Having spent the past 8 years in the church and 5 of those in some level of leadership, one thing that has been surprisingly absent from my life is a mentor. I’ve had people who I’ve looked up to, and people who have built into my life at different points along the way. However I can’t name someone who I could say has deeply invested into my life and been a long-lasting mentor to me (my parents excluded, of course. They are incredible mentors).
In the past I’ve done a little bit of reading on mentoring. At some point I read that a mentor should seek out someone to mentor, rather than a mentoree seeking out a mentor. I’m not sure if this is right or wrong, but then again, I haven’t really had anyone to ask.
Looking back on my life, I realize how much I have missed having someone invest in my life. It makes me wonder if when people look at me, they don’t see enough potential to be worth mentoring.
What made me think of all of this was working out at the gym today.
When I first started getting healthy, my first health mentor was my girlfriend, who guided me with my nutrition. She continues to be an incredible support when it comes to making healthy dietary choices.
Shortly after, I signed up for a personal trainer. Under my trainer’s guidance, I was able to lose a lot of weight in a considerably short period of time. He led me through a lot of exercises I wouldn’t have known to do on my own. Unfortunately, I only remember a small number of the exercises I utilized during that time, so now I’m almost back to where I started with very limited knowledge.
Today as I was working out, I really wished I had someone guiding me, encouraging me, telling me to go for that last rep or to hold on to that core stretch just a little longer.
It made me also wish I had the same in other aspects of my life.
My dad has been an incredible help with my finances, and has taught me how to really budget my money. Unlike my personal trainer, he has taught me some great guiding principles that I can use even when he’s not there. I’m still learning, but I’ve made a lot of progress in the past 6 months.
In terms of my spirituality, I have really looked up to a few people. However, along the way either through life circumstance or my own mistakes, these relationships are no longer what they were. In my 8 years as a Christian, I haven’t yet found a solid, stable mentor. Or, more accurately, maybe I don’t have the potential to be a mentoree.
If you’re a leader, are you mentoring anyone right now? If so, know that the investment you are putting into that person’s life will continue to multiply for many years.
If you’re a leader and you aren’t mentoring someone, take a serious look at some of the younger people in your life. Guaranteed there is someone who could benefit greatly from your guidance and friendship.