Today I had breakfast in San Diego with our 26 year old son Danny and his mentor. Being with them took me back to the days when I was in my 20’s and was also blessed with some powerful mentoring.
Danny’s mentor, though only six years older than he, is opening some remarkable doors for his ministry career. His mentor clearly believes in him, encourages him and is helping him set a path that he might never have figured out on his own. On top of all that, they are friends and just enjoy being together.
Wow, what a gift.
In my early 20’s I was blessed to be mentored by author and speaker Josh McDowell. Later Dr. Bob Logan helped me immensely in my early ministry as a church planter. I think Bob saved my ministry life with his wise counsel.
As the beneficiary and hopefully the giver of significant mentoring, here are some thoughts on the power of mentoring:
1. The goal is not to fill someone’s cup, it is to empty my cup. This thought, from Andy Stanley, frees me from the self-imposed pressure to know-it-all and give a mentee everything needed. The power of mentoring is really the sharing of what I have, allowing a mentee to take things to the next level.
2. There are many ways to mentor. Recently I have been greatly helped by the blogs of Michael Hyatt. I consider him a long distance mentor. Reading his very popular blogs on productivity, social media, building a platform, writing and blogging have given me a new vision for how I might also help others through blogging.
3. We’re never too good to be mentored. Michael Phelps recently finished winning more Olympic medals than anyone in history. Yet when I watched a TV show about his success formula, his coach’s mentoring was a major factor.
4. We’re never too old to be mentored. At least that should be our mindset. Why stop growing just because we’ve advanced in years?
5. Mentoring greatly benefits BOTH the mentor and mentee. It’s really hard to say who gets the most out of mentoring. The mentee gains ideas, challenges, experience beyond his years, and encouragement. The mentor gains the satisfaction of sharing, the opportunity to reflect on and draw lessons from his experiences and the joy of helping others benefit from his experiences and mistakes.
I’m learning how to be a better mentor and mentee. It’s my hope that writing this blog will allow me to mentor others in a new way.