Saturday, March 12, 2005


"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning." PROVERBS 9:9

I always been fascinated with mentoring; for someone who grew up in public school - lets say not compelled by academics, but rather the arts - music on the radio, drawing and painting in art classes, day dreaming in class and certainly bored with history and lets not even talk about science in high school - just me a "F" and spare me the pain! I was a football jock who not only wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys, but desired to be a sucessful commercial artist as well.

One day in 12th grade, my substitute history teacher, as best I remember a very grandfatherly African American man, looked out the very same window I was day dreaming in and talked about how he was growing up in Richmond, Virginia recalling changes in the city in his lifetime. My ears perked up as I was capitivated by what he was sharing. Back in 1970, I was part of the court ordered busing initiative in Richmond; the motive was to have balanced racial diversity in all of the schools - all I remember was my friends fled to the suburbs and the school I went to - Maggie L. Walker High School - instead of being 100% African American was now 98%; a far cry from the 50 - 50 court mandated diversity desired - The experience was a great one for me as it planted seeds that twenty five years later help me to speak about racial reconciliation, but I digress...

What this substitute history teacher did for me was share his life experiences, painted a picture of what it meant to be a young kid (like I was in 1972) growing up in the depression, in a city that celebrates the Civil War, the Confederacy and other stuff that I don't recall. What I came away that day, was the power of sharing one's life - which was so much better than a history book.

So my point is find a mentor to help you grow!

I for one have been extremely blessed with mentors who have shaped my life, especially after I became a Christian. Keep in mind the Holy Spirit guides us in all wisdom through the Word with Jesus as the Model. With great fondness, my mentors included Don, my pastor of twenty years who taught me nothing but Christ and whom I consider my spiritual father; Don and Ralph, two Christian businessmen who ran their business by the Book; Bill, a football coach who modeled how to be a Godly man and love your wife 24/7 despite a flawed past (like all of us); Charlie - a wise man who help me understand ministry in the marketplace; Larry - a man despite great physical obstacles taught on finances and humbleness and Jim, a Navy guy and professor who spent every Monday with me at lunch fleshing out leadership questions against the Word of God.
- Reminder to myself to get permission to write about these Mighty Men of God in more detail -

Here's a great PDF by Della Aynsley on FINDING A MENTOR TO HELP YOU GROW

She writes: If you received help from someone to learn, to sort out a problem or to devise a plan you have probably already had a mentor. It may have happened spontaneously and the word ‘mentor’ may never have been used. The term ‘mentoring’ is being used more widely now in our society and people are often encouraged to seek out a mentor. So what is mentoring and how do you go about finding a mentor?


Mentor: “A wise and trusted guide”

The Macquarie Concise Dictionary (2nd Edition)

“Mentors are helpers. Their style ranges from that of a persistent encourager who helps us build self-confidence, to that of a stern taskmaster who teaches us to appreciate excellence in performance. Whatever their style, they care about us and what we are trying to do.”

Shea, Gordon (1992) Mentoring – a practical guide Crisp Publications

“Mentoring is a relationship which gives people the opportunity to share their professional skills and experiences, and to grow and develop in the process. Typically, mentoring takes place between a more experienced and a less experienced employee.”

Office of the Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment
Mentoring Made Easy, a practical guide for managers

Who is mentoring you? And are you mentoring others? Read on!

No comments: