You think you've found a friend who will help you release your potential. But instead, you've attached yourself to someone who will stop at nothing to derail your hopes. Here's how to recognize the right and the wrong kind of mentor.
A good mentor will help you develop skills and character that will affect the rest of your life.
A good mentor will also help you stay focused.
Lisa feels she has a call of God on her life. She remembers an encounter with the Lord when she was a teenager.
Although that happened years ago, Lisa never forgot the commitment she made to God. She promised Him that she would preach His Word. Now, many years later, she senses it is time to act on her promise. How should I begin? She asks herself. "I wish there was someone who could help me get started." Lisa is like thousand of other women. They want to obey God and fulfill their God-given destinies, but they know they cannot do it alone. They need a mentor.
Throughout the Bible we find examples of mentoring relationships. Elisha was willing to forsake everything in order to follow Elijah, the powerful prophet of his time. Even when Elijah encouraged Elisha to remain behind while he was traveling to various cities, Elisha refused. He knew what he was after! He wanted God's resources found in Elijah.
As a result of his faithfulness to Elijah, Elisha received a double portion of the anointing. Elisa performed twice as many miracles in his life as Elijah did during his ministry.
The apostle Paul metered young Timothy; the New Testament is full of the wisdom of Paul in his letters to Timothy. Where would we be in the church today without those writings? As a result of Paul mentoring Timothy, this rich inheritance has helped shape church history. (I Timothy & 2 Timothy)
Good mentors can affect future generations. Their lives are good role models for up-and coming leaders.
The Busy Bee...
This type of mentor reminds you that you are one in a multitude of people needing her help. She will fit you in only when it is convenient to her schedule. Busy schedules are easy to understand. When possible, scheduled phone calls and e-mails will help.
The Slave Master...
The Bible speaks of leaders having the heart of a servant. The Slave Master interprets this as permission to use the mentoree as her personal slave. The mentoree ends up as a glorified "gopher" of the mentor.
The mentor wants to know about every decision and the location of the mentoree at all times. Permission must be granted for all decisions in life. Should the mentoree make a decision without permission, the mentor will lash out in anger. Anger is a powerful tool that keeps the mentoree fearful and insecure. If anger doesn't work, the mentor will use guilt, condemnation and whatever else it takes to keep the mentoree under her control.
This mentor finds fault with every leader and mentor she has known both past and present. All other mentors fall short of your mentor. Her gifts are the only perfect ones. Your gifts are very insignificant and could never measure up to hers. For your own protection, you need to stay under her mentoring and hope to someday arrive at the level where she is. Your calling and destiny in God's plan seem unobtainable.
Same Spiritual DNA...
A mentoree will usually have the same "spiritual DNA" as her mentor. They have the same vision, purpose in life, character and spiritual giftings.
Sees Your Potential...
The mentor sees beyond where you are today. She sees things in you that you may not see in yourself. She sees things that your family, teachers and friends, may not see. The mentor does not limit you to your past. She sees not just where you have been, but where you are going. She is able to see the great potential in you and refuses to give up until that potential is released!
Do not look for perfection in a mentor; no one is perfect other than Jesus. However, there must be respect for the mentor. A mentor is a role model. A mentoree should respect not only the gifts in the mentor, but also the character. How does the mentor handle items of difficulty, family life, finances? Answers to these questions will help you decide if a certain individual is the right mentor, the right role model for you.
Both mentor and mentoree must agree on the mentoring process. Agree on the length of time for the mentoring. Agree that if the mentoring is not working for either party, freedom is to be released.
God has times and seasons on His calendar. We need to be willing to shift into a new season when the time for the last season has ended.
Many advantages are available in having a mentor. Usually the mentoree gets to do things faster than the mentor did. I want those I mentor to run faster in the Lord than I did and to accomplish more and do it with a higher level of excellence.
Oftentimes a mentor can help us see through the fog around us. They can see what we often cannot. Breaking some old lifestyles can propel us toward our destiny. It takes focus to stay on the path and to go where God is taking us.
Through the years, I have either heard about or witnessed many powerful ministry leaders who failed to finish their course well. The apostle Paul gave a strong word of warning when he said, "Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win." (I Cor. 9:24) A mentor will help a person to complete the journey the Lord has prepared and to finish strong.
My prayer is that you and I will be remembered for finishing strong. May someone say of us at the end of life that we fulfilled the purposes of God in our generation! (Acts 13:35)
Lord I want to thank you for bringing us together. It is not by mistake that you placed in her heart a desire to grow in you. This very day was designed for her even before she was formed in her mother's womb. Lord I give you thanks for my co-mentors that join me for this Mentoring Institute. They have an anointing that has been placed upon their ministry. Holy Spirit flow through them as they impart words of knowledge to this group of hungry women. Thank you for sending these mentorees into our life to help each person that attends the Woman 2 Woman Mentoring Institute to finish the course in life and hear you say, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant." I ask for your divine knowledge, wisdom, and guidance to direct the steps that you have order for each of us. Amen!
Desiring to be a Vessel of Honor,
President & Founder
Woman 2 Woman Mentoring Institute