Somebody help me, please! Have you ever heard that cry or exclaimed it yourself? I have, especially ever since I've been doing the work of the ministry. There have been times, and I mean rough times, where I've gotten stuck on something and have had to either say it myself or have heard it over and over from the lips of some of my ministry friends. In actuality, that's the reason why I was so greatly inspired to write the ministry book, Hooper's Evangelist & Minister's Handbook. It all came about in an effort to help those new and aspiring ministers, who like I in my early ministerial years, are both embarking upon this new territory, have some questions they need answered or are actually simply scared to death about the ministry and calling. (Which are you?) Well, even if you don't want to share your answer, I still want to share something with you and that is, if you need help with your calling and ministry, rejoice, because help is here!
For the most part, many saints who feel a call or passion to the work of the ministry start out learning more about the Bible from attending Bible study under the tutelage of their Pastor in their local church. However, after some time, the seriousness about the call and ministry intensifies and they then desire a more in depth study of the Word (which is much more time conscious) and venture off to Bible schools and seminary. But what if you can't afford that, don't have the time or need more personal or specialized attention. Any one of those three or a culmination of all, I believe, would call for a consideration of the fine art of mentoring.
This very special way of learning or impartation, is not only effective but so ancient that it dates back to the Bible days with great people of faith like Elijah and Elisha and Ruth and Naomi in the Old Testament, in addition to, Jesus and His 12 disciples and Paul and Timothy and Titus in the New Testament. Therefore we should agree that if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you and me to use it to reach our God-given destiny. Interested? Then read along further to discover a few tips regarding what it takes to develop a good mentor-mentoree relationship.
1. Similar Ministries. The mentoree (you) must have the same ministry gift as the mentor (someone). Regardless of the reputation of an individual, there is no need to allow someone to develop you in an area they no nothing about. As I so often state, surely they "can't do what they don't know". Thus, it is critical that you are sure that the mentor is experienced in the area you want to achieve, or you'll never get there! Remember, "iron sharpens iron".
2. Spirit of Humility. Because the mentor is pouring into you as the mentoree, it is imperative that you have both a humble and teachable spirit. Not only will this let the mentor know that you respect them and their area of expertise but that you came to them because they know and you don't, but are willing, eager and open to learning. This tip alone will go a long way with determining how much the mentor is willing to pour in!
3. Vulnerability. This point requires transparency in particular on the side of the mentor. It is easy to open up and share about one's victories, but what about their failures, defeats, and inner struggles. Don't you think you need that as well? What you want in a mentor is a real person who has experienced real ministry (both the mountain and the valley) and will share them with you. Anything otherwise will lead to a false outlook on ministry. As you determine who you will choose as a mentor, listen to them as they speak to others and choose them based upon whether they can be candid and transparent about their life's calling. These attributes will be very beneficial in the long run because you'll feel more at ease talking with them when you experience your own times of great trials.
Although there is more to share, we'll pause here. However, one point should be noted in my conclusion. There are no boundaries as to who can be a mentor. In some cases, it can be done by a family member, friend, spiritual leader or complete stranger. However, as a mentoree, if the Spirit leads you to choose an individual and it requires monetary payment; don't reject it because of that. Be obedient to the Spirit and show God that you trust His wisdom (Jer. 29:11) and also that you are willing to invest in your ministry in order to fulfill your destiny. Trust me; you'll be glad you did! Be encouraged. Be empowered. But don't be left behind in 2009!