In a previous post, “We Can’t Go It Alone”, there are three relationships that are important to have in life: a mentor, a peer, and a protégé/apprentice. In “A Mentor Is a Must” and “Peer To Peer” I elaborate on the first two. Here I want to finish this series and discuss the importance of having a protégé, being a mentor to a younger person. We should pass on to others what we have learned as they journey through life.
Many men have poured into me. Some directly, others indirectly, most positively, some, not so much. For whatever reason, I watched what men around me did, and to a certain extent I learned from all of them. I learned work ethic, how to fix things, how not to do things, how to treat people and how not to treat people.
I learned much by watching and making mental notes, both conscious and sub-conscious. People are watching all the time, just like I was. It has been said that everyone can serve as an example, some good and some bad. Please be a good example to someone younger than you.
Better yet, let’s be a proactive, intentional example. My father-in-law, Chuck Bollar, was just that, not only with me but with many other men. He stepped into our lives with the intention to have God use him to impact our lives. He was our mentor and we were his protégés. But it never felt like that. It felt like a friendship, like we were equals. He intentionally directed our focus to be on God.
There is a great need in our world for mentors. Young men are looking for men to come along side and take an interest. They may be your own sons, brothers, neighbor boys, etc. Whether they admit it or not, young men want a mentor in their lives.
In many cases the mentor benefits more than the protégé. Here are some benefits:
* You are held accountable.
As you spend time encouraging your apprentice, you become more conscious of how you live your life.
* You grow as you encourage and lead.
As you investigate and study ways to help your protégé’, you grow wiser and gain understanding of how to live life well.
* You fulfill the directive of God in Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
God calls men to remember the things He has done for us and taught us and to share them with our sons or younger people He brings into our lives.
* You will be challenged and learn from the person you are encouraging and leading.
When I became a parent, I was amazed at what I learned from my children: simple faith, innocence, regaining a fresh perspective on situations, how to just enjoy what is happening at any moment in time.
Look for opportunities around you, for younger men in your life to come along side and mentor. You may think you have nothing to offer. Not true, you have lived life and had experiences that those coming behind you haven’t had yet. Step up, have confidence and share what you have learned. You will help a younger, less experienced person on his journey through life.
Share an experience you had of someone pouring wisdom into your life. Open up and tell of a time you wish someone would have stepped up. Continue the conversation.