A Mentor’s Secret Weapon
When I think of a successful mentoring relationship, here’s what I envision:
A mentee that absolutely loves spending time with their mentor.
A mentor that reflects Christ and creates an environment where their conversations about faith can be had.
When the mentee gets older, they stop by the mentor’s house unannounced and are received with open arms.
Lots of smiles and laughter from both mentor and mentee.
A mentor who tells their mentee that they love them and that they are proud of them.
A mentee that knows with certainty that their mentor likes being around them and feels absolute unconditional love free of judgment.
When the mentee finds themselves in a situation where they need some help, the first person they think of is their mentor.
A relationship that is safe enough to talk about anything, especially difficult topics.
While creating this type of mentoring relationships may be idealistic, I know one thing for sure: none of these things will happen if your mentee doesn’t enjoy being with you. You can be the Godliest mentor in the world who gives the best advice, but if your mentee leaves your interactions drained and discouraged, the relationship is just not going to work out.
Your mentee has to like feel like you like them before they will listen to a thing you say. They have to feel like you are in their corner no matter what before they will open up their heart to you.
So what’s the best way to do that? Be the most encouraging person in the world.
Encouragement. That’s a mentor’s secret weapon. You don’t have to be the coolest mentor in the world. You don’t really even have to have a lot in common with your mentee. If you can encourage them and make them feel like the most important person in the world, they’ll be more likely to want to spend time with you.
Who doesn’t like to be encouraged? Who turns down a smile or a compliment?
You may not have all the answers, but if you can build your mentee up and focus on the good instead of the bad, you have a shot at having an impactful relationship. Kids have to know that you care before they care about what you know.
Go encourage your mentee today. Give them a phone call or shoot them a text to let them know how much they mean to you. If you’re having a hard time seeing the good in your mentee, one of my go-to prayers is “Lord, help me see this kid how you see them. Help me reflect you to them today.”
Your mentee has worth. They have value. They are a precious child of God. They have a father in heaven who thinks the world of them. It’s our job as a mentor to let them know these truths.
What a fantastic opportunity we have today.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” - 1 Thessalonians 5:11