4 SECRETS TO SUCCEEDING AS A MENTOR
How do we succeed as a mentor?
Succeeding as a mentor to others begins when we choose someone we can connect with as a friend, and who also
appreciates our guidance in their life.
When connecting with someone who demonstrates commitment
to your leadership, remember – mentoring is a significant life-to- life exchange, that will leave you both changed.
Here are 4 secrets to succeeding as a mentor.
1. Master the mentoring cycle.
2. Be patient in releasing.
3. Allow for failure.
4. Stay in the relationship.
SECRET 1 – MASTER THE MENTORING CYCLE
Master the mentoring cycle.
Mentoring is a “cycle” because it’s a process that’s repeated over and over throughout our lifetime – specifically in a mentoring relationship.
The wisdom or skill set we impart to someone is meant to be imparted into someone else’s life, as well. So our work repeats itself in many lives over time
The mentoring cycle goes as follows:
I do it.
You watch me do it.
I teach you to do it.
You do it with me.
I do it with you.
I watch you do it.
You teach others.
SECRET 2 – BE PATIENT IN RELEASING
Be patient in releasing.
Take your time. It is far easier to appoint someone to a role than it is to disappoint them. Take a long time with people.
This is what one worship leader said:
“I had one particular worship leader who had greater strength than I did musically and – in terms of his natural, spiritual giftedness – was beyond me. He had wonderful strength in dealing with people and had a powerful experience with God in his own story – yet he was very young. I knew he needed some development for a few years, even though he was a stronger musician and I could see a great spiritual leadership calling on his life. I took my time with him. Over a period of months, I worked with him in that initial mentoring phase of him watching me, and us talking about it. Then, I taught him how to do it. While he was doing it with me, I asked him to unplug from the sound system. For him, this was just confusing. He was already a much better guitarist than I was and he knew how to fit into a band. What I wanted him to do was not to focus on what was coming out of the sound system – I wanted his primary attention to be on how I was handling the other musicians and arranging the band. I knew that God wanted to get at some subtle issues of pride that were lurking in the background. He wasn’t a prideful man, but he was young – so I took my time with him. Today, decades later, the proof is in the pudding. He’s an amazing leader with strong character – and our friendship is deep.”
Err on the side of taking your time. You will succeed more as mentor if you’re patient in releasing.
SECRET 3 – ALLOW FOR FAILURE
Allow for failure.
One way we succeed as mentors is in giving ourselves grace to fail. There may be people whom you’ve been mentoring for years that disqualify themselves from a ministry situation.
This can disconnect the relationship, and is challenging to face.
Success and failure are events – not people. There are things that happen along the journey. Sometimes we think we’ve discerned a certain situation, but there’s something else going on that we just can’t see.
That’s okay. 5, 10, or 15 years later, the relationship may come back around – and there’s still a gift from this life-to-life exchange that God has you both invested in.
Allow yourself the possibility of failure. Mentoring is a risky deal, but we take the risk because it’s worth the investment.
SECRET 4 – STAY IN THE RELATIONSHIP
Stay in the relationship.
Mentoring is a gift that keeps on giving. If you’re bringing people into the lives of your family, they will get to experience who each member of your family is, as well as who you are.
These connections can deposit beautiful riches in the lives of your kids, your spouse, and your mentee.
Mentoring is a lifelong friendship that needs nourishment and attention – hang in there and commit to the relationship.
Try at least one idea.
- Take your time investing in whoever you’re called to mentor. Using the mentoring cycle, you can prepare this person to serve others
with their gifts.
- Give yourself grace to fail in this relationship – there may be circumstances outside of your control.
- Although these situations are challenging to face, remember that failure is an event – it’s not who you are.
- Finally, dedicate yourself to mentoring and stay in the relationship; nurturing this connection will result in a lifelong friendship.
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