Let’s Talk Mentoring

I have had mentors in my life since I was in my early twenties. These men have added so much to the quality of my life. I can’t imagine doing life without them. Mentoring is certainly not a new concept, but it seems to be talked about more recently than I’ve heard in some time. People, maybe especially men, are looking for someone to invest in them and help them find their way.

This week alone I’ve had half a dozen conversations regarding mentoring, either personally or with someone on Twitter. It’s certainly an issue on my mind more recently. I shared some of that with you in THIS POST. I also recently wrote about one of the new mentors in my life HERE.

I’m currently playing with some ideas, perhaps a resource or two, considering what I can do to engage in this process and help with this need.

Will you help me think through this issue?

Let’s talk mentoring today.

First, take 5 minutes and complete my 10 question survey on mentoring HERE. (Your responses are completely confidential.)

Second, leave a comment on this post (so everyone can see) if you know of any good mentoring resources.

Third, please share this post with your friends online (or the survey link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/75Z7ZBL ) so we can get some good discussion going on this important topic.

Thank you for your participation. Hopefully more to come!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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29 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Mentoring

  1. I would recommend to anyone…

    The Master Plan of Evangelism – Coleman
    The Invested Life – Rosenberg/Toshy
    Tally Ho the Fox (Yes, that’s the name) – Herb Hodges

  2. You may need a balance of guys in your life- A "Paul, Barnabas and Timothy". I have three. I function better on the Lord as I use mentors/mentoring. Just ask someone to help you!

  3. I had some great mentors spiritually when I was young(er) and I have now a mentor professionally. I am really grateful for mentors in my life – people who want to invest their time and wisdom in me.

    I've been a mentor professionally and spiritually. I always feel privileged when people ask me to walk part of the journey of their life with them.

    The books I read were all in Dutch (as I am from the Netherlands) so of no use to you. Sorry.

    • I love that your from the Netherlands. I've only stopped in one of your airports, but would love to visit!

  4. Randy Pausch’s book The Last Lecture and Chuck Swindoll’s book Living Above the Level of Mediocrity are great reference books for any mentoring relationship. Additionally, life experience tends to be a huge part of my mentoring relatiinships. Finally, I use Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University (FPU) material for most financial teaching moments.

  5. Such an important topic, Ron, especially for guys. Thanks for getting it out there! I read "Spiritual Mentoring" by Keith Anderson and Randy Reese a while ago, but it remains such an influential guide in how I go about mentoring other guys.
    I have noticed that we seem to use "mentoring" and "discipling" pretty interchangably. I do it as well. But I'd love to know if there is a difference in the two concepts. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

    • I liked their book too. Good question on use of term mentoring and discipling. I'm finding that the traditional view of mentoring as an older guide who knows the way sharing how to a younger person is viewed upon very negatively by younger generations. In talking to men in my church, ones who have had a person invest in them love the idea of mentoring, while those who have not do not even like the word, much less want to have a mentor. A term I've started to use that has less objections, and clearly specifies the relational nature of mentoring, is "spiritual friendship." In other words the starting point is friendship, relationship, in which there is an intentionality to help another grow spiritually. It can be extremely informal, or involve a regular meeting and setting of goals.

      I think that spiritual mentoring (a subset of mentoring in general) is one form of disciple-making, in that the goal is to help the other person (or each other) grow in Christ-likeness. The term 'discipling' most often has the connotation of a seasoned Christian passing on the fundamentals of the faith to a young believer (how to have a quiet time, how to pray, etc). That sounds like a traditional one-way mentoring relationship with a specific set of content.

  6. It's been on my mind a ton recently, so I'm happy to see your interest and this discussion. Mentors have played a key role in my life and I am struggling to figure out how to develop a mentoring culture within our church. The biggest question there is how you can be both organic (not overly formal, not forced, but natural) yet still intentional (and encourage others to get involved).

    Several very good resources come to mind:
    - As Iron Sharpens Iron (Hendricks) is a great book, especially for Men
    - Reverse Mentroing (Creps) – an absolute must-read for would-be mentors our age, Ron :)
    - Handoff (Jeff Myers) – loved this book
    - Spiritual Mentoring (Anderson and Reese) and Authentic Spiritual Mentoring (Kreider) are also good
    - website: The Mentoring Group has a really great collection of articles on mentoring – http://www.mentoringgroup.com/newarchive.html

    Finally, I hate to risk sounding self-promoting, and I almost never include self-links in post comments, but I did a four-part series on mentoring after doing a ton of reading and a ministry project on mentoring (for a seminary class) — http://stepuptothecall.blogspot.com/2010/06/what-

    I look forward to hearing the survey results, and any other discussion you can foster on the topic of mentoring! Thanks.

  7. I wish I had mentors growing up. I was discipled in the faith but no one really took me under there wing to say and trained me as a man or in the ministry that I felt a call vocationally. A mentor is someone that show how to do verses teach how. As a rule. There will be some teaching of course but I think there is more doing and the mentee watches and learns then when the time comes the mentee does while the mentor watches.

  8. Great post Ron! This response twenty years. You have been warned.

    It's shameful that the church is so weak in discipling people in this way. Jesus, who modeled this as "the Way", set the example, but the church has dropped the ball. I have served in churches for a long time and have had only one pastor willing to mentor me.

    Having said that, there really is no way to describe the benefits. Even when I think I have a summary explanation of how much we get from a mentoring relationship, I still fall short.

    The best mentoring resource? Seth Barnes once was asked what the best discipleship (mentoring) curriculum was. He responded, "You." All it takes a a person willing to invest in another.

    or as Seth Godin says, "Art is a generous act. It's when someone meets another and makes a change."