The First Mentor

As we move through this thing called “life,” don’t we all wish we had a guide, a coach, a model, an advisor?

We’re looking for a mentor.

When the Greek warrior Odysseus went off to fight in the Trojan War, he left his young son Telemachus in the care of a trusted guardian named Mentor. The siege of Troy lasted ten years, and it took Odysseus another ten years to make his way home. When he arrived, he found that the boy Telemachus had grown into a man – thanks to Mentor’s wise tutelage.

It is from this ancient Greek story that we now commonly speak of a mentor as someone who functions to some extent as a father figure (in the best sense of the word). A mentor is someone who fundamentally affects and influences the development of another, usually younger, person. Over the next few days I want to explore the concept of mentoring and its application in ChurchWorld.

Howard and William Hendricks, writing in their book “As Iron Sharpens Iron,” introduce their concepts on mentoring this way: At their best, mentors nurture our souls. They shape our character. They call us to become complete persons, whole persons, and by the grace of God, holy persons. The Bible puts it this way: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). Have you been sharpened against the whetstone of another person’s wisdom and character?

A single question to get you thinking about this mentoring concept:

Who are the people who have helped make you who you are today?

(a prior post on Mentoring, while I am away on vacation)


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