Establishing a set of ground rules for your mentoring relationship at the onset is just a way of reassuring your mentee that some basic expectations will be met, both ways. As you commit to your mentee, he or she will be expected to do the same for you.
Here are five basic ground rules:
1. Commit to a regular schedule.
It is important to ensure your meetings are regular. Don’t allow the mentee to decide to only meet you when he/she is having problems – you are a spiritual life mentor, not a fix-it doctor. Be sure to also include in your schedule some level of commitment to personal daily devotions and mutually praying for each other.
Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
2. Focus on spiritual transformation.
Both must understand that the purpose of the mentor-mentee relationship is to mutually encourage each other to make God the centre of our day-to-day lives, and not just to discuss God on an intellectual level.
Romans 12:2 – Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3. Keep each other’s confidence.
Confidentiality is a very important and fundamental rule so that both mentor and mentee feel safe to be vulnerable to each other. Authentic and open transparency with each other is necessary for “open heart” spiritual surgery that leads to healing, renewal, redemption and transformation.
Matthew 12:36-37 – But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.
4. Respect each other.
Every healthy relationship has healthy boundaries, it’s the same with mentors and mentees. Neither should call the other at all times of the day or night.
Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5. Keep things simple.
Often times, people give gifts to express their appreciation for someone. When the gift is too lavish however, it is best to graciously decline it. A mentor-mentee relationship should be bound by the unconditional and unfettered love of Christ, and not unintentionally be skewed towards a “paid” tutor type of relationship.
1 Corinthians 10:31 – So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.