Skip to main content

The Proper Care & Feeding of Your Mentor
Guest Post: Kimberly Jones


Normally in this space I would introduce the guest poster by sharing how we met. Kimberly takes care of this in her post, so I will dispense with that tidbit of information here and let her tell you. I asked Kimberly if she would share insights about the proper treatment of a mentor. I've been serving as one of her mentors for a while and quickly noticed that she knows how to treat, and keep a mentor. Therefore the reason I not only asked her to share today, but the reason I kept her as a mentee when I got rid of almost everyone else for the last six months. (LOL) I didn't request nor expect her to say any of the amazing things she's said about me here. In fact, I was really uncomfortable with it at first and even thought of not publishing it because I didn't want it to seem self serving.  Ultimately I decided to share this because of the principle of the thing. She speaks valuable truth regarding this issue that applies to all. While I'm humbled by her accolades, please look beyond them to the heart of her message, which is, the proper treatment of a mentor.
 


Have you ever wondered where Luke Skywalker would have been without Obi-Wan Kenobi? Obi recognized the force was strong in Luke, but without the guidance and discipline he brought, it was just potential energy and nothing more.  What about the New Directions? They would have never even made sectionals without the help of Will Shuester much less win nationals, despite what Sue Sylvester seems to think. He saw much more than a motley crew of teens. He saw broadway stars, actors, and songwriters.

Mentor (n.) a wise and trusted counselor or teacher

The beauty of having a good mentor is in the finding and keeping of one. It’s oft a long and wide search to find a good mentor. A mentor should be someone of your gender whom you trust, respect, understand, and who’s been where you’re walking and are headed. 

When I graduated from college I was so lost, so confused, so directionless and with no one to turn to. I floundered through life for almost 3 years. This is not to say that I didn’t have my parents or many wonderful women of God in my life through the local church. To deny the influence of the amazing women who surrounded me would be an outright lie. I’m saying it was hard to find someone who truly understood me. Many people have tried to encourage me and speak into my life and even though they meant well, because they did not adhere to the same values as I or fully understand where I’ve been and where I’m headed, their words fell flat, on deaf ears, and, in some cases, did more harm than good. Sometimes a well-meaning pat answer is worse than nothing at all.

One day my parents [who are lead pastors of a church] started talking about a lady named Deanna Shrodes who wrote a funny blog and was a pastor’s wife. They spoke of her blog often and I found I could relate with the topics too. I began reading her blog and was surprised at her candor. I wanted to meet this lady! 

I finally got to meet Pastor Deanna when she and her husband spoke at a conference held at the church my dad pastors. It’s a rare thing when I meet someone and click with them instantly. I’m awkward, not much for small talk, and shy at first meeting. She was powerful, confident, and unafraid. I wanted to be something like her. I wanted her to be my pastor. Being that my dad is a pastor, I never fully felt I had a pastor because I didn’t view dad as my pastor. To me, he was my dad.

Although Pastor Deanna and I are separated by a good hour and half drive, I speak with her frequently through Facebook messaging. She gives me sound advice and I try my best to obey and heed her words. She is taking her precious time to pour from her wisdom, experience and heart into me. She is in no way obligated to expend her energy on me. I am not part of her church, not one of her clients, and I am not directly in her path or sphere of influence. As a result, I don’t get upset if she doesn’t respond immediately. She is a wife, mother, friend, pastor, faithfully writes this blog daily, and is a job coach on the side. Plus, how many other people are vying for time with this godly, wise woman? Because of her caliber, she is in high demand. 

I don’t get bent out of shape if she tells me something I don’t want to hear. She’s not there to tell me how wonderful I am or raise my level of self-confidence. She is there to speak the truth to me in love, especially when it hurts. She is also there because she wants to be and that’s the part that means the most. To know that someone is choosing to pour into my life means more than gifting me with every single Joyce Meyer book ever written or teaching series ever recorded. (If you know how much I adore Mama Joyce, then you’ll understand the depth of this statement.)

