There’s a lot of talk these days about getting a mentors. And there are a lot of people who think it’s just that…a bunch of talk. If one falls into your lap, then it’s probably worth having. But actively seeking out a mentor—who’s got the time or energy for that?
So is there something to it? Is it really worth it to find an older, wiser person to mentor you? And if so, what kind of mentor do you need—career, marriage, spiritual? And then there’s the question of how to go about finding someone and actually asking them to mentor you…
SingleRoots Writers Say…
For wise counsel, we asked some of our SingleRoots alumni writers to weigh in on the matter. Here’s what they had to say:
“It’s absolutely important for us to have a mentor, perhaps more than one. I have business mentors. I have personal mentors. I have spiritual mentors. When you invite people into your life to be honest with you, you’re inviting a new level of freedom into your life. You invite accountability. You become teachable, and teachability is attractive. There was a time in my life I refused to let people in. I didn’t understand vulnerability. I didn’t understand how freeing it was to let others into my life–to let them pour into me. But when I started to understand people were really for me, I craved more teaching. I wanted to learn how to do things differently. I wanted to grow in my relationship with Christ and I needed help with that. Andy Stanley says, ‘Do for one what you can’t do for everyone.’ People did that for me, and now I have the honor of doing that for others.”
:: Sundi Jo Graham, author of Are You Settling for Less?
“I have found that my college mentor has been able to challenge me in a way that my family and friends cannot. She can serve as more of a neutral perspective in my life. I have watched her live out her life as a Christian, wife, mother, professional, and community member and really respect her willingness to let me see her and learn from her mistakes and successes. It has been so helpful to have someone who is one step ahead of where I am be willing to share what she sees as areas for growth as well! Even now that we don’t live in the same city, when it comes time for me to make big decisions I want her input and prayer over my decision making because I know she wants what is best for me too.”
:: Amy Johnson, author of How I Learned to Start Trusting God
“Yes. Even if it’s an informal relationship that isn’t officially defined as mentoring, it is wise to have at least one person who is further along in the faith than you are to both encourage and challenge you. I find it so helpful to have someone who cares for me that I can ask hard questions of and who will ask me hard questions as well.”
:: Nicole Eckerson, author of The Safest and Dearest Place on Earth?
“Absolutely, and locating one is not always an easy task. Having a mentor in my twenties and thirties was invaluable. I’m married now and it still is! I highly recommend finding someone that you gel with, particularly someone who is similar enough to you that they ‘get’ you and can advise and disciple you accordingly. If you have no mentor prospects, ask God to bring or reveal one to you and then ask that person if they would consider filling that role in your life. I cannot tell you how many times my mentor has been used by God to direct my footsteps in life. (She mentioned my hubby as spouse material 4 years before we started dating!)”
:: Brooke Corcoran, author of What a Difference a Decade Makes: Thoughts on Waiting for Your Spouse
Explore the Topic Further…
For further discussion on the importance of having a mentor, check out these posts:
4 Ways God Ministered to Me Through Mentoring – “After a break up, I spontaneously went to Canada for a conference and it was there God gave me a vision. The vision was of the teens at a church I been attending at that time. I saw their faces and had an impression on my heart to mentor them. Doubt immediately stepped in and I thought, “God, You want me to work with teens?” I am introverted by nature and my immediate answer when asked to do anything outside of my comfort zone is always an emphatic, “No!””
It’s Complicated: Why Casual Friendships Just Aren’t Enough – “We need people in our lives that will call us out. On the good days and the bad days we need someone in our life who knows us and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Life is hard. It’s confusing and wonderful and joyous and awful and everything in between all at once. We know this. But by lifting each other up and truly investing in each other, we live out a calling given to us by God.”
Twenty Things I Learned in My Twenties – “Get older mentors. Find a spiritual mentor who is where you want to be when you are their age. Once they realize that you have a teachable spirit, they will pour themselves into you. Believe me on this one. Stop and do this now.”