You Are Mentoring the Next Generation, Whether You Know It or Not!
Many people are promoting and are “buzzing” about mentoring and life coaching these days.
Those who understand the intense truth that this opportunity is not to be viewed as a hobby, a way to gain a following or an opportunity to get on a soapbox and “preach someone to exasperation” with your opinions, know it’s a serious commitment.
It’s absolutely NOT an opportunity to have a cohort of minions to be your adoring grunt workers.
Mentor: men·tor: Definition: An experienced and trusted adviser.
Synonyms: advisor, guide, encourager, counselor, consultant
Before Elijah’s departure to heaven, there was an “in-between” period in which Elisha walked with Elijah and this is where he received his invaluable mentoring.
Whether it’s Elijah and Elisha, Moses and Joshua, or Paul and Timothy, Naomi and Ruth, Deborah and Jael, there’s a lot to learn about mentoring from these biblical examples.
A few years ago I ran across a verse that has come to define what I feel my purpose as a mentor/mother/nurturing advisor is.
Here it is:
“Even when I am old and gray, please don’t forsake me my God, until I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come,” Psalm 71:18.
Mentoring is all about declaring His power to the next generation and challenging them to be not just honorable, but to be humble examples of the light and life of Christ they proclaim to walk in.
As a mentor to whatever generation that you are effecting, you will often have a tempting voice tell you that it’s not worth the exhausting and “heart testing” conversations and endless dialog over cups of coffee that go into investing in the lives of those you mentor.
That voice also would whisper that you are “washed up, irrelevant, “un-cool” or not as dynamic as other more visible shining “stars” and maybe…. (Here’s the ultimate slimy beat down)….
….. You need to just back off a bit and turn the whole role of leading others into truth and straightening out crooked paths, …. just turn them over to those who seem to have a “zippier zeal” than you do.
One of the biggest lies out in the Christian community is that you reach a point where another generation “revs up its engines” and stomps the gas pedal and takes off with a vision.
NO. That’s not how it works….
Wise is the mentor who lovingly prepares those who will listen (and are determined to follow through) – that surrounding themselves with those who have walked where they are heading, and who know where the “land mines of life” are, they will avoid many pitfalls.
“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” Ephesians 4:15.
If you’re an older Christian, it’s your responsibility to initiate mentoring relationships with younger Christians. It’s not really their responsibility to initiate that relationship with you.
And guess what? Some will actually resent that you think they need mentoring! (But wait until they hit a few potholes.)
If you happen to have the sad and unfortunate event take place where you are dismissed or are treated with disdain while mentoring others, know that you are in the company of Jesus who had thousands who loved him when He fed them, healed them and raised them from the dead.
However, when he began to talk of personal development (time management, attitudes, poor habits) and serving others in all humility, the numbers rapidly dwindled.
Just remember that the final close-knit group of people who walked with Jesus, turned the world upside down with the truths Jesus not only taught them, but which he also modeled for them.
Even unto death.
A mentor points the way, draws a map, provides a torch of soft but bright light and sustenance for the journey and challenges ahead for those he or she mentors.
If an individual that a mentor has poured their life into sadly becomes a Prodigal, the mentor does not go and make the way back to “reason and rightness” easy for them.
Instead, they light a candle in the window that says to the weary and striving heart, “There is always help and hope here for you, as long as we can commit to truth and a hunger to grow up into the full maturity that Christ our Kingly mentor requires of us.”
“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing,” James 1:2-4.
With all due respect you friends, get off the sidelines and get in the game.
There’s work to be done. We’re talking about a war here, and every generation needs the seasoned soldiers to teach them how to fight, how to lead, how to serve and how to grow.
EVERY GENERATION is watching another generation.
“Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to everyone,” 1 Timothy 4:15.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the USA and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.