Mentoring by definition is:
To serve as a trusted counselor or teacher
(what’s missing here?) a sense of being hands on – ministry
My definition ………to serve as a trusted leader with an intentional path you both need to know your destination

This is my theory
If you were to cut a leader in half…(not recommended) I think you would find layers of mentored leadership inside. Just like
trees These layers represent the years of relationship and learning they have gained over the years.
The attitude and way of life qualified the mentor to be imitated by his disciples…. speaking of Jesus

Even though Jesus was divine in His nature while on earth, He lived by faith and dependence on God, which was characterized by prayer.
Simply stated, He didn’t just tell us, he showed us. Phil 3:12

A true one on one mentoring relationship is close. It requires trust, grace, intimacy and transparency.

Be sure to set boundaries and be smart when mentoring, be aware of your surroundings and be sure your mentor has displayed a life and faith worthy of mimicking and then be that same kind of person.
So how do we build into those around us?

1. Don’t over complicate it!

  • I honestly believe this is what we as humans do. Somewhere in our arrogance and pride, we assume when things are so simple, there must be more to them We complicate the gospel, when it is designed to be the easiest thing understood. We complicate mentoring by taking it beyond what it really is.
  • Mentoring is like teaching someone to ride a bike… guide, occasionally offering support, always offering encouragement, and sometimes correction with the ability to display the intended behavior.
  • What are you doing on a daily basis that can be a teachable moment for someone willing to learn?
  • What are those things in your life that others notice you do well?

2. Know what you’re talking about!

  • Sometimes with the greatest intent, we make it worse. Wanting to help, but not being equipped to do so.
  • Use your resources, learn, and be sure that if you are mentoring or being mentored the mentor has an outward display of a result you wouldn’t mind having.
  • Titus 2:3-5 – training younger generations

3. Let them own their new skill.

  • As our mentees learn, are you giving them freedom and space to own it? Are they being allowed to make mistakes?
  • But most importantly are you letting go?
  • If you never let go of a child’s bike, they will never develop
    the balance skills they need to ride.
  • So much as a finger touch can throw them off. As their body
    learns this new motion….you must release.
  • If you put someone in an action role, but step in and re-do their work, veto small preference design changes, or insist
    that every step is done your way THEY WILL NEVER FIND
  • Set boundaries, but give ownership

4. Age is not a factor.

  • This has been my biggest lesson as a mentor AND mentee I have been mentored by some amazing people, younger than me and older than me
  • I have been blessed to minister to mentees, parents and even volunteer staff that is older and younger.
  • It never ceases to amaze me when someone comes into our program and knows nothing about scripture. They are afraid to jump in, and finding a role where they can use their talents, be mentored and learn all at the same time… this has proven to be a 1 Tim 4:12 moment

sum it all up

  1. Utilize your team
  2. Check progress
  3. Keep your eyes open for talent

This post originally appeared on and was republished with permission.

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Heidi Hensley

Heidi Hensley has served as Director of Children and Family Ministries at Quail Lakes Baptist in Stockton, CA, since 2005. She has over 18 years of experience in children and family ministry. Heidi spent her first 10 years of ministry designing and developing children’s ministries in churches where it was nonexistent. Heidi and her husband, Jason, were married in 1995, and they have two boys. Along with ministry, the family of four enjoys traveling and love the sport of Crossfit. Heidi has a blog for ministry, leadership and parenting articles, and maybe a rant or two about coffee and crossfit! Check it out at
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