Searching for a mentor isn’t an unknown art form, but it requires proactive initiative. Below are some practical suggestions if you need/want a mentor.
Asking God for a mentor is the first step, but sometimes we can take action as well. Here are my thoughts:
- Look in the right places. At the risk of over-generalizing, it is usually easier to find quality advisors in church rather than the local bar. Not everyone at your church may be a good candidate, but I would bet God has placed some wise people near you. Ask around, watch, and listen to discover which folks are spoken about in high regard then pursue them.
- Don’t wait for the person to come to you. If I could share anything with a fellow seminarian, it would be this principle. At 21, I haven’t earned the right for people to approach and ask me to guide them. Conversely, men my senior shouldn’t be expected to approach me, tell me how “great” I am, and then ask to play a part in my life. Instead, I should humble myself and search for men to help walk me through the areas of life where I lack experience.
- LISTEN! Your mentor is not there to affirm your special qualities and potential. He is there to share and advise. Naturally, there will be times when God has given you an insight that refreshes the spirit of your mentor, but that is not the nature of the relationship. Ask genuine questions, and soak up his or her answers. You never know when you might need their advice. As time goes on, if the information your mentor is sharing is helpful and godly, then you have found someone worth emulating.
- Watch. My last suggestion would be to observe your potential mentor in every area of his or her life. If this person is going to be your mentor, their character should match up to their insightful words. Also, if you find yourself drawn closer to Jesus simply by observing the way your mentor lives, that person is worth following. Learning the nuisances of the Christian walk often happens best by observation.
Those are my thoughts. If you have anything to add, please do so in the comments. If you want to check out more of my thoughts on mentoring, click here.
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