Life On Life Mentoring
Mentoring is more than reading a book, it's requires a rub and transparency.
The pie chart below reveals that the majority of men prefer to meet with a spiritual mentor on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. But there is a hidden truth to this preference in that the best spiritual mentoring is not the imparting of information and education: You can read a book for that! Instead, it is a life on life process which requires regular time together.
Mentoring requires a rub (proximity + time).
Mentoring is best described as the influence we can have with others where our lives rub off on theirs in a positive way. It is also a place where our spiritual loyalties influence other men to deepen their loyalty to Christ. The story of our life gives our mentoring validation and allows those we mentor to observe our commitments, values, priorities, practices, and yes failures. This type of mentoring demands proximity and time (the rub) on a regular basis.
Mentoring requires transparency (imperfection + openness).
Another secret of effective mentoring is a willingness to be open about our lives, struggles, and spiritual challenges. Mentoring is not about having it all together or pretending that we do. Instead, it is in sharing how we have learned to trust God, parent, or lead with the imperfections in the messiness of life. The best mentors are those who are willing to be open about their struggles and point others to the one who has sustained them: Christ.
I believe the church in general likes to present a picture of a life put together. The reality, however, is that all of us struggle in areas of our life and everyone has public and private pain. As we choose to be transparent with those we meet with, they are encouraged to live the life of faith in spite of and because of the challenges of life. But that only happens as we are candid with regarding our struggles.
All of this explains why regularly life on life mentoring is so important. Over a period, mentors can see us grapple with life, trust God, make the right decisions, and stay connected with the source of our lives, Jesus Christ. And, we enjoy the fellowship that men can have when they pray for one another, share our struggles and seek the will of God in our lives.
For more information on how to be a mentor or mentor others, read:
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.