Why Your Church Should Raise Up Mentors — Part 2
In my last post, I defined mentoring, and gave two reasons why your church should raise up mentors. Here is the third benefit of mentoring, plus some thoughts on how to proceed.
An Opportunity to Grow in Christ
Sitting down with a child or teenager each week can be awkward. If you are an introvert like me, initiating conversation is as unnatural as a penguin waddling across the Sahara. We will feel a tension between our personal comfort and our God-given obligation to love others.
This is an area that Jesus has worked in my heart over the years. It’s still not easy for me to reach out to strangers, but God has brought me a long way. The tension between comfort and mission is an opportunity to trust in Jesus. He will be will us in all situations, and He will work through us.
Sure, it would be easier to invite and wait for children to attend our church services. But grab your Snickers, because you won’t be going anywhere for a while. And you will be missing the example of Jesus. He didn’t just invite; He went. He was sent by the Father to dwell among us, and we are likewise called to go (John 20:21).
Think that first meeting with an 8-year-old will be awkward and unnatural? Try having your perfect divinity becoming incarnate into frail humanity. By going to where needy children are, you have the blessed opportunity to trust in and be like Jesus.
“The awesome surprise of mentoring is the joy we find in giving our lives away.” John Sowers
How to Proceed
First, make a decision to spend 2-3 hours per month with a child, for at least one school year. But know that one year is where the relationship will begin to solidify.
Second, talk to others (including leaders) in your church about how to enlist others to serve as mentors. Whether it is a formal or informal process, we need other mentors to have a bigger impact, and to develop mutual accountability and encouragement.
Third, contact your local school, near your home or workplace. Let them know that you would like to be a mentor for a child who needs one. Be gracious and helpful; not all schools have a mentoring program already set up. You could bless them by helping them develop a process to make this happen.
Finally, do not despair if things don’t seem to be going well. By mentoring, you are having a life-long impact in the life of a child.
“You are the only Christian some people will ever know, and your mission is to share Jesus with them.” Rick Warren (A Purpose-Driven Life)
- Why Christians Should Serve Outside the Church
- Feeling the Pain of a Fatherless Generation: Angry Boys and Forgotten Fairy Tales
**image courtesy of guyhyen