Mentoring - Giving the Gift of Ourselves
by: Ellene Meece
As the baby boomer generation edges into those silver years, the promise of a growing population of experienced and savvy mentors widens. Playing off the AARP commercial aimed at this generation showing several mature adults proclaiming what they would like to do "when they grow up," if you are in this season of your life, why not aspire to be a mentor to someone when you grow up? If you are young and just starting your career or business, how about asking God to show you your personal godly mentor to share advice, prayers and a wealth of knowledge only gained through experience.
Donald J. Wold made an excellent point in his article, "The Gift of Mentoring," when he said the greatest gift of a mentor is the gift of herself or himself. He went on to explain, "In this era of increased specialization and professionalization, we can learn certain skills that, though helpful, allow us to keep ourselves one step removed from others."
So, how would one give himself or herself as a mentor? God says, be a servant. "Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not merely his own interests, but also each for the interests of others" [Philippians 2:4 Amplified].
The same author mentioned above then captured the essence of servant-hood, discussed in chapter 2 in Philippians, (stop and read the entire chapter now if you want to see the supreme example of giving ourselves), when he wrote, "It still stuns me to think that our Lord served those He led. Since mentors are often viewed as those who have what mentees need or want, mentoring can quickly turn into a subtle game of power. When mentoring is a gift, however, we give ourselves as servants to those we mentor. We serve them by helping them become who God made them to be. That may include challenging, even confronting at times. Yet, a servant orientation allows a mentee's best interests to be the rudder in the relationship."
From this viewpoint, consider these characteristics to be of value in a true mentor:
Bottom line is, we can learn all kinds of skills to pass on to our employees, co-workers, children, grandchildren and other mentees who come into our lives, and still not give the gift of ourselves. But when we share our experience, godly wisdom and love from a servant heart, people know it and they are changed!
- Has the mentee's best interest at heart
- Does not always try 'fix' but rather guide
- Feels with them - celebrates and cries
- Sees things from their point of view
- Listens with their heart
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, http://www.Grandmastreasuresonline.com. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network and is on staff at the Meeker Chamber of Commerce.
A minister friend of mine shared what his Pastor told him when he launched out into ministry. "Go and Reproduce Yourself." The challenge of Mentoring will enhance our own and part of the mentoring should be them also bringing someone up behind them. My ministry is "Working myself out of a job," and then go do it again! Bless You Bro. Dave!
by: Herb Strickland Sr.