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Important mentoring principles: TIPS

Mentor / Principles
TIPS is an acronym for mentors who are Transparent, Intentional, Praying and Strategic. It is an easy way to remember four important mentoring principles. 

(See Chinese versions: 简体中文基督徒辅导繁體中文 > 基督徒辅导)


1. Transparent

Mentors should be prepared to be transparent and vulnerable with other people. Sharing some of our own deepest struggles and triumphs in Christ will help our mentee see the reality of how God works. Testimonies are very powerful!

It can be as simple as saying something like;

I was struggling with anger and resentment towards my co-worker this week because he back-stabbed me to my boss. I was tempted to say unkind things about him to others. But the Holy Spirit reminded me that I should love my enemies and that God is the final judge, not my boss at work.So I prayed for this “enemy” at work, that he would know the power of God’s love. Things at work haven’t changed but I have never felt so much peace, knowing that God is good and He is ultimately in control. I am still praying and waiting to watch how the spiritual climate at work changes, as I continue to invite the Holy Spirit into my work and my workplace. Can you pray along with me for my co-worker?”

James 5:16-17 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…

2. Intentional

Look out for opportunities that we can use to help our mentee grow spiritually. We could encourage them to attend:

  • Christian conferences
  • Bible study groups, such as Bible Study Fellowship etc.
  • Mission trips, local or overseas
  • Biblical tours to Israel, Turkey, Greece etc.
  • Volunteer programs for the poor and the needy
  • Prayer walks etc.

Ensure that we keep in touch regularly to see how our mentee is doing. Communication may lapse because of travel schedules etc. Be the first to initiate the next appointment.

Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Bring our mentee alongside us as we study, practise and live out our spiritual journey, just like Jesus did with His disciples! Let our mentee observe and participate; we can pray for other people together, hold fundraisers together, go on mission trips together etc.

3. Pray

Mentoring should not just be about a change of externalised behavior but an internalised change of heart. Prayer is critical for real change to happen. We will never be capable of meeting all of our mentees’ needs but we can trust that God will complete His good work in them where we have failed.

Philippians 1:6 ESV  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

We should model Christ-centred prayers at all times. For example, we should not just pray;   “God, please help my brother/sister find a job with a nice boss.” 

Instead pray; “God, please show my brother/sister Your ultimate purpose for his/her life and how You are preparing us all for greater things. Bring a job that will bless and equip him/her in ways he/she never thought possible. Thank you for Your reminder in Isaiah 55 that Your ways are higher than ours, just as the heavens are higher than the earth.” 

When we pray, use scripture as well. For example, we can encourage a sister who’s afraid to witness to her friends and family; “As Your Word says in 1 John 4, ‘perfect love drives out fear’.”

Romans 1:9-12
 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.   

4. Strategic

Be strategic as we mentor. Don’t just ‘go along with the flow’! Our number one purpose should be to help our mentees to develop a personal relationship with their Father in Heaven, not just to become better in some aspect of their lives. So encourage mentees to seek God often and help them walk towards that.

It’s also helpful to guide our mentee in understanding him/herself better. There are free online personality tests and spiritual gifts tests and we should use them. Such tools really help mentees understand how they are wired and the areas in that they could serve God best.

Let us be intentionally encouraging and uplifting in all our interactions with our mentees. They may just need a little lift to climb up great heights with God.

Isaiah 54:10 ESV  For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.


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