How Do I Find a Mentor?

This week we’ve talked about mentoring. Please take a few minutes and complete my mentoring survey if you haven’t already. You’ll find it HERE. I’ll be sharing results of that survey soon.

In this series, I’ve written about:

The 5 Types of Mentors

5 Questions to Help You Know What to do with a Mentor

Why I (You) Need a Mentor

Now the dilemma becomes, “Where do I find this mentor?”

I’ll agree. Finding a mentor can be tough. So if you’re ready to hear the complicated process…proceed with caution.

Here’s how you find a mentor:

Step One: Look for one

Step Two: Ask them

Can you remember that? Perhaps you need to write it down…just in case! 🙂

Okay, I realize that’s not a fair statement to someone who really desires a mentor and can’t seem to find one, but I still think it’s true.  The best intentional or seasonal mentors (refer to previous post for my definition of these two terms) are recruited.

Recognizing that many are still left wondering where to find a mentor, here are a few random thoughts about my “Look for…and…ask” recommendation that may help widen your search for potential mentors:

  • You will have to be intentional to find a mentor. You must desire one enough to do what’s necessary to find one.
  • Don’t be disheartened when you ask someone to mentor you if they initially say no. You may need to ask several people until you find one willing to commit the time to you.
  • Be sensitive to God’s activity in your life. If you are praying for a mentor, and your motives are pure in your request, my suspicion is that God will honor that prayer. You may have mentors around you that you have yet to see.
  • In your pursuit of a mentor, don’t look for people exactly like you. There will be a little stretching involved here, but look for someone with the character, qualities and expertise you desire to have or improve upon, but not necessarily wired exactly like you. That may even mean they are not in ministry.  My current mentor is not; he’s in business. He has the heart of a minister though and, with his age and experience, more church experience than I have, but certainly more life and leadership experience.
  • One problem I see young pastors make is that they want a Rick Warren or Andy Stanley level leader to mentor them, but I’m confident both those guys would tell you not to follow them, but to follow Christ. I’m not advising you to lower your standards in a mentor, but I am encouraging you to better define your objectives. Again, look for character, not position in a mentor. That usually opens the playing field in finding one.
  • The best person to mentor you may be the one who didn’t make it where you want to go…but still wishes he had. My dad was seldom there for me when I was growing up. He made many mistakes, but before he died he said some of the most profound things. I’ve got lots of good business advice to give a small business owner, but most of it is not from my success in business, but from my failure.
  • Give the person you ask to mentor you ample time to process your request. It’s a big one. You’ll want to make sure they are committed to the process and not just trying to be nice.
  • Be prepared to inconvenience yourself to accommodate the schedule of the one willing to mentor you.

Let me make this point clear: One reason you may not have a mentor is because you haven’t asked someone to mentor you. Ask! (BTW, this is not an invitation for you to ask me…not that you were thinking that! 🙂 )

Those are a few suggestions.

If you have had or been mentors, help this post and my readers out by sharing where you found your mentor.

Do you have a mentor? Where did you find him or her? 

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14 thoughts on “How Do I Find a Mentor?

  1. I've found mine through mens accountability groups (at church), small groups, and through church. My small group leader was one that I would come to occasionally with questions, or a request for advise as needed. There is another I meet with sporadically but tends to be monthly. He is a leader at my church but isn't someone who most people see as a mentor….he's not elevated, or "out there" among the masses. Most probably wouldn't see him as a mentor but God has used him in my life as a humble mentor friend.

  2. So glad I found your blog. Your posts are hitting me right where I'm living right now. I've been wrestling with my felt need to have a coach, and you're pushing me past where I've let myself stall out. Thank you!

  3. Ron, I have been following this series on mentoring, inspiring. I have found in mentoring and being mentored there is this sometimes unspoken social contract. What's your thoughts on this? What kind of boundaries do you have in place? Thanks for the insight. Love your articles!

    • Thank you. You've peaked my interest to think about this more…not sure I've put much thought into it. I will.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  4. Thanks for the post Ron. I especially liked when you said "In your pursuit of a mentor, don’t look for people exactly like you." I learned this lesson in my early years of bible study, as most of the women in my group were quite older. It frustrated me to see groups of young moms or homeschool moms laughing and having fun, while my group appeared more serious and intense. I even complained like a spoiled child- that I wanted to be with the younger people. Little did I know God's plan for me was to become a mentor to these women later on, as now lead more than 1,800 women from around the world in online bible studies. My group now consists of college women, single women, divorced women, young moms, older moms, grandmothers and retired women. God opened my eyes to all his women- not just those like me. So in your pursuit of a mentor, pray and let God provide. He knows what you need.