Apprenticeship, Mentorship, Life-coaching or Discipleship?

mentorshipMentorship is relationship based with a foundation of good communication. Benjamin Franklin said this: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”

Mentorship points more toward Apprenticeship, which used to be the culture norm. It was simply a system of training the next generation in their skills, preparing them in their chosen career.  The trending word in our culture is Life Coaching. I like – I love it! What a concept – getting coached, apprenticed mentored for life. (Oh wait – that’s called parenting!?) Since parenting skills are lacking the next generation is often left to their own to find someone who will coach them and prepare them for life. There is not greater privilege than pouring your life into the next generation so that they may live life as the masterpiece God created them to be.

No Experts Needed

Mentoring someone is not about being an expert or having lived a perfect life. The transfer of knowledge is a part of it all, but only a part. Knowledge can be quickly attained through a book or a class. If knowledge were all that were necessary for living life successfully as a masterpiece, the western world would not be lacking whatsoever in the areas of success, self esteem, and accomplishment. Mentorship is more about developing character, values, relational skills, a spiritual foundation, and a way of living life. It’s not about answering all the questions, it’s about helping the next generation to listen to God and learn to walk in wisdom for themselves.

Incredible Rewards With Mentorship

The rewards of being a mentor are off the charts!!! It’s eternal, it will outlive you and done properly will continue for many generations to come. You would be hard pressed to list things in life that are more rewarding – helping the next generation discover who God created them to be and helping them live it. So, why is it so hard to find a good mentor? Oh, I know you can find great life coaches for the right price and I’m glad, I’ve taken advantage of them as often as I can afford it. But the mentors, the life coaches, that have made the biggest difference in my life, are those who saw something in me, developed a relationship with me, communicated clearly with me, came along side of me, and helped me in my journey of living. (I can’t say thanks enough!!!)

You will discover the more you mentor, the more God sends people to help carry the load and responsibility – including those you have mentored. These relationships last a lifetime; you feel you are there for them only to find out that they are there for you. Mentorship is a picture of Jesus words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

“The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.” (Prov 20:29 NLT) I guess we do need each other!!!

The Pitfalls

Being a mentor is not all roses, there are a lot of thorns along the way. Let me list a few:

  • It’s inconvenient
  • It can be painful
  • It will cost – be it time, energy, or finances.

So why do it? Why not let the next generation discover everything on their own? Many of you may be thinking that “after all that’s what I had to do.” Simple – God’s design is that this generation passes on to the next generation His love and His wisdom. In other words – how to live life successfully as the masterpiece God created them to be. Besides, how grateful would you be, or are you, to have had someone there to help you navigate life? For me, I am forever grateful. I see my mentors coming out in my daily choices and decisions, and I am ever mindful of them. Were they to call upon me in a time of need, I would drop everything to respond.

Train Or Be Trained

I have a saying around our church: you should be constantly be training and being trained. Get training; get mentored in your life – until the day you die. Give training to those you are one step ahead of – until the day you die! Mentorship is not about being great at giving advice, truthfully, most of us can pay someone to give us better advice in most areas of our lives than we can receive for free from a mentor. Mentorship is about helping others discover how to live life – to live as the masterpiece God created them to be – to navigate the unforeseen future on their own when it comes down to just them and God.

By the way, Jesus called this discipleship. Call it what you want – just get with it. Nothing will help you live life more as the masterpiece that God created you to be than to pour life into others and have others who are ahead of you pour life into you. Make this a part of your Life Palette for the rest of your life!

 Next Steps:

What area of your life do you need mentored in? Be specific. You will discover that someone who may be able to mentor you in one area will not be a good fit in another.

Who has God brought into your life that you can mentor? Begin praying that He would open the door for you to begin.

life aplete