Reasons to Invest in Mentoring

Four reasons it’s well worth investing in becoming an effective mentor

It’s well over 20 years ago now, that my brother, sister, mother and wife along with me were all trained in mentoring (an intentional three year action-reflection training program that is now the MEQ).  While we all used mentoring in different ways over the years and continue to, there is no doubt in my heart and mind that learning to mentor was one of the best things we did not only for others but also for our own development and wellbeing.  Here are four reasons I think it’s well worth investing in becoming an effective mentor.

  1. Now well into her 80’s my mother continues to use her skills through intentional one on one meetings with others. She was actively mentoring other women regularly until just a few years ago.  Mentoring is a ministry you can engage in through all stages of life including well into retirement.  It has a flexibility around timing and process which can adapt to all kinds of life situations and changes.  Reason one: mentoring is a flexible ministry which you can do long term. 

  2. We know that mentoring another person, one on one, working with them personally on their own goals at their own pace is the most effective way to develop others in ministry and leadership skills. Sure, its time intensive and individualised but it works.  Mentoring is often a gift that keeps on giving as it is not uncommon for mentorees see the value and become mentors themselves, multiplying the ministry. Reason Two: mentoring works and often multiplies itself.

  3. Mentoring keeps me on the growing edge. Through those I mentor, I am constantly faced with new situations, challenging relationships, emerging issues, fresh perspectives and new ideas.  This keeps me in touch with what is happening at the coal face of leadership and ministry, often through the eyes of leaders a generation (or two) younger than I am.  Ministry is constantly changing.  Things that worked well in my day are no longer the best solutions today.  Mentoring forces me to stay in touch, to think, to read, to grow.  Reason three: mentoring keeps you up to date!
  4. Mentoring is personally transformational. How many times have I been personally encouraged, challenged, cautioned, provoked and blessed by the impact my own mentorees have had on me as a person?  As they share about what is working in their lives, their relationships, their challenges, it’s often a prompting for me. It’s not just the learning we were thinking about above, but the personal spiritual and emotional transformational challenge that comes from journeying closely with another person.  So reason four: Mentoring others is one of the best ways for God to work on us.         

So why do I see mentoring as a significant ministry to which I want to be committed?  It makes a real difference to others, it’s a flexible ministry we can engage long term, it keeps me learning and it challenges me to keep growing.  Count me in! 

– Tim Dyer (April 2024)

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