A good friend, and professor of mine, Dr. Chuck Lawless has been an incredible influence in my life since starting at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary over a year ago. One of the largest impacts provided was his outlook on mentorship and how how it should engage my life as a Christian. Now certainly plenty of people in secular society, but also in our churches, have uttered the words that, “everyone needs a mentor,: and that is all fine, well, and good. However, what many don’t usually say is what this mentor looks like, what the relationship truly looks like, and honestly how you go about finding one. These types of questions can be the things of nightmares for introverts and extroverts alike.
That said, I wanted to share a simple blog post from Dr. Lawless from today’s ThomRainer.com blog entitled: “Why Everybody Needs a Mentor and How to Find One.” See it’s not that scary after all, in fact the solution is provided in under 1000 words. (Okay, to be fair it is more complicated than that, but this is as good a launching pad into the topic as any.)
Specifically, I just wanted to take a moment to focus on some of the primary principles from Dr. Lawless on the “Why” question as it truly impacted my life:
- It’s biblical – Take a moment and think to yourself of the number of examples we have from scripture that point to a relationship where two individuals are living and learning together. The concept is not of our own making, but rather that the examples are right before us in God’s revelation. We’ve all heard that mentorship is important, but let’s take a moment as believers and focus on why it truly is important.
- We’re created to be in relationship with others – I have constantly been reminded in my life that God has not created us with the intention that we fold into ourselves when faced with life, but in fact quite the opposite is true. Though there will always be a time for introspection, living the Christian life is a team sport and that requires other Christians to share and grow in the experience. Sure every business would have you believe that success or money is the motivation, but truth is we were made this way and for a reason.
- Experience is a great teacher – How many times did you have to do something growing up to learn whether or not to do it again? (Granted, some experiences may vary..) The point here is that we learn from doing, from living, and when in relationship with others we can also learn from one another’s experiences.
- People are God’s gift to us – Central to Dr. Lawless’ concept is the simple reality of people living life together. As it states in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” This “life-on-life” mentorship/discipleship is how Jesus brought along those who followed Him and what better example could we have than that? People matter and it is the ability to learn from one another that can make us stronger.
I don’t want to steal all of the thunder from Dr. Lawless, but take a moment and check out his blog today and also pick up a copy of his study: Mentor: How Along the Way Discipleship Will Change Your Life . This study and focus on biblical mentorship/discipleship has changed my outlook on how to approach the topic and provides a very practical foundation for just about any believer, no matter where they currently are in their walk.