Mentoring Relationships Happen Every Day
Are you aware that mentoring relationships happen around you every day? Probably not. It’s not something we notice or recognize as such. Nevertheless, others are actively mentoring me as I mentor others (hopefully in good ways), and we don’t realize it. Mentoring shapes us, and we shape others with or without our intentionality.
For example, it was just a regular weekday in the church office back in the 1980s. Carolyn was behind her desk counting the tithes and offerings separated in neat stacks in front of her. I was sitting beside her working on something (can’t remember what exactly) when we both looked up to see a rather tall and shaggy, weather-worn, and rough-around-the-edges man standing in the doorway of the office, eyes fixed on the money. We never heard the door open at the end of the hallway, nor did we hear him walk down the hall, but there he was. “May I help you?” Carolyn asked slowly and softly. “Yes ma’am. I need some food. I’m hungry,” was his gruff reply.
Then I witnessed this sweet gentle lady stand up and get between the man and God’s money. By this time, my heart and prayers were pounding loudly within. I’m sure Carolyn was praying as well. She talked with our visitor for a couple minutes, then reached for her purse and pulled out $5.00 and gave it to him. She calmly escorted him back down the hall and out the door. Brave me got up from my chair and watched them walk down the hall. The loud click locked the door behind him.
Sister Lewis is another lady I have observed over the years. Once I found her walking in the back parking lot of the church crying out to God for one of her children. We talked and prayed together for several minutes. I left and she continued walking and interceding for those she loved.
Carolyn Peek and Ann Lewis have taught me a lot over the past thirty-nine years. The three of us never realized it at the time, but their love for God, family, and church has impacted my life in so many ways. I have observed their faithfulness and their love for and their trust in the Word of God. Their above reproach character and servant’s heart have challenged me to draw closer to Him. Watching them, I have learned what it means to be a godly wife and mother. I am thankful God gave me Sister Lewis and Carolyn Peek to teach me about those things that matter most in life. I have always said that I want to be just like them when I grow up!
Examples of mentoring relationships, good and bad, are sprinkled all over the pages of the Bible. Godly examples include Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, and of course Jesus and His disciples.
The path to spiritual growth is both vertical and horizontal. We learn from God and His Word, and we learn from others. None of us live in a vacuum. The way we live is shaping someone’s destiny, and someone else is shaping ours. Who are you watching? And who is watching you? Healthy and godly mentoring relationships are part of God’s plan for spiritual growth. “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1).