Traveling across the country, I would come across several young people who would request for mentoring. While it is a privilege to be a mentor to a younger person, it is a task that I consider seriously. It is critical that I can really allot my time and energy in following up, discipling and doing other mentoring activities.
There are times when I have referred them to other adults who are also willing and able to mentor them.
What does it take to mentor a young person?
Before we consider the set of skills needed, these are some of the basic questions that you may need to ask yourself:
1. Am I passionate toward the young people? Do they energize me? If you have a passion for the young people- it would be easier for you to overlook the immature behavior and see the motivations behind.
2. Have you settled some of your life issues? Have you already reached a closure to some of the unpleasant things you may have gone through when you were younger? This had to be asked because I have seen mentors who tried their best to mentor a young person, but unfortunately, in the process of their mentoring, re-experienced the pain in their teenage years. While that may not be bad in itself, but un-processed and unfinished personal businesses would get in the way for seeing and hearing the pains of a younger person. It would be a difficult task to be "in the moment" for a young person, when all the trauma and unpleasant experiences are coming back to you raw and fresh and you are ill-equipped to handle them yourself.
3. Do you have a positive mental outlook in life? Sure we get discouraged and get stressed out from time to time. But how about you in general?Are you a positive person?Do you exude confidence? Is your attitude wrapped up in hope?
The Joshua Generation is going through a lot of transitions. They need mentors who would give them hope while at the same time, still realistically grounded in reality. They need mentors who would tell them that "it is going to be alright" and feel that just by sifting through the life of their mentor, they would also be able to by faith say," it will be so.."
These are just some of the initial questions I thought I would share with you. Think along these lines. Do not worry so much about what you would be teaching or sharing or some of the insights that you think would be very helpful. These are all good things- but a mentor is not necessarily someone who is viewed as an expert in life. A mentor is someone who is willing to walk through life with a younger person.
I had been mentored by so many people in my teenage and young adult years. What I do now and how I do them have all been influenced by the things I had seen, heard and have been allowed to experience with my mentors through the years.
I pray that you will consider becoming a mentor. Invest your life on someone else.
I do not know of a lot more endeavors in life that could top that.
See you soon Lolo Eli...
8 years ago