5 Keys To The Mentor Relationship
The Mentor Relationship: 5 Keys
Hey, fellas! Today, we're digging into a topic that's crucial for personal growth and success — mentorship. Throughout history, mentors have played a pivotal role in shaping godly men. For example, consider Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, and Jesus and his disciples. The power and effects of mentorship are undeniable and beneficial. So, today we will look at some simple keys that will spiritually charge this experience for your life.
When we turn to the Bible, we discover mentorship was the basis and the core practice from the beginning of the Bible. The Old Testament Law highlighted the importance of passing on wisdom and knowledge from generation to generation (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), and mentoring was the key. And then turn to the New Testament and consider Jesus, who was easily the greatest mentor of all time. He handpicked twelve men and poured his heart and soul into them. Their lives were forever changed, and they went on to change the world. We are having this conversation because of Jesus's mentorship with twelve men. Talk about power. Therefore when we step into the role of being a mentor and then actively and intentionally mentor another man, we become a partner in the ancient mission many have called — the Great Commission.
But most men understand this. The problem they have is understanding what to do. So today, I would like to give you a framework for thinking about mentorship that will help you demystify the process and jump into the greatest mission godly men can ever participate in.
Let's break it down into five keys:
Key One | Get Your Motives Right
Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions. — 1 Timothy 1:6-7
First things first, fellas. Before you can be an effective mentor, you must assess yourself. As Paul said to Timothy, you need to ensure that your motives are right. This is because some people get into mentorship for all the wrong reasons. Based on this text, if you are doing it for personal glory, you are doing it for the wrong reasons, which leads to pointless bloviating and inflated egos. And this is not why we mentor. So if you are thinking about mentoring or discipling someone, are you doing it for the right reasons? And here is why this is important. You are not the mentor. Jesus is. Scripture is. The Spirit is. You are merely a follower and humbling, leading another man into the same following. Don't blow this first step. If you get this wrong, all the other steps will be wrong because your motives impact everything.
Key Two | Get To Know Their Motives & Obstacles
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the [Peter and John's] hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit... And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me." — Acts 8:18-19, 24
A crucial aspect of effective mentorship is understanding your mentee. This is where most mentors experience initial concern that they won't have the knowledge, skills, or ability to help. But this is still the right place to begin. Only the mentee can reveal the best place to begin and where they need to grow.
The key here is to keep asking good questions. Invite them to express their spiritual aspirations, areas of challenge, and even a sin struggle. By actively listening, you'll gain valuable insights into wrong motives and desires and discover obstacles. This is the key. Recognizing the motives and obstacles that hold your mentee back is vital. These barriers come in various forms, such as self-doubt, fear, or sinful influences. By helping them identify these obstacles, you will, over time, drive them toward positive spiritual change.
Key Three | Aim At Goals Together
You have heard that it was said, "You shall not commit adultery." But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. — Matthew 5:27-28
I love that Jesus tells us to rethink our spiritual goals. He tells us our goals need to be set on the right goal. He does this repeatedly through the Sermon on the Mount. But remember, goal setting is not the goal. The goal is to be like Jesus, which is impossible without the Spirit of God. But setting goals helps us to take steps in the right direction. They mentor us, but they don't make us. Therefore we have to set goals with a mentee. And we should do this with them. It helps men make tangible what is often intangible and abstract. Remember, you can set a spiritual goal of being more spiritually mature, but this will never be tangible enough for another man unless you make it more measurable. First, I would encourage your mentee to identify one specific goal they want to achieve. Make sure it is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound — SMART, if you will. And then keep this goal front and center until they have made specific progress on it. I promise doing this together is worth the time, and the outcomes you both experience are much better.
Key Four | Focus on Behaviors and Skills
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. — James 1:19-20
I love the Letter of James. It's practical. And men like practicality because they respond to being told what to do. And this verse is a good example. Be quick once. Be slow twice. I can understand that. So get practical. Recommend avoiding negative behaviors and then recommend positive behaviors, routines, and habits to embrace. And make sure they know how to do it. Give them the skills they need to overcome challenges. Encourage them to try a new behavior and make adjustments as needed so they will form new patterns. And keep adjusting it till the behavior becomes unconscious to them.
Key Five | Hold Them Accountable
Accountability is a part of the secret sauce to formalized mentorship. Regular check-ins, updated direction, and spiritual support are critical components. Hold them accountable at the top of the next meeting and listen to how they respond. Celebrate their wins, and help them bounce back from setbacks. Just being there is critical.
So there you have it. Five keys. But remember, mentorship is always a two-way street. While you will guide and inspire another man, you'll grow along the way too. So, step into and discover the incredible high-speed growth potential of two men intentionally doing life together. It's a powerful combination.
Contact me at vincemiller.com for assistance and materials to support your men's group or small group leadership.
And live all in for him, who lived all in for you.