The Making of Mentorship

I can't imagine life without mentorship.

Not only is it foundational in terms of discipleship, but it bears unique power to shape, mold, influence, and counsel. Many of us are who we are due to appointed people who guided and crafted our minds and hearts when we were younger.

To counsel, at its core, is to extend God's authority to others, strengthened by the ability to relate and associate.

And tonight, as I craft Sunday's lesson plan, I'm reminded how essential it is to integrate reality with personal application, whether story telling or outside interaction. A wise man recently told me that to be "real" is the highest compliment a leader can receive, largely in part it provides weight and lift to being a genuinely imitable disciple of Christ. Our ability to model the Gospel is heavily handicapped if one lacks the aptitude and drive to be real to others.

This past week, I've continued to ride the waves of last week's trip to California, an excursion that opened up the vents within to receive fresh vision.

And perhaps the greatest reminder granted during my stay, in addition to what I mentioned above, was the idea of young people wanting people to be like as compared to being like them.

Again, the "real" principle has to be applied here. Many young people crave a role model figure who can develop a strong connection with them. For a large percentage of preteens, high-schoolers, and young adults, finding footholds in a community setting is generally high on the internal priority ladder.

Since time is pressing against me, I'll go ahead and "speed-run" my leftover ramblings.

First, a leader who seeks to be real must learn the art of living above reproach, a concept driven home in I Timothy 3. In a world dominated by subjectivity, one must be on guard how others perceive a behavior, action, and/or habit. In the case for a spiritual guide, one must be attuned concerning outside conception and opinion, without being hindered by anxiety and paranoia. In other words, don't live to please man, but keep in mind most people are equipped with some keen form of observation. Live as Christ, because in essence, to live is Christ.

Secondly, it is interesting to note how a leader, when placed in a mentoring position, almost instantly becomes more acute and aware of personal behavior as well as other's actions. I can't help but feel we, as believers, should not wait to reach "leader" status before aspiring to live out a certain spiritual sensitivity.

Finally, love to lead and whom you are leading. To be real isn't enough if passion and agape love seep through the cracks. The Bible is clear when it says without love we are nothing. We can possess a particular propensity to partner and unite with others, we might even have a gift in launching certain programs and ministries. But without taking the time to honor and love on God's people and strive to make a difference in other's lives, we are wasting our time. Love must be the glue, it must be the blueprint - our foundation, and it must never escape the fabric of our beings in any setting.

Such aims are ones I earnestly seek to incorporate into my current and future mentorship. After years of being blessed and built by spiritual mentors, I am thrilled at the opportunity to extend the same to those in need.

~ CF

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