What is a mentor?
A mentor is like a father. His or her purpose is to protect you, inspire you, motivate you, guide you, impart vision, teach you, correct you; but most of all -- loves you and wants to see God’s purpose and plan for your life manifested in you; so you can accomplish your God given potential.
Why do we need a mentor?
Life has demands and is pulling you in every direction. A mentor has already been down the path you need to travel. Although it will be your individual journey, many of our pitfalls, struggles, obstacles, etc., are extremely similar. Hence, they are a great resource. They have walked the steps you need to take and are able to provide ideas that you may have never thought of. We need a mentor so that rather than walking blindly, they can provide us guidance, such as a teacher has in school. They will help with sharpening our skills or talents, such as a voice or dancing coach. When we feel down and feel like giving up, our mentor can provide inspiration or motivation for our spiritual destiny; such as our pastor, spiritual leader or Sunday school teacher has provided. For example, a business minded person needs to connect with a successful entrepreneur. The entrepreneur will stimulate and shape his or her business mind so he or she too can be successful. Mentoring is the vehicle designed to assist us in successfully executing our given assignment in life.
The fruits of a mentor:
This is simple. The expression “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is one we can apply to the fruits of a mentor. Those who are truly protégés of a good mentor will reveal many of the same qualities taught as well as unique ones from their own strengths and lived by them. The legacy of a mentor is always seen in the people they have coached and mentored. You will see good fruit in his or her relationships as a father, mother, sister, brother, parent, friend, etc. There exists a healthy strong character that has an undying passion to see you connect with God's plan and purpose for your life!
What if I am doing just fine without a mentor?
Just imagine how much more you can accomplish by widening your spectrum and listening to wisdom from others that have so much to pour into your life. A violin sounds beautiful. Have you ever heard an orchestra? Just imagine the music you can make. A three-chord thread is way stronger than a one cord thread. Can you make it without a mentor? Yes. But why would you want to? God's design is that two are better than one so that when one falls the other can help him or her up. Collaboration creates innovation and innovation births renovation and brings restoration. Let's ignite like when a match on fire touches another that is not lit.
We can identify the mentors in our lives by recognizing those who exercise the most influence in our lives. Be diligent when choosing a mentor for they will greatly impact you and your life's outcomes. Sometimes we will find that mentors can cause us some discomfort since they will challenge us to change our ways for the better - taking us out of our comfort zone. We need to identify the areas in our life that need improvement and then identify the mentor that can best coach us through these deficiencies. Ensure that your mentor has his or her heart and mind aligned with God and his Word. Your mentor will have evidence of good fruit. Once you have chosen to walk with a mentor, be transparent about your intentions for mentorship and be sure the other individual is willing to provide the mentorship you need.
How should I identify a mentor?
Seeking to lay roots
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Where can we find a mentor?
We can find a mentor in all spheres of culture. These spheres have been categorized as (1) Family, (2) Religion/Church, (3) Government (4) Arts/Entertainment, (5) Education, (6) Media and (7) Business. For example, in the workplace a mentor can be the one who teaches you the skills on how to put a business deal together or how to act in a business setting so you can become a savvy executive. They can be found in the entertainment industry as the one who adopts you as a protégé so you can become the “voice” of your time. It can be that politician who admires your relentlessness and passion to pursue what others see as impossible odds. It can be that father or mother who sculpted your inner vision to succeed by setting an example for you. In these places and similar ones, we can find the mentors needed to become all we can be.