5 SMART STRATEGIES FOR CHOOSING SOMEONE TO MENTOR
How do we go about choosing someone to mentor?
Mentoring is part of the Christian life. It’s part of spiritual leadership. How do we go about finding the right people that we’re called to mentor, and who have been called by God to be mentored by us?
One worship leader recalls, “Throughout the years I’ve had many people say, ‘I’d like you to mentor me.’ I’ve had to ask the Lord, ‘Am I called to mentor this person?’ Sometimes He says yes, but more often, He says no.”
A worship leader may desire your mentoring in their life, yet you only have a certain amount of time and energy that you can invest.
Every ‘yes’ to one person is a ‘no’ to someone else. We need to be discerning in who we choose to mentor.
1. Always be asking and looking.
2. Look for friendship.
3. Listen for loyalty.
4. Decide on a time frame.
5. Re-negotiate as needed.
STRATEGY 1 – ALWAYS BE ASKING AND LOOKING
Always be asking and looking.
We should always be in the mode of looking for people that we are called to mentor, to disciple, to develop, and to encourage.
We want to encourage others not only in their spiritual leadership, but also in their unique skill set.
If you’re a worship leader, be asking God which worship leaders you’re being called to mentor. Who are the young artists and creative leaders?
Who are the old artists and creative leaders? Who are the leaders that God is calling you to invest your time, energy, and experience in?
Jesus calls us to look for those in whose lives we have a part to play as they mature into disciples of Christ – and mentoring is all about discipleship.
STRATEGY 2 – LOOK FOR FRIENDSHIP
Look for friendship.
Mentoring is a life-to-life exchange. Because of this, be looking for friendship – someone you naturally connect with.
Some mentoring relationships may be about transferring skills in worship leadership, while others may be predominantly about teaching someone the skills of spiritual leadership in a community.
Your mentoring relationship will most likely have strong elements of both of these areas of focus.
Mentoring young male worship leaders is radically different than mentoring young female worship leaders.
You may feel comfortable spending one-on-one time with a young leader of your same gender, but create a public or group environment when mentoring someone of the opposite sex.
STRATEGY 3 – LISTEN FOR LOYALTY
Listen for loyalty.
Listening for loyalty does not mean choosing the person who says everything you want to hear. This strategy is to choose someone who is committed to, and appreciates, your leadership.
Maybe this person is of a similar ilk and can really connect to your leadership style.
Choose someone that deeply believes that you are called to do what you’re doing, and that they are called to work with you in their development.
If that connection isn’t there, you won’t be able to grow together over the long haul.
STRATEGY 4 – DECIDE ON A TIME FRAME
Decide on a time frame.
Establish a time frame for your mentorship. Tell that person that you’ll work together for a specific period of time.
You may find that who you’re called to mentor is filtered by the mentee’s ability to commit and conform to your availability.
Setting a time frame will focus your dedication to the mentoring process, and will result in a more fruitful experience.
STRATEGY 5 – RE-NEGOTIATE AS NEEDED
Re-negotiate as needed.
After you’ve found someone to mentor, make the decision and set a time frame. Once that’s happened, one or both of you may find that you actually can’t manage the schedule very well.
If this is the case, re-negotiate. This may be a re-negotiation of time and commitment, or you may want to ask God if there’s someone else he’s calling you to mentor at this point in your life.
He may also be calling you to mentor this person in a different kind of way. Be open to change as you move forward.
Try at least one idea.
- You can’t take on every request that comes your way, so always be asking and looking to connect with leaders that may especially appreciate and commit to your mentorship.
- Ask God for wisdom and guidance on who to mentor.
- Look for both friendship and loyalty, because mentorship is a life-to- life exchange.
- Establish a time frame for your training relationship, and work out a schedule that works for you both. Once you’ve made this decision, you can re-negotiate your time as needed.
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