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What Is Mentoring? Part One

May 20, 2018

If you Google mentoring, there seems to be more on the minutiae of defining what mentoring is and what it is not, rather than on how to mentor. You come across words like sowing, harvesting, accompanying and catalysing. It can vary depending on situation and duration.

 

The Bible is a good place to start. In my view yes, it does talk about mentoring. One of the best examples is Jesus with his disciples, undergirded by the great and new commandments of love (Mark 12:30, 31 and John 13:34). A predominant process of church growth (which has grown now to become a massive body people) for Paul  was one of mentoring, particularly as described in his journeys to the churches and also his letters, especially to Timothy. In some ways, it can be seen as a form of discipleship. For me, in practical terms, I define mentoring as an intentional proactive relationship of someone further along the journey than the other, resulting in growth of the supervisee. That growth often goes deeper than developing knowledge and skills to attitudinal changes and internal transformation. This broad definition of mentoring really allows anyone to take it up, whatever your age or culture and in some cultures where it really matters, whatever your gender is. As long as you have done some journeying in life (which we all have) you can get alongside someone who has not gone so far and maybe even become their mentor.

Why mentor?

 

To make a difference. Mentoring is so aligned with generativity, making things happen.

 

Surprisingly, if we can mentor, we can be a long way to travelling on the road to an amazing purpose in life. In some ways it has to do with answering the question, “Why on earth am I  here!? Sounds like someone telling you off for being around. Another way of looking at it is literally asking why we are here on this earth. Heaps of things come to mind, but one thing which we all seek after its significance. Having an impact. Making a difference. Sounds selfish in some ways, doesn’t it? Strange that we can be part of the equation for good without being selfish. Even stranger in some ways is that God actually wants us to take mastery and to get good things to happen. In fact, the first thing God told man was to go and take mastery, grow and make a difference. (The actual words are in that very 1st chapter of the Bible, Genesis: 1: 28, God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”)

 

Dr John Warlow

https://www.drjohnwarlow.com/

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