What to Look for in a Mentor

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
To find a mentor for you and someone you can mentor to, be real-real in Christ! The key is to be growing in Christ and exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit. A person who listens is real. Be vulnerable and honest, which makes you real in the lives of others...

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3.

To find a mentor for you and someone you can mentor to, be real-real in Christ! The key is to be growing in Christ and exhibiting the Fruit of the Spirit. A person who listens is real. Be vulnerable and honest, which makes you real in the lives of others. A person who owns up to mistakes and learns from failures makes him/her real in the lives of others. The call is given and now it is up to you as to what choices you make; by being in a mentor relationship, you have the opportunity to grow and to share the values and character of our Lord, deepening your relationships and personhood so you are able to cope with and even grow through jubilations and the crises we all experience. The mentor you are to be and are to choose is all about being and growing in Christ.

Biblical mentoring is not about just formal learning or even being strong in your doctrine or knowledge of the Christian life. It is about being willing to learn and grow; it is about building a relationship with Christ so you can build up yourself and others too.

How can this be structured? There is no best or set way; you can do this by sharing life experiences such as a hobby or task. As you hang out, you can share and listen. You can have coffee and go over a lesson, read a passage and ask some inductive questions, read a book and talk about it over lunch; you can also have a more involved formal training. This is about modeling Christ, listening to one another, answering questions, and not being afraid if you do not know the answers, but willing to find them out. This is about sharing your life and what you have learned from God's word and your life in it. Sometimes, it is just enjoying one other's company. And how often? Mostly, it is once a week or twice a month, but it should not be less than twice a month to really build.

For us to be good mentors, we must have real, authentic faith. Our eyes, as well as our trust and faith, must be on Him. God must have us in Him, all of us-every aspect (Phil. 3)! Why do we need to allow ourselves to surrender to Him? Because we will face challenges, spiritual warfare, and problems. They are inevitable, unavoidable, and unpredictable, and no one is immune! How we deal with them is crucial for our contentment and conviction. And this is what speaks to others; your personal growth is the best word picture to a struggling will and mind. Testimony is key. We cannot deal with life effectively without Christ as Lord over our daily lives! Allow Jesus to give you the attitude of joy and the ability to persevere, so you can be a mentor. This attitude of joy is a key attribute in order for an athlete to excel on the field as well as for a Christian to grow in the Lord. What will you do? Surrender to Him or live unto yourself (Job 14:1; Psalm 34:14; John 3:30; 2 Cor. 4:7-12; Gal. 2:20-21; James 1:1-4; 1 Peter 4:12)?

If we respond to mentoring with a "but," we are also saying but to our Lord when He calls us to Follow Me. Thus we may never truly follow. Without being mentored, you will never grow in the depths of His precepts or be able serve Him fully. If you chose not to be a mentor, you will be putting off someone else's spiritual growth too. Your church may be headed for trouble if a lot of people do this. It will remain in the "status quo," saved perhaps, but uninvolved, sitting in a pew with no impact or reason for being a place the worships Christ. If you have doubts, think them through. IS TV or being too busy with trivial things more important than Kingdom things? Do they have more to offer you? Do they have a greater purpose or impact? Will they follow you into eternity? Life is short, so make the most of it and just go and follow Him to be mentored and be a mentor! Be real and be committed! Do not let hesitation or the pleasures of this world or your sin distract you from life's greatest opportunity and adventure…His call! Embrace His call to mentorship with unmovable trust and be assured that His plan is the best plan.

Take this to heart: Jesus never asked anyone to do anything without enabling them with the power to do it. Let this be your encouraging motive!

Here are some passages to consider on mentoring and discipleship: Proverbs 18:24; Matthew 7:18-24; 19:28-30; 10:1-42; Mark1:1-5; Luke 9:23-25; 48; Luke 14:26-27; John. 8:31; 12:20-26; 14; 15; 1 Cor 3:5-11; 2 Tim. 2:7; 1 Peter 3:15; 1 John 5:3.

If you need mentoring tools,we at Discipleship Tools train pastors all over the world, and we can and will do the same for you! We have developed over 1,000 resources for you over the past thirty years; they are biblical and they work. Why try to do it alone? Also check with your own denomination; they might have resources too.

© 1999, 2008, Richard J. Krejcir, Ph.D., Discipleship Tools, www.discipleshiptools.org

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