Factors To Consider When Finding A Spiritual Mentor
What are the Factors To Consider When Finding A Spiritual Mentor? I’ve had some wonderful spiritual mentors in my life over the years—people who have spoken words of wisdom and advice about my marriage, money, personal life, and ministry.
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How Do I Find A Spiritual Mentor
These folks have astounded me with the depth they’ve brought to my life. But, to be honest, it hasn’t been simple to discover such folks.
I’ve gone out to folks I hoped might become mentors, only to find out they didn’t answer, didn’t have time, or didn’t particularly connect with the idea.
Other times, I’ve waited for someone to contact me, even throwing clues along the way, but the relationship never materialized.
However, having good relationships with both older, wiser Christians and those younger than ourselves is critical to our spiritual journeys.
Here are 10 tips I’ve discovered for searching for and finding the perfect mentor:
- Rethink the Definition Of “Mentor.”
One of the most difficult aspects of mentoring is that the term “mentor” signifies various things to different people.
Some individuals imagine a mentor as a wise man who solves life’s most difficult problems.
Others look for a mentor who is more like a best friend than a mentor. Others are seeking life or business coaching.
Instead of using the phrase mentor when approaching someone, consider just inviting them to lunch to establish a relationship.
These attempts frequently result in a more natural friendship and allow time for thoughtfully assessing if he or she is someone from whom you wish to learn.
- Think About What You Want In A Mentor.
Sometimes mentoring relationships may not progress beyond a brief coffee because mentees are unsure of what they want.
Do you want someone to pray for you? Are you a cheerleader? What is a life coach? Looking for a Bible study partner? A senior citizen?
Begin by asking yourself the following questions: In what area of your life do you want to grow the most?
Then build a list of who can give the greatest information and experience in assisting you to get there.
You’ll be better prepared to approach the proper individual if you know what you want.
- Examine The Person’s Wingspan.
You could have found the ideal tutor. I discovered her at my church a few years ago.
She was a young 30-something with the poise of Martha Stewart, the cooking talents of Rachael Ray, the sensitivities of Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, and the compassion of Billy Graham for the lost.
I told myself that I could learn a thousand things from her. And I certainly could have!
If she hadn’t been a mother of three kids under the age of five, with a fourth on the way.
This amazing woman had a lot to give, yet her children demanded everything she had.
Check the person’s wingspan before you go too far in fooling yourself that you’ve discovered the perfect mentor. Is there enough place for one more? Is this guy already overworked?
- Confirm That There Is a Personal Connection.
In our zeal to find a mentor, we may seek people we admire to become mentors before making any genuine personal connection.
We may admire them, their ideas, or what they’ve done. But when we meet them face to face, there may not be any actual chemistry.
If you’re thinking of approaching someone as a mentor, start by getting to know them and making sure you have some kind of chemistry.
Some of the finest mentoring relationships I’ve ever had grew spontaneously. Never mix the concept of a natural relationship with the concept of being inadvertent.
Picking up the phone, reaching out, and nurturing a good mentoring relationship will need you picking up the phone, reaching out, and nurturing the connection.
- Investigate The Person’s Life.
Wow! I thought as I see people’s lives from a distance. I aspire to be just like so-and-so!
But, as I’ve learned more about individuals and their lives, I’ve frequently thought to myself, “I don’t want to end up like them.”
We may learn from anybody, even donkeys, but before inviting someone to speak into your life, consider the fruit of that person’s life.
Check to see whether you’re spending your time with someone who has self-destructive tendencies or actions.
- Share Similar Ideas.
My husband and I recently shared supper with a couple we’d long admired in life and ministry. I intended to ask the wife whether we might cultivate a mentor-like relationship on purpose.
By the time the main course arrived, we recognized our life objectives and that what it meant to follow Jesus in service was vastly different.
Attempt to discover a pair whose spiritual journey is identical to yours and your spouse’s, otherwise, the mentor connection will be detrimental to both of you.
- Appreciate Candor.
The person you truly want to be mentored by is probably exceptional in a variety of ways, but you’re probably not the first one to notice that person’s talent. He or she is most likely overburdened. Naturally, time will be limited.
So the challenge isn’t only whether you can ask the appropriate questions, but if that fantastic person can respond with straight, truthful responses.
Good mentors will astound you with their forthrightness and honesty, knowing that if you asked, you’d want to hear the answer.
- Develop A Thick Skin.
I was in a mentorship relationship with a woman who was dating a man who had self-destructive tendencies that he had managed to conceal from her for more than six months.
I had a difficult discussion with her about the decisions she was making by continuing to date him. She afterward informed me she didn’t want to meet with me again.
For a moment, I doubted what I’d said, but I knew I was the only one being truthful with her.
You’ll need to learn to stomach what your mentor may say as you build a palate for honesty.
A buddy will often tell you what you want to hear, but a mentor will tell you what you need to hear.
Though friends are supportive and will remain with you through thick and thin, a friend may be afraid to tell a painful reality for fear of jeopardizing the bond.
A good mentor will speak the difficult things, even if it means jeopardizing the relationship.
- Modify Your Expectations.
All too often, we want a mentor who can supply all the wisdom and insight we require in all aspects of life.
If we’re being honest, we’re not seeking a mentor as much as we are for a superhero we can call at any time.
One individual cannot possibly provide you with the counsel and knowledge you require in all areas of your life.
We do our mentors a disservice when we expect one person to be the end-all-be-all wisdom-dispensing guru in all areas of life.
- Ask God For Eyes To See.
Ask God to send individuals into your life who can be mentors and people into whom you can pour.
Chances are, God has already brought someone into your life who is ready to be a wise and encouraging voice. Pray for the ability to see.
Prepare to be astounded by what He has been working on in your midst.
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