In my last post I shared three principles necessary to mentor those called to vocational ministry.
- Model Christ-like Behavior.
- Encourage and Affirm
- Never Cease Praying
It was an encouraging look at principles in the Word, which we will be continuing this week. Follow with me as I share three more principles.
- Take the Time.
Spending quality time with your mentee is essential to an effective mentoring relationship. Notice what Paul says in I Thessalonians.
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (I Thessalonians 2:8) ESV
When you share “your very life” with your mentee, it will cost you; but it will be worth it! You will have to:
- Set aside your own agenda
Sometimes a mentor will have to say “no” to some things so that he can spend quality time with his mentee. You must make the effort to attend the activities that are important to him or her.
- Expect Divine Appointments
If you make investing in others a priority, you should expect divine interruptions! I can tell you from experience that these interruptions really serve to provide teachable moments that are so vital to a mentoring relationship.
- Take the Initiative.
Be proactive when it comes to spending time with your mentee. Instead of going on a ministry trip or speaking engagement alone, take your mentee along and let him in on what’s going on behind the scenes.
- Offer Accountability.
A mentor must hold his mentee accountable for God’s agenda in his life. We all need someone in our lives who loves us enough to ask the hard questions and call us to account. This is especially true for those who have been called to vocational ministry! We must offer accountability for things like spiritual growth, time spent with family, taking care of themselves physically, and ministry performance.
A healthy biblical mentoring relationship should never be abused; but the truth is that we can’t expect what we don’t inspect.
Help your mentee by asking the right questions that will cause him / her to realize Godly goals and objectives. Questions such as:
- What does God want for you? Do you want what God wants?
- How do you want me to hold you accountable for your goals?
- What has kept you from doing what you agreed to?
- Be Ready to Listen.
Listen between the lines. When you are listening to your mentee, notice what he or she says and what they don’t say. Body language, attitude, tone of voice, etc. are all important.
- Ask deep questions to help draw out the issue rather than make statements that tend to cause your mentee to close down.
- Be slow to give advice – direct your mentee to come to his own conclusions.
- Ask yourself “What is my mentee feeling behind what he is saying?”
Those of us who help mentor those called into vocational ministry have a burden on our hands which God will be faithful to aid us with, for it’s incredibly important. If you find yourself in this position, be sure to take these principles into account, as they will serve to impact not just the person you mentor, but all of the people they will reach, as well!