We’ve written before on this blog about the importance of mentoring in a student’s life. Unfortunately I think a lot of people assume that a mentor is an old gray-haired guy (or in my case a bald guy) who is at the end of his useful time on this earth and he is passing on his knowledge to a younger guy so that his lost craft or art does not die with him.
Mentoring is so much more than that. At Saddleback Church where Steven and I work, if you’re over 30 you are expected to mentor someone and if you’re under 30 you need to be mentored by someone. The concept is, “Every Paul needs Timothy and every Timothy needs a Paul.” I get that, and I totally agree with that. But here’s the problem with that- I think people in my age group who are mentoring someone don’t realize that they need a mentor as well.
Ironically one of the mentors in my life is younger than I am. Josh Griffin, our High School Pastor at Saddleback has taught me so much about relational student ministry and he has kept me on my toes and kept me always wanting to learn more. On the other side of this coin, if you’re younger and you have a mentor in your life that does not mean you can’t mentor someone younger than you. No matter where you are in life, you know more than someone and have life experience that can help someone else to grow.
Earlier this year I loved seeing Steven take on a mentoring relationship with one of the eighth grade guys in his junior high small group. (Click here to read Steven’s post.)This student will soon be moving on from Steven’s group but he is going to continue the mentoring process with this kid. Why? Because Steven saw a lot of himself at that age in this student and realized that he could help this student avoid some of the pitfalls that tripped him up when he got to high school.
This next school year I’m bringing on a co-leader to my high school small group and as part of the process he has asked me to be a mentor to him. Without hesitation I said, “Yes!” Well as I remember I practically yelled it, but I digress.
I could write all day about what I think about mentoring and its importance in everyone’s life but here’s the bottom line. Pass on what you know to the next generation. Learn from the previous generation, that’s the entire premise of our website. God wired us to always be learning and always be teaching.