In his book, You Can Make A Difference, Dr. Gary Collins tells of a team of analysts from Yale University who spent years researching and analyzing the very difficult move from youth, through middle-age, into old age. One major idea emerged that made the movement successful — mentoring.
A mentor is someone who guides, challenges, corrects and serves as a model for someone younger. Stories of mentoring go back to Homer’s ancient epic tale Odysseus, who as a father, simply asked his good friend Mentor to counsel his young son while he was away.
The criterion hasn’t changed much since. Mentors guide, encourage and support. They challenge their protégés to go beyond their comfort zone and explore their potential. Probably most important, mentors listen, observe and reproduce themselves.
Timothy had his Paul
Paul had his Barnabas
Joshua had his Moses
The Twelve had their Jesus
Elisha had his Elijah
Daughters have their mothers
Sons have their fathers
Every person has the image of God
The design of mentoring is a strategy straight from the heart of God. His intent is to reproduce His own character in the human race, and He does it through one person to another.
Last year I lost a great mentor and a personal friend. Prentice Meador has returned to the Mentor of the universe. But his guiding influence lives on in the ministries, marriages, families, and lives of those in his multiplying ministry chain. I am grateful to be in that chain, but it will only remain a chain if I continue to add links.
Do you want to honor the mentors in your life? Do what they did.