The Importance of Being Mentored!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Are you a child of God? You are if you’ve made Jesus your Lord and Savior! I believe that God wants His children to grow up spiritually mature and become those who will help others grow up knowing, sharing, and being the light and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ to this world.  I believe He wanted and wants that for me. I believe He wants that for you!  The Apostle Paul understood this and it’s why he said the words You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV) 

As a Christian, I’ve observed and watched closely, those who I thought executed their life better than most. They became my mentors (usually unbeknownst to them.) There is no such thing as a mature and valuable person who hasn’t let themself be mentored by someone whether intentionally or through observation. Every good leader has been mentored by others along their path! One study on mentoring revealed that 40% of those that subjected themselves to the consistent influence of mentors, achieved greater potential in their lives! The Dictionary defines a mentor as: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher: to serve as a trusted counselor or teacher to (another person,) a role model: a person who serves as a model in a particular behavioral or social role for another person to emulate. 
As I look back upon my life, I realize that I’ve had a great diversity of mentors and role models in my life that I thank God for. Each of them mentored Biblical virtues. If you think back, I’m sure you can remember those that have influenced you in a positive way. Some of my mentors were family. Others were friends, co-workers, or influences I wanted to learn from. Very few of them were intentionally trying to mentor me. They were just doing what they did well. And I was paying attention! I wanted to learn from them! An insight to have regarding mentoring is this: In most cases mentoring and being mentored is more caught than taught. The onus is on you to observe and desire to pay attention and be mentored!

When I think of those whom I felt mentored by I think of these. I think of my dad. He taught and modeled the need for having priorities, having a great work ethic, and the importance of knowing and sincerely enjoying and serving people. And He taught me to enjoy the gift of life. He loved life up to his dying breath at age 90.

My mom was the most amazing model of being selfless! She truly living her life to be a blessing to others and serve her family (10 children) and countless others in church and elsewhere. She helped me see that we are always surrounded by people who need a hand in life. And she modeled the meaning of the words of Jesus regarding leadership or being “greatest in the kingdom of Heaven “ as being “a servant of all.”  That is who she was to her family and everyone in her life.

My oldest sister Susie was also selfless to me. She was the older sister who was always doing things to make the life of her nine younger brothers and sisters more special and fun. In many ways, she was like a second mom to us. She knew how busy mom was with ten children so she helped nurture us with great gentleness, love, and kindness. She modeled how special it can be to make even one person’s life better. And she still lives like this today!

My sister Sally, my wife Renee, and Renee’s sister Sharon have modeled and mentored me in kindness. They weren’t trying to. They were just being who they are. I was paying attention because they all had something I wanted to learn. To this day I think they are the kindness, sweetest, human beings I know of on planet earth.

Then there were those that were mentors and role models from outside the family. My first boss Ozzie was the first person I had ever met who I recognized as so profoundly integrous and moral, that it was obvious to all in a wonderful way! That’s a powerful thing for a fourteen year old boy to observe. No one in my life had ever stood out to me with those kinds of qualities prior to that. He was an excellent business man with good business sense who was guided by his biblical priorities of integrity and morality.

There was Pastor Mac who embodied and modeled hard work, leadership, never giving up, and pursing measurable goals that produced tangible results for the kingdom of God. His strength of conviction and character, his dedication to teaching others the word of God, and being the ultimate challenger and coach were all qualities that impacted my life in more ways that I can say. He was a powerful mentor in my life.

Then there was Pastor Lynne, one who was so deeply acquainted with God through prayer. She was one who truly understood prayer, the need for it, how to pray, and the intimacy and power of prayer that resulted from a devoted prayer life with the Father through Jesus Christ.

My friend Scott modeled the pursuit of excellence, faithfulness, and diligence. He is the most faithful and diligent servant and pursuer of excellence I’ve ever known.  And Pastor DuWayne  who modeled patience, trust in God, and emotional temperament bringing calm and faith to every situation. Don’t worry, he’d say! We’ll get this done and things will go great! He and Scott have their names listed by the words someone you can count on

Jesus Christ is and always will be my ultimate Mentor. Jesus is the reason that I understand that mentoring is a combination of being influenced by impartation, and partly by instruction. He taught and modeled what was right for His disciples but also taught them to seek the Father for truth in all things. He has taught me everything I know that is good including Colossians 3:23 (TLB) “Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters.” 

As children of God, we cannot fully mature and be who God wants us to be without being mentored. You don’t have to ask someone to mentor you. You just have to find the people you desire to emulate! Pay attention to them and learn from them. If you have the opportunity, ask questions of them.  And ask God to surround you with those kinds of people. You won’t find it all in one person, but in many persons you can observe and learn from. Practice what Jesus taught and learn from Him. And purpose to be mentored by others who execute life excellently from a pure heart! Do so and it will help you mature and become the leader God wants you to be.

Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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