I recently heard Nelson Searcy at a Fusion Seminar say that “You attract what you are.” He was speaking about church growth and assimilation, but how true is that statement in every situation of life? We become whom we emulate because as a man thinketh, so is he. It’s important to choose a mentor wisely, but it’s even more important to keep this person properly cared for so they’ll stick around. While we’re in the fight of our lives, so are they. Bearing one another’s burden can be gruesome and tiring.

Maybe as a mentee of a mentor, I have a role, too. Maybe I’m supposed to guard Pastor Deanna and protect her just as she does for me. After all, I am under her authority and all authority is given by God. Shouldn’t I in turn be loyal to my mentor and protect her integrity, time, and focus? Shouldn’t I continually lift her and her ministry up in prayer, too? She has committed to pray for me. She is also imparting wisdom to me that could shape my very destiny. I can’t afford to not pray for her in this case! 

When you give, you receive. The Bible also instructs us to give out of our need. I wish I’d figured that principle out sooner. If you need a mentor and someone to pour into you, begin where you are and pour from yourself into someone else. If you keep that influence and wisdom inside of you, it becomes stagnant and turns murky like a glass of tea left out for days. To keep yourself fresh, you must allow the Word of God and His spirit to continually flow through you like a faucet. Mentoring is not a one way street. At the same time Pastor Deanna is pouring from herself into me, I am to be a vessel who then pours from my overflow into another. There are others who are younger than me in my path and some who have sought me out who I can then pour into. That’s the beauty of giving. Mentorship is a cycle. 

Perhaps someday it will be spoken of many, “Where would ____________ be without the influence of Deanna Shrodes?” I know that will be said of me. 
  
Kimberly Jones is a multi-talented visionary, writer, event planner extraordinaire, future wife and adoptive mother, and hopes to go down in history as a girl who went after the heart of God to show a lonely generation how they are loved.  She serves on staff at City Life Church of Orlando and blogs at makingapearl.wordpress.com.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Relevant Church doing something...

incredibly RELEVANT!

I just heard some news today that really inspired me. A church here in Tampa, Relevant Church is doing a new thing this month called the "30 Days Sex Challenge." (I've never visited the church but Pastor Trinity - our children's pastor - has visited or has met some people from this church and he was very impressed.) Realizing that this is a major element missing from some marriages (the frequency factor) their lead pastor, Paul Wirth, has issued a challenge for all the married couples to have sex for 30 days in a row. At the same time he has issued a challenge for all unmarrieds to completely abstain from sex. Of course we know the Bible says that those who are unmarried should not have sex in the first place but the point is, a lot of unmarried's aren't obeying the Lord's command to abstain and this is just one pastor's way of trying to get them to see that indeed, there is a better way! (God's way!) At the same time, many married couples are no

What Verbal Abuse is Really Like, and Why We Must Care
Guest Post: Terri von Wood

In my speaking travels, I meet the most amazing people. Some are connections that go beyond just a night or a weekend of preac hing. One day on my journey, I met Terri von Wood, and we immediately clicked and have been friends ever since.  Just a reminder that all of our guest bloggers this week are available to chat with you in the comment section here on the blog or on my facebook page where the blog is also published.   *** People who have never suffered through or witnessed abuse (including pastors) often don't know how to help women in abusive situations. Knowledge is power and it is my belief that if the church understood the prevalence of abuse, help would be made available.  First, we must acknowledge that the divorce rate is the same  in the church as in the world.  Second, we must understand that the 50% divorce rate does not include all the women who are abused but stay because they do not know what else to do or do not have anyone to turn to.  If those women we

Book giveaway starts TODAY!

Today begins a book giveaway here on the blog!  The more times you comment, the greater chance you have to win! A friend at Charisma House asked if I'd like to review some books and give some away.  What a delightful idea!  We will be giving away several books over the next few weeks.  I do need to let you know that these books have been provided to me free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. So here's how it's gonna work...for every time a reader leaves a comment on any of this week's blog posts today through Thursday, November 3 at midnight, or on the facebook comment thread when the same post publishes there, I will enter your name in the drawing one time.  You can comment more than once a day!  You get your name entered every single time you post.  So, comment away!  Let your voice be heard!    We will draw the winner's name at midnight on Thursday and announce it Friday morning.  The book will be mailed to you..  The first book we are g