In his book Good to Great in God’s Eyes, author and pastor Chip Ingram states one of my all-time favorite quotes: “A master’s ceiling can become his disciple’s floor if the disciple knows how to absorb the lessons of the master’s life.” In my own experience, I have witnessed countless times the importance, significance, and eternal impact that mentoring creates. I truly believe every one of us should have a mentor and/or an accountability partner because God blesses us with other godly individuals in our walks with Him to help keep us on the straight and narrow.
However, there are literally MILLIONS of children going to bed tonight (many right in our own neighborhoods) who do not have that affirmation and protection they so desperately need to make it in today’s society.
I’m just going to lay it out to all of us Christian parents: I believe it is our responsibility to seek out and build up today’s youth who may not have strong parental figures of their own.
Obviously mentoring begins at home with our own kids, but I can almost assure you there is a child in need of a little (or a lot!) of guidance within your sphere of influence. Please understand I am not challenging everyone reading this to jump into a full-time mentoring role, but even small amounts of encouragement and generosity can go a long way in a child’s life.
If, in fact, you do find yourself being led to mentor a youth, here are a few quick points to get you going:
1. Be Consistent
Almost without a doubt, a troubled youth has had more than one parent, parental figure, or friend bail in the child’s life. If you do decide to become a mentor, establishing a set day, time, and duration will bring a welcome change of consistency in his or her life.
2. Be Authentic
Despite what the child’s outside life may look like to us, there may be underlying issues such as being lied to, abused (in any form), or manipulated. We are ALL damaged individuals, the difference being as Christian adults we are now capable of trusting and turning it over to Christ. This may or may not be an option for your mentee, so keep that in mind.
3. Be Faithful
There is so much to be said for Christians who actually live their faith out transparently on a daily basis. Stay true to that while mentoring too. Show the love of Jesus through your words or actions and allow the Holy Spirit to direct the relationship. When we do, lives are impacted and generations are changed for God’s glory.
And the King will answer and say to them,
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
you did it to Me.”
Matt 25:40 (NKJV)
Moms and dads, who is the Lord leading you today to begin investing in as a mentor?
By Matt Haviland
Dad of a daughter
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of “A Father’s Walk”
Author of A Father’s Walk: A Christian-Based Resources for Single Fathers