4 Things To Look For In A Mentor - Trans World Radio Canada

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  • May25Thu

    4 Things To Look For In A Mentor

    May 25, 2017 by TWR Canada Women's Ministry Team
    Filed Under:
    Discipleship, TWR Women of Hope
    Mentoring is a way to learn through experience you don’t have to live. School and books teach us principles and techniques, but mentors teach us how to interact and learn from others. The value of a mentor is in the things outside of school they can teach you.

    When you’ve got a screaming baby, you don’t need a book you need another human to listen, share their experience and offer practical helps. Mentors help us navigate life situations and changes with less anxiety and guide us through those big next steps we’re tentative about.

    What kind of person does God want you to be? Do you need to learn patience, empathy, encouragement, authenticity? Have you considered meeting with a personal mentor?

    There’s lots online about finding a professional mentor, someone further up the ladder in your workplace or profession who gives advice and shares wisdom. A personal mentor is like that, only you focus on issues of personal growth. The Bible points to three men as an example of this relationship: Paul, Barnabas, and Timothy. If we each consider ourselves as a Barnabas, then we each need to seek out a Paul – a wiser, more experienced individual further down life’s path. And a Timothy, someone less experienced, perhaps younger, to share your experiences with. If you can do this, it’s a very effective way to keep yourself grounded, humble, and growing as an individual.

    The first step is to know what you want from a mentor relationship. How do you know if the relationship is working if you don’t know what you want from it? How can someone decide if they want to be your mentor if they don’t know what kind of time commitment or emotional involvement you’re asking for?

    1. Look first to those you already know well. It’s difficult to approach a stranger or acquaintance and ask them to mentor you. Look to the women from other parts of your life – work, volunteer work, church, etc. Watch how they conduct themselves publicly and privately, how they treat their spouses, their children, their friends. Observe how their worldview influences how they live their lives and love others.
    2. Look for someone who possesses traits you desire for yourself. It’s a great strategy to choose a trait you want to focus on developing in yourself.
    3. Look for someone you can trust. The nature of a personal mentor/mentee relationship requires mounds of trust and respect. This is someone you must be comfortable sharing your deepest emotions with, a person you can trust with your fears and secrets. This must be someone whose advice you would listen to, whose opinions and critiques can be taken in a spirit of love.
    4. Look for someone who will tell you the truth – even if you don’t like it. What’s the point in having a personal mentor if they won’t share their wisdom or experiences with you? This is the whole point. You share something you’re struggling with, and a mentor will lean in and point out your flawed thinking, your weak spots. They’re not a counsellor or a therapist, it’s not their job to tell you what you must do. They come alongside you and offer the wisdom of their experience. “Have you considered this…” "So what you’re really saying is…”

    Have you ever considered having a personal mentor? Is this something that might work for you? How are you pursuing ways to become more Christlike? What steps do you take to grow personally, to become the kind of person God wants you to be?