Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:1-2 KJV
Simply put, a mentor is an adviser, counselor, guru, teacher, instructor, consultant, trainer, and coach. All of these words are often used in place of ‘mentor’.
From our opening text, we see the Apostle Paul referring to Timothy as “my beloved son”, not because he is his biological son, but because he is his son in the faith. All through Scriptures, there are specific examples of mentor – mentee relationships we can learn from. A few case studies are those of Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, and Jesus and his disciples.
But why do we need mentors? Isaac Newton once said “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Mentorship makes it possible for you to learn from other people’s experiences. Whatever it is you want to do, you don’t necessarily have to struggle and learn from your own mistakes. There are people who have been there before you; people who have done what you are trying to do now, and have made their own mistakes and gained a wealth of experience over time. You can turn to these people and learn from them so that you don’t get to make the same mistakes they made. There’s really no reason for you to reinvent the wheel.
The Apostle Paul in his first and second letters (Epistles) to Timothy shared a lot of deep insights, revelations, and truths with Timothy, and this was made possible because of the special relationship that existed between them. Paul as a mentor literally poured himself into Timothy, his mentee.
Finally, where can you find mentors? The first step to finding a mentor is to know what you want to do or achieve in life. Most people choose mentors according to their areas of calling or profession. That is why most young pastors often have older and experienced pastors as mentors. Young writers often have older and more experienced writers as mentors, and younger musicians often choose more experienced musicians as mentors.
Secondly, here’s a big secret – your mentor doesn’t necessarily have to know you (as in one-on-one encounter). If you are like me, you will want to be mentored by some of the most successful people in your industry. But these people are very busy and it’s difficult to get their time, but you can still have them as your mentors. How’s that possible? Can you learn from a mentor without them knowing they are mentoring you? Certainly! By reading their books, listening to their podcasts, watching their videos, subscribing to their emails and newsletters, reading their articles/blog posts, following them on social media, etc.
Whatever it is you do, look out for some of the leading experts and authorities in your field and connect with them through any of the above mentioned mediums and benefit from their experience. The word of God enjoins us in Prov, 11:14 that there is power in counsel.
Father, I receive grace to identify and connect with the right mentors for my life, and to leverage their knowledge and experience for my growth and advancement. And the growth of the kingdom of heaven in Jesus name, Amen.