Looking for a Mentor
Are you wanting to be mentored but don’t know how to get started?
What is a Spiritual Mentor?
At the basic level, a spiritual mentor is someone who helps you grow spiritually. As one further down the road in their spiritual journey, he or she helps you pursue Christlikeness. A spiritual mentor helps you to be attentive to the presence of Christ and then to respond in a life of abiding faith, hope and love. They will help you foster and nurture a deeper knowing of yourself and the triune God.
What a Mentor Isn’t
In contrast to other areas of Christian soul care that deal with problems, behavior or mental health, spiritual mentoring focuses on Christian growth and the pursuit of Christlikeness. A relationship such as this doesn’t just happen, but must be cultivated by prayer and intentionality.
How to Select a Spiritual Mentor
Start with Existing Relationships
Ideally, you would start with someone you already know and with whom you already have a spiritual friendship. Ask yourself, “Who has taken an interest in talking to you about your relationship with God? Who has encouraged you specifically in your walk with God?” If you have a few people in mind, narrow the list to those who are further along in their journey with Christ. Typically these persons will be older than you—but this is not always the case.
Look for Christlike Qualities
Of the people you have in mind, can you think of a time when each one has shown a genuine love for others, perhaps through sacrifice of time or other resources? In addition, you will be sharing your story and struggles with this individual so you want to make sure he or she is trustworthy by asking their peers if they would feel comfortable confiding in the individual.
Ask the Right Questions
When you are ready to approach the person about mentoring ask him or her to share how they have experienced God’s grace. Ask them to share a lesson that God has taught them through their journey. As you listen, recognize that authenticity, vulnerability and a willingness to share out of weakness are foundational for spiritual growth in community.