We all need someone to walk alongside us in our Christian faith who will help us grow closer to God. It is especially helpful if we are mentored by good Christian role models who are spiritually mature and sound in their understanding of God’s word and His character. How do we identify and find a mentor in Christ?
Ephesians 2:3-5 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
We ought to seek to constantly grow in our Christian faith and be challenged in areas that may be ‘blind spots’ to us. A mentor can offer objective insight and prayers that we may not know to ask for ourselves. Mentors can come from various backgrounds and help us in any season of our lives.
1. Be prepared to commit
Every mentoring relationship requires some commitment. So before asking someone to mentor us, ensure that we are ready to commit to some basic ground rules. See Ground rules in mentoring relationships.
2. Ask God
Next, we can pray for God to lead to us to a good mentor and and keep an eye out for how He leads us.
3. Keep our eyes open
At the same time, it is helpful to identify a few people of the same gender whom we respect for their lives in Christ. These people do not necessarily need to be a lot older than us, they just need to be able to speak into the areas of our lives in which we need spiritual guidance in. Practise wisdom in whom we identify. See Who shouldn’t mentor.
4. Get to know various potential mentors
Wherever possible, get to know potential mentors on a casual basis first, before broaching the topic of mentoring. Invite them out for a coffee and find out about their values and background and be open about ourselves. That way, we will build some initial rapport and give our potential mentors the opportunity to get to us know as well.
5. Identify the ability and availability to support
Once we find out more about our potential mentors, we will be able to ascertain if they will have the capacity and commitment to mentor someone.
6. Explore the topic of mentoring
When we sense that we have built a good mutual understanding with a potential mentor, don’t be shy to ask, “Have you ever considered mentoring someone like me?” and observe how he/she responds.
7. Pray together
Even if they may appear surprised at first, we can check if he/she would consider mentoring us and suggest that we could both pray about it for a few weeks before committing to a more structured mentoring relationship. If the answer is ‘yes’, then praise God!
8. Keep seeking
If the answer is ‘not yet’ or ‘no’, there is no need to be discouraged. We just need to either ask the next potential mentor or wait on God to lead us to the one He has prepared for us. Throughout the process, we can always rest assured that God has the best plan for us.! God will answer our prayer for a mentor in His perfect timing.
Ephesians 3:17b-21 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.