Thursday, March 31, 2011

Authentic Spiritual Mentoring

This morning I did a quick read of a book I have been waiting to read for some time. Although a few statements in it did not sit right with me (none of these about mentoring, more just the authors Christian worldview is slightly different than mine), the teaching on mentoring was fabulous! Here are some notes from the chapter, "A Spiritual Mentor's Job Description"

There are different kinds of mentoring: Discipling, coaching, teaching, counselling and group mentoring. Every mentoring relationship is a combination of these in differing amounts. One of the key struggles I have seen for people in the area of mentoring others or receiving mentoring is having too narrow a bandwidth. If our expectations are misleading at the outset, we are in for disappointment and maybe even hurt. He also mentioned one more type of mentoring that I think is important, "Reverse mentoring". That is, when the mentee teaches the mentor. Every mentoring relationship needs to have some of this as well. Great stuff.

We have been doing a series on parenting in our church and when I think of the different kinds of mentoring I can't help but think that the parent is the ultimate mentor. Each of the roles of the mentor happen for parents in various stages and seasons. Neat.

What are the fundamentals of mentoring? Praying - praying with and for each other. Hearing from God - getting direction from God and sharing with one another what we feel God is saying is critical to spiritual mentoring; He leads the way. Hearing from God is never a perfect art, part of the mentoring process is to help each other learn how to hear from God and to discern together His voice. Here are the last 3, so important! Accountability. Servanthood. Vulnerability. Jesus was the perfect model in each of these!

Another critical area for mentors is "asking vital questions". Here are a few:
 - How is your relationship with Jesus?
- What has He been speaking to you through His word?
- What are some areas in your life He has been pressing His finger on?
- What are some areas of concern the Father has been placing in you to be praying about?
- Has your thought life been pure?
- What sin has tempted you this week?
- What struggles have you been having in your life?
- In what ways have you stepped out in faith lately?
- Have you shared you faith this week?
- what was your greatest joy this week?
- What was your greatest disappointment?
- What do you see yourself doing 5 or 10 years in the future?
- What gifts do you possess that you feel are not using right now?
- What is your most passionate pursuit?
- What is your most intense longing?
- How can I help you fulfill what the Lord has called you to do?
- How is your relationship with your spouse?
- Do you take the necessary time to communicate (in your marriage)?