People often ask me about being a spiritual parent or a mentor. I have already addressed the issues of selfishness and self indulgence that an authority figure in someone’s life could seek. Or the value that both parties receive. But there is more to it. Many ask me “why do you do it?” I think the answer is because someone did it for me. Whether it was Jack, Brian, Keith, Darryl or anyone of the men and women who participated in my life, what they did for me was immense. What was bigger was the ability I have to “pay it forward”. Just as I was drawn to these men by the power of God and His goodness, others are drawn to me. My ability to “return” that which was sown in my own life can be returned through helping others in the process of mentoring.
And the result? You get notes like this…”You’re an big part of the encouragement I get for anything I do. Thanks for being a super supporter!”
What you give away to those you mentor, causes the groundwork to be established for the mentee to mentor others by the leading the Lord. God tells us in Matthew 28:19 to, make disciples of all nations. By mentoring or spiritual parenting, you are giving response to the “great commission”. One may never be able to measure the value of mentoring in earthly terms, (Though I hope so!)but only from heaven’s perspective. One of the ways we get to give back for what God has given us and invest in the kingdom, is by sowing into the lives of others.
People ask me frequently about spiritual parenting or mentoring. First, I am not an expert. I make mistakes. I love people but sometimes I mess up. Mentoring or spiritual parenting takes on various forms. It is often a senior to junior relationship, but I have had a couple where the folks in my life were older than myself. And that does not mean that there are not peer to peer relationships.
All relationships require the leading of the Lord. And one must be open to His leading, His wisdom. It is Him that will bring folks together. Be alert to what God is saying. Is he speaking to you that you need a mentor? Has He introduced you to new people that you immediately sparked to which appear to be godly?
Sometimes the beginning of relationships are found in the decisions, issues and uncertainties of life. Sometimes it is the need of counsel.
There are many benefits I believe to the process of mentoring or spiritual parenting. Present and futuristic.
For me, my spiritual walk was enhanced and strengthened by the men and women who spent time with me, seeking into my life and sharing theirs. I will never stop being grateful for the men and women who have sown in my life. Their willingness to take a sometimes “problematic” person under their wing and bring instruction and love will never be repaid in full!
When these people enter my life, sometimes I feel like I never have enough. But God always does. And when they succeed in something for the first time I am so thankful!
Some five or six years ago, a young lady moved into my life. She spent a few years listening to me, receiving counsel, instruction and love. One night she was visiting my wife and I (Driving an hour plus each way.) and my son showed up. He was not saved at the time. They met and it was not long after he was saved. They ended up marrying and even as I write this are having their second child.
Sometimes the benefits you receive are out of this world!
Please give consideration to the process of mentoring or spiritual parenting. I often think of this scripture when I think about these things. 2 Corinthians 1:4 (AMP) Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God.