Having mentors used to take relatively little initiative for me—I just had to be willing to let someone buy me coffee or lunch. By the time I graduated, I’d gotten pretty used to mentors finding me. As a college freshman, a junior helped me grow in my faith, mostly by including me in his life and living as an example. Later, campus ministry staff met with me weekly for mentorship. I attribute much of my spiritual growth to the investment these mentors made in my life.
When I moved to Seattle for a job, all this changed. There were no longer mentors seeking me out. Although I’ve found that this is pretty common for people as they move from the campus to the workplace, I wasn’t content to lose this vital aspect of spiritual growth. So, I started seeking them out. I looked for people whose lives I respected and from whom I thought I could learn.
This worked, but I soon found that these men had busy lives and didn’t have the capacity to meet with me every week —more like once a month. I did the math and realized if I still wanted to be met with weekly, I’d have to find about four men. Eventually, I did find a few mentors, meeting with each one monthly and benefiting uniquely from each. What I feared might be lost in continuity was more than made up for in diversity. It took flexibility, initiative—even willingness to treat them to lunch—but I’ve learned the value of seeking out mentors.
Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life by Paul Stanley and J. Robert Clinton. Although there are plenty of good books on mentoring, what is unique about Connecting is that it helps people figure out how to find a mentor. Both mentor and mentee are encouraged to take initiative in the process.