Category | Mentoring Youth

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What is Spiritual Mentoring?

  • “It is a dynamic relationship of trust in which one person enables another to maximize the grace of God in his/her life and service.” — John Mallison (Mallison, p. 34)
  • A mentor “is not someone who can give you all the answers. He or she is someone who can cry with you when there is no answer, someone who can weep with you when you are wounded and there is no healing. A mentor is simply a companion in your situation.” – James Houston (Rabey, Side by Side, 190)
  • Mentoring is a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on, and a kick in the pants.
  • “Mentoring is a relationship through which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources.” — Robert Clinton, Connecting. The God-given resources include wisdom, experience, patterns, habits of obedience and principles.
  • “Mentoring is a process involving people. Sometimes it’s a whole series of individuals that God brings into your life at various stages and for various purposes. In every case, those people are committed to helping you grow and perpetuate the learning process. If you stop learning and growing today, you stop ministering tomorrow.” (Hendricks, p. 51).

Counseling is a two-way relationship of counselor and client; whereas, mentoring involves a three-way relationship: the Lord, the mentoree, and the mentor. The Lord is the most important person in the relationship; the mentoree the second most important person and the mentor-the least important of all. The mentor is merely a facilitator of the deepening relationship between the mentoree and the Lord Jesus Christ.

A mentor is a person who helps a protégé move ahead in life. He is usually older and more experienced and therefore able to help the protégé get where he or she wants to be. The mentor clears the way, gives some travel tips and smooths the bumps. Occasionally the mentor helps the protégé develop the necessary skills to navigate an especially difficult turn in the road. The mentor is not so much interested in fixing the road as in helping the protégé to become a competent traveller. Here the mentor is a trusted guide rather than a tour director. Anderson and Reese identify 6 distinctives of spiritual mentoring (Anderson and Reese, 12)

  1. a means to enhance intimacy with God, ultimate identity and unique voice
  2. a way to recognize the already present action of God in the protégé’s life
  3. an effective model for personal development in character formation
  4. an effective way to discern God’s direction in decision-making
  5. a historically proven diet for the journey of faith
  6. an effective safeguard during boundary and transitional times in ministry

Biehl, Bobb Mentoring : Confidence in Finding a Mentor & Becoming One (Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 1997.)

Eims, Leroy. The Lost Art of Disciple Making. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.

Harper, Melody. “As Iron Sharpens Iron… Mentoring Young People”, Singapore Baptist Convention, August 2001.

Hendricks, Howard & William. As Iron Sharpens Iron: Building Character in a Mentoring Relationship. Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1995.

Hendricks, Howard G. “A Man and His Mentors”. Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, pp. 47-55.

Mallison, John. Mentoring to Develop Disciples and Leaders, Scripture Union, NSW, Australia.
Rabey, Steve and Lois, General Editors. Side by Side. Navpress, 2000.

Stanley,Paul D. & Clinton, J. Robert. , Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1992).


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