Hey gatherers!!! How was your weekend?? I spent mine with about 80 people, the majority of whom were junior and senior high students!! It was our yearly Winter Retreat and we headed up to the mountains for a time of deeper learning, crazy fun, sleepless nights and an awesome time making new friends and bonding with old ones!! I am exhausted but it was so worth the time and effort! What a privilege and honor it is to work with the leaders that I work along side of and to hang out and pour into these students who truly want more of God in their lives! What a beautiful environment for mentoring!!
So as I took a few minutes to look over last weeks homework, I was reminded that mentoring is like a relay race, where you pass the baton from one runner to the next. We older, "wiser" women (and men) have a glorious responsibility to run our race well and pass on what we've gleaned to the next generation! I'm thrilled that God has me in this place of youth ministry at this time in my life and I'm doubly glad that I have the opportunity to learn a bit more about biblical mentoring through this study and group with Elisa Pulliam!
It is crucial to make sure that we are explicity following Christ in our lives in order to be the mentors that He has called us to be! I've always been an encourager and I thrive on moments that I get to do this but this study is beginning to change the way I look at mentoring. It's giving me a bigger picture and its making me want to do a better job. Some of what we covered last week has to do with the acrostic "M- E- N- T- O- R- I- N- G".
M- eeting: This covers prayer, time, place, format, purpose, boundaries and permission; being prayerful about entering a mentoring relationship, praying before and after the times spent with your mentoree. It's crucial to remember that this mentoring responsibility is not about us but God; when we prayerfully consider the role of a mentor, we must be mindful that it is not in our power that we are able to encourage and influence, but it's God's power through us that allows this to even be possible.
E- ncouraging: This tackles the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It's important to understand how your mentoree recieves love and how you give it! I personally love to give words of affirmation and also give gifts....this is key in how I will be able to relate to the person(s) that God puts in my life for mentoring purposes. It also covers the need to encourage biblically. Looking at Philippians 4:8-9 covers what we should be thinking on and talking about and 1 Cornthians 13 gives us the biblical floor plan of how to love those we mentor.
N- oticing: Paying attention to more than the words that are spoken, digging deeper, beyond the surface to the heart of the matter and learning to read those God entrusts to us is all essential to being a good biblical mentor. This can be a challenge in todays fast paced life...most of us don't have time to even notice if our clothes match let alone what someone's body language may be saying. A challenge? For sure! Impossible? Not a all! Important? Absolutely!! Anniversaries, Birthdays, other important dates, their overall appearance, little things they say and much more can lead us to a spring full of information that once uncovered can lead to a beautiful story of healing and recovery. Slow Down & Pay Attention!!
T- eaching: This speaks for itself, although I can't just leave it here alone!! We looked at Titus 2 3-5 for instruction on the best way to be a teacher! I love The Message version of this verse....you can find it here!!! Continue reading beyond verse 5!! What a great and plain way to put it!! In this catagory we also looked at what our skills may be and how we can effectively teach these skills to the people that we mentor. I love how God is able to use every part of us for His glory!! From the pain and brokenness to the skills and gifts that He's given us, we are a well spring of opportunity if we make ourselves available!!
This week we will cover the rest of the acronym as we dig deeper into what biblical mentoring looks like!! I'm curious, have you ever been mentored or mentored others? Let me know!!!
God Bless <3 Lorraine