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Mentoring

The purpose of this site is to equip those in mentoring relationships with biblical, Christ-centered resources. Whether you’re a business or church leader, parent, missionary, teacher, student, or professor we hope you can find here what you need to get started. Let's begin with some basic principles.

Principles

1. Successful mentoring focuses on the growth needs of the mentee.

The movement of a mentee toward maturity is the mentor’s primary purpose, and provides the focus for the relationship. Many mentors and mentees find it beneficial to determine the mentee’s learning needs early in the relationship. How does the mentee want or need to grow? A needs-based problem is often a good place to start the mentoring process. Quality conversation, one where the mentor asks questions and listens thoughtfully, can help identify growth areas. Transformational growth commonly takes place when the mentoring process is directly related to a mentee’s current life situation.

For example, a young person who is confused and lacks direction might ask to speak with a potential mentor. Quality conversation reveals fear of making a mistake to be the underlying problem. Mentor and mentee can then focus on learning about, embracing, and confidently moving forward in God’s sovereign will.

A biblical example can be found in the book of I Corinthians. Paul focused on current challenges facing the people in this church, and identified several subsequent growth needs. His letter provided insight and guidance for everyday struggles the Corinthians encountered. Those who desired to grow found the information immediately useful and knew exactly how they could move toward spiritual maturity.

2. Mentors serve as guides.

The myth that mentors must be fountains of wisdom discourages many from mentoring. The center of attention isn’t the mentor’s wisdom or knowledge&em;it’s the mentee’s life with God. Mentors don’t have to know everything. And, mentors don’t have to be experts on the Bible.

A mentor’s role is to come alongside and guide a less experienced person in the learning or growth process. A guide is one who has traveled a path before and is familiar with the way. A Christian mentor is not a storehouse of wisdom or a perfect person, but one who is further along in their walk with God. They have learned some things along the way and can walk alongside and support another traveler, help them discover the path, model the best way forward, suggest the next steps, alert to dangers, warn of detours, provide first aid if necessary, and offer helpful information or feedback along the journey. A mentor’s experiences as they walk with God can be powerful learning resources for a younger trekker.

Mentors aren’t required to be experts on the Bible, but the foundation and goal of Christian mentoring is spiritual growth and formation. Discovery and application of biblical truth is an indispensible part of this process. If a mentor determines his or her mentee needs to grow in a biblical area the mentor doesn’t know much about, they can learn together.

For example, a mentor may discover their mentee would benefit from a greater understanding of the Holy Spirit’s work, but doesn’t feel qualified to address this area. Both can read Scripture about (along with resources on) the Holy Spirit and discuss what they learn. Most mentees love this type of mutual learning experience, and the mentoring relationship benefits both mentor and mentee.

The mission of Dallas Theological Seminary is to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.

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