to mentor. If this is you let me give you a few pointers as you step up to the role of mentor:
- Don't mentor someone who doesn't want a mentor. Futile.
- This doesn't have to be formal - just pour into the lives of the younger generation.
- Mentoring is not focused on "fixing" problems, it is focused on encouraging good choices.
- Mentors don't have to be perfect, they just have to be good encouragers.
- A mentor is not a boss. If you want a boss to tell you what to do with your life, join the military.
- Having a mentor doesn't mean you aren't a mentor yourself. Everyone should be focused on helping and encouraging a younger person in the faith.
Who can you mentor?
Who can mentor you?
Are you willing to allow yourself to be influenced by someone else?