I was thinking this morning about how much I enjoy Infuse…I am also noticing several other individuals are starting coaching/mentoring programs. It got me to thinking about the process of being mentored.
It’s no secret (for anyone who has talked to me about Children’s Ministry for more than 5 minutes) that I learn a lot from Bro. Jim. Even before Infuse I had been learning from him for years via conferences, books, and The Club; but mentoring is different than just information download. Bro. Jim isn’t the only mentor I have in life – I have a few others. I learned several years ago the real benefit to having a mentor so I started finding folks who would be good mentors. So here are some good keys to finding a mentor and being mentored:
- Realize you need a mentor: I don’t care how long you’ve been doing something – there’s an area in your life where you need to grow. There’s somebody out there who can help you. Start looking.
- A Mentor is not just a Teacher: Lots of people can give you information, but mentoring is as much about the relationship as it is about the information received. If all you’re looking for is info, go to a conference or read a book.
- Pursue a Mentor: The mentors worth having are folks you’re going to have to pursue. Find someone who is a person you can learn from and ask if they’ll mentor you.
- Shut Up: If you learn to shut your pie hole and listen you might have a better opportunity to learn something.
- Be Transparent: Mentoring is about a relationship – so when your mentor asks you a question answer it completely and honestly. It doesn’t help you in your journey to hold back…how is someone going to help you grow if you aren’t honest?
- Ask questions: Don’t just wait for someone to tell you something. Ask questions. If you don’t have any questions, think harder; because you should have questions.
- Build a relationship: If you’re transparent, ask questions, and pursue the right individual you should build a relationship with them. If you’re investing time and money to learn then you should put an effort into relationship. The two main mentors in my life have gone from mentors to friends and to me that’s a successful relationship.
- Continue to press in: It easy once things get comfortable to slide into a routine, but as with anything you get out what you put in…put more in effort and you get more out. Continue to pursue information, relationship and learning and you’ll get more out of the efforts you put in…
This is by no means a definitive list of things to consider – but if you take some of this into mind you can really benefit from being mentored.