When I first felt led to start a blog, I was full of doubt. I asked God multiple times, “Are you sure you have the right person? Who would listen to anything I say? I am no expert in joyful living.” But through constant prompting, I wrote, pushed publish, and prayed for God to work.
Over the past year of writing, I’ve learned its okay that I don’t have it all figured out. As I learn, I share, and God uses my lessons to encourage others in similar seasons of life.
But recently I felt a different prompting from God, “now take what you are doing online and do it in your real life. Find women you can pour into face to face.” And all the doubts came rushing back.
I questioned God again, “Are you sure? Am I ready to mentor?” As an answer, He brought Sue Moore Donaldson into my life with her book Table Mentoring.
Am I ready to mentor?
In chapter 3, Sue addresses this question head on:
Who should mentor? You?
Who should be mentored? You?
Yes and yes.
Why the first “yes?” You are uniquely qualified to mentor another because your life experience, lessons, growth, family and education are uniquely yours. As much as I like to say, “That happened to me, too. I’m just like you!” I’m really not. And you are not like me.
That’s a comfort and a miracle.
A comfort because we need to know we are special, especially created by God in the womb with our own stamp of nothing-like-it-except-for-her. She’s the one and only one! One of life’s basic needs is “significance” and God made it so from the very beginning. Here’s why we are significant:
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:13,14
Others may know more than I do on a given subject, but only I know what I know. And God may want me to give that slice of knowledge to someone in need. Granted, it may only be a slice, but He brings fruit from the smaller endeavor, and I’m grateful.
So besides your uniqueness among millions, your confidence in God, and your humility before God, what does it take to be a great mentor?
A growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
That’s it. That’s the main thing.
I didn’t say a perfect relationship or sinless existence. Perfection and sinlessness is for later on when none of us will need to mentor or be mentored.
But qualified mentoring does take a pressing on mentality. Pressing on to know and love Christ better and deeper. As Paul, again the model mentor, cried out passionately to the Philippians:
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Philippians 3:12-15 ESV
Paul put himself in the mature camp, but he knew he needed to keep pressing. And he did. “I press on to make it my own.” To mentor well means we keep on pressing to make it our own. We share our own stories, our own walk with Christ, our own victories and losses and pressings to know and love Him more. That’s all. A going-on-with God til He comes or we go.
After reading these words, I smiled to myself because God already taught me this lesson: A growing relationship with Jesus and the willingness to share about it was all I needed, God would do the rest. But, I also needed to hear those words from someone else. I needed this reassurance from a Christian woman further along in her journey than I.
And I realized, that’s why we all need to mentor and be mentored. We need truth and encouragement spoken into our lives by other believers.
If you are wondering like I was, am I ready to mentor? You will find this final advice from Sue helpful:
If you feel God leading you to mentor, ask yourself:
- Do I love Jesus more today than ten years ago? One year ago?
- Do I trust Him for the unknowns in my future?
- Do I know some of His promises in His Word?
- Do I live like I trust in those promises?
If you answered: “Sort of. I’m working on it.” You are ready to mentor. Paul wasn’t perfect, just pressing.
If you think you know everything, think again.
If you know one promise in God’s Word, you are ready to mentor that one promise. Ask God for someone to share it with today.