Every young person, once they have journeyed enough with Jesus to discover who they are “in Christ” and are discipled so that they are mature in the faith and moving forward into embracing a ministry as part of the “priesthood of all believers,” needs a mentor. Usually the young person needs to go looking for a mentor. At times, a mentor will come looking for them.
When looking for a mentor a young person needs to find someone who they like and who is favourable to the idea of getting to know them and then investing in them. This person will not be easy to find because they will be unique qualities that they will need to be able to help a person grow in the faith as they are mentored. And, because each young person is unique you will need to find a mentor who can work with your uniqueness.
When you find a mentor and begin to work one-on-one with them it is good to remember the following “rules”…
1> When meeting you have a one hour appointment so keep the small talk (often called fellowship) short and get right to the things that need to be discussed. You are not there to “chat.”Sharing more of life and general fellowship can happen if and when you begin to travel with your mentor or visit with the mentor in their home specifically for fellowship. This hour is for you to learn and grow.
2> Come on time – in fact, come ahead of time to pick a quiet corner or table out of the general flow of traffic at the coffee shop or restaurant. You want to have a place that is quiet and conductive to talking and sharing.
3> Come with 5 to 10 questions through through, written out, and ready to ask. Keep the conversation moving so that you actually get to ask the majority of the questions that you have written down. And, remember to bring a digital recording device to record the conversation so that you are not having to take notes during the discussion.
4> Remember, you are having the meeting to learn from your mentor – their wisdom and their experience in life and ministry. So, don’t slip into trying to impress them with “I said,” “I did,” God showed me.”
5> Pay for the coffee or the meal. Remember, the mentor is helping you and is not being paid for his time. So, make sure you cover the costs at the meeting.
6> If there was something that was to be worked on before the meeting, have it accomplished. And, do a good job of whatever it was that was assigned at the last meeting. This way you are not wasting their time and are getting maximum benefit from your time with your mentor. It also shows your mentor that you are interested and engaged in the process of mentoring and that you value their time and effort on your behalf.
7> Always end on time.
8> Always thank your mentor for the time he or she has invested and the interest that this shows in your development and future ministry.
9> Set the date and time for the next meeting and determine any pre-meeting work that needs to be accomplished.