Perhaps you read the article on Mentoring Relationships as a Shepherding Venue and it stirred up a desire for that kind of guidance or ministry coaching. Or, maybe you read the posts listed below under Related Posts on older men and women mentoring younger, based on Titus 2, and sensed your own need to be mentored. But, how do you go about looking for a mentor?
Titus 2 does not directly speak to people who want to be mentored. It is more geared to leaders who are to teach older men and women to live godly lives, from the inside out, so that they will be good role models and encouragers of those who are younger. This passage does not provide instruction for how that connection is to be made but it could be used to help us know the kind of person who would make a good mentor.
Points to Consider in Looking for a Mentor
Generally a person of the same gender works best so as to avoid possible temptations and also not to give the wrong impression if seen together. Notice that Titus 2 links older women with younger women and also infers that older men are to be encouraging younger men in their walk.
Looking for a person whom you can respect because he/she lives a godly life lines up with the kind of people suggested in Titus 2.
Men who are “temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance” (Titus 2:2)
Women who are “reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good” (Titus 2:3)
The person doesn’t always have to be physically older than you but spiritually and experientially more advanced. You may not always be able to find someone in the same line of ministry with more experience but do need someone able to point you to God as you seek to learn and grow in your walk.
Someone different than you, yet not so different you can’t gel, will tend to bring the greatest challenge to your life. You want a good fit, which isn’t necessarily someone just like you, but rather a person who is able to stretch you so you can grow.
Plan for Finding a Mentor
You might want a step by step plan for finding a mentor. However, passages like Titus 2 and others used to suggest the need for mentoring, do not provide instructions for how to make that connection. Titus 2 addresses leaders who are to teach older men and women to live godly lives, from the inside out, so that they will be good role models and encouragers of those who are younger. It does not directly speak to people who want to be mentored.
Consequently, the best way to find a mentor may be to pray about it and trust God to open the doors. Remember what God says about making decisions:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Prov. 3:5-6)
After praying, ask those you sense would be a good mentor to pray about if it is something God would have them do. Perhaps ask a few people and then give time and space for God to work in their hearts about it. You may also want to ask your Church leadership to pray with you about this as well. Continue in prayer yourself that God would motivate the right person.
Certainly you should want someone who not just wants to mentor you, and is ready to mentor, but also whom God deems to be the best fit. Be aware, however, that He might raise up someone you would least expect. God sees the big picture. His choices may differ from our expectations. See 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 for how His standards differ from ours. Praying and trusting God in our pursuit of a mentor only makes sense.
For More on Mentoring: Resources for Discipleship & Shepherding Ministry