Why I (You) Need a Mentor

“Surely I am too stupid to be a man. I have not the understanding of a man.” Proverbs 30:2

I’ve got pastoral intern this summer named Dan Dominguez. Dan and I have been able to hang out some the last month or so and I have enjoyed our time together. He attends Moody Bible Institute, where he is studying to be a pastor and is a good friend of my son Nate. Nate is studying in Europe this summer, so it’s been a blessing having Dan near.

Dan and I were discussing the need for people in our life to help us when we can’t clearly find our way. I don’t know your situation, but Dan and I, from two different generations, could agree that Proverbs 30:2 could be one of our life verses.

By the way, the opening verse is the answer to the title of this post. I’m not trying to be funny or offend you. I’m admitting I need this too, but I need a mentor because the best options in my life are not always certain. A mentor has often helped me avoid stupid decisions I might have made without one.

Do you recognize your need for a mentor?

Be honest, what is one area of your life where you have the greatest need for one?

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28 thoughts on “Why I (You) Need a Mentor

  1. One more question. Do you think Pastors should look outside their congregations for a mentor? Seems like there could be needless risks involved. Do you know of any organizations who help pastors find mentors?

    • I don't know of any organizations. I've actually thought about starting one :)Yes, most of the time the pastor will need to look outside the congregation, but depending on your age, you may be able to find someone 15-20 years further down the road…some godly man you could see yourself being like in some area of life…and they could be your mentor in that area. I had one who was 30 years older than me, but understood what it was like to have adult children. He was also very humble. I wanted to grow in both areas, so I recruited him as a mentor.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

      • Thanks. I too have thought about starting one. During my quest for a mentor I emailed many of my friends who are in ministry and some of them expressed the same frustration as me. If you start an organization, please let me know!

    • I think it's “most” effective face to face, but I've had some great mentoring through Skype and even some through email. Just as a book has helped shape me, so has some of my email exchanges with people I trust, follow, etc, but don't have any other access to.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  2. I been looking for a mentor, spritual, and profesional, but i have a problem founding one that is wise, so i can see God in their lives. and the ones who are wise are very busy, I have about 5 women under my wing, but i feel like I need someone to mentoring me. there is a lot of work to do in mentoring, people are in great need.

    • I agree with you. One suggestion would be to look outside the normal window. Maybe the person isn't serving in some church leadership position right now, but is solid in faith, and further down the road in life.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  3. Great post Ron. I am 29, and I find that guys my age have issues asking and seeking wise counsel. I am a big advocate for mentoring. I have come to realize that I do not know everything, and that I must be a student of life. I have been very blessed to find great wise men who are investing in me, and I can’t thank them enough. Proverbs 1:5 teaches us that to be a man of understanding we must seek wise counsel. As I learn I teach, passing on knowledge to younger man. I am even working on starting a mentoring network at http://www.wcmn.org we all need a mentor. Jesus was the model mentor. We need to find a Christ follower to follow, so that others will then follow us, as long as we are all being led to Christ!

  4. Thanks for what you are drawing out about mentoring. This is an area that I've struggled with. I have wanted one, but haven't been great at connecting with one at different phases. Right now, it would be great to have a mentor to help in walking through a season of transition and to help bring clarity to what God has next for my wife and I in ministry.

  5. I agree. I think we all need mentors but it becomes a huge matter of figuring out how that fits in our lives. I recently sought out an intentional mentor and was shocked by the answer I received. It wasn't that the person did not want to mentor me, but was more that I clearly understood that this person had no idea what it meant to move from coaching me to mentoring me. I recognize the need for a mentor in my life and am grateful that I have that in various forms that I never realized.

  6. I think we all need mentors. I've looked back over my life and it was mentors who have helped me during key moments in my life. Most of these I can see clearly in hindsight! I would say the greatest area of need in my life for a mentor is in the area of leadership & ministry. I don't fit the mold of a traditional pastor and yet I don't exactly fit in the mold of a Gen X or Gen Y leader either. I'm kind of in-between and there are few leaders who fit that right now.

    Twitter: ericspeir

  7. I see a great need for a mentor in my life. Unfortunately the people I approach about it are already very busy people. So the mentoring relationship is distant and inconsistent. I take advantage of that when I can and I read a lot of blogs to learn and grow, but that isn't enough. A mentor who knows the ins and outs of your life can challenge you in ways that are specific to your needs. A blog may challenge me, but nobody is holding me to that challenge. A personal relationship is necessary and close proximity.

    • That's true. Mentors are very busy…or the people we typically look for..I'd say this…see mentoring as a life direction thing, not a weekly investment thing…it makes the time commitment more manageable. I'll write more about this later.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  8. Yes, I need one, but where do you find them? Especially when it comes to the "Sunday Stuff" like preaching/teaching, etc. As a younger (32) man who has been a pastor since 26, there really are few places to turn to ask the advice of someone who understands the situation, people, etc. that I minister to. And it is not like you can grab another pastor and tell him, "Sit in my services and tell me what you think."

    • Sometimes I think there is a need to sit back and define for ourselves, our individual situations, the differences between a mentor and a coach. Looking for someone on purpose, an intentional mentor is hard, especially if the options around you don't understand the need or the how-to of mentoring. You probably have a mentor(s) in your life already. Maybe unintentional or relational and it might be a matter of embracing. Will be praying for you to find what you need/desire!