Mentoring – Am I Ready For This?

Sunday afternoon, I received a text from someone at my church asking me if I would consider being his mentor.  It’s funny that this would come up when it did.  I had been driving in the car with my family listening to one of Michael Hyatt‘s This Is Your Life podcasts about 4 Commitments for Building a Successful Long-Term Stronger Marriage.  During the podcast, Hyatt mentioned a resource that he used with his mentoring group.  Each year, Hyatt works with a group of men in a mentoring relationship where they strategically work together over the course of the year in a mentoring relationship designed to take men to the next level in their relationships with God, their spouses, and their families.  The mentoring relationship is also designed to help men grow in their leadership skills.  For more about Hyatt’s mentoring groups, check out his blog post on the subject here.

So when this text came in, I was a little knocked off my feet.  I don’t take the responsibility of this type of relationship lightly.  So it is with prayer and much thought that I carefully consider this request.  This isn’t a new thing.  Paul and Timothy modeled this type of relationship.  Paul spent considerable time, effort, and prayer teaching and training Timothy.

As I was doing more thinking and researching on this subject.  I came across this great list in an article posted on the Enrichment Journal.

Potential Mentor Inventory

You may be wondering whether you are cut out to serve as another person’s mentor. Answer these questions to help you evaluate your suitability:

  1. Are you a person of patience? Do you take the long-range view?
  2. What is your area of competence? In what skills are you qualified, and what is your specific area of expertise?
  3. How strong are your interpersonal skills? Are your relationships generally healthy?
  4. Are you process-oriented? Are you capable of sticking with people over time while they develop?
  5. Are you willing to take risks?
  6. Are you willing to accept responsibility to help someone else grow?
  7. Is your character worth emulating? Would God approve of someone adopting your behaviors, attitudes, values, language, and mannerisms?
  8. Are you willing to make time for someone else?
  9. Is there any sin or unhealthy situation that you have not addressed that could possibly damage your relationship with another person?
  10. Have you settled the question of Christ’s lordship over your life? Are you fundamentally committed to honoring Him in every area?

—Adapted from As Iron Sharpens Iron, by Howard and William Hendricks (Moody Press, 1995).

This is definitely something that is stretching me right now.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and I’d appreciate your prayers as I consider this request and responsibility.  Thanks!

Have you ever been in a mentoring relationship (as the mentor or as the mentored)?  What did it look like?  How did it help you grow?  What suggestions do you have for those considering this type of relationship?