Explore
Follow Us

How to find a mentor

This is the third in a series on finding a mentor. Yesterday, my own son, Seth, in Cambodia with the World Race, wrote this comment: “I decided about a month ago to look for a mentor and have been praying off and on about it.” And that thrills me, because as much as I want to do it for him, this …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

This is the third in a series on finding a mentor. Yesterday, my own son, Seth, in Cambodia with the World Race, wrote this comment: “I decided about a month ago to look for a mentor and have been praying off and on about it.”

And that thrills me, because as much as I want to do it for him, this is something he’s going to have to do for himself. And all of us, if we’re looking for a mentor, are going to need to take this kind of initiative.

However, I can do this – I can share a few lessons I learned about finding a mentor. Here are five:

  1. The would-be protégé must be intentional. He must shrug off failure and must persevere. I was turned down four times by important men before finally tracking down someone willing to invest in me.
  1. You may begin by looking at the prospective mentor’s message, but check out their life. Do they have a track record of disciple making? What do you know about the fruit in their life?
  1. You need to like each other. Your mentor should enjoy hanging out with you. This can’t be mechanical – it needs to be organic. You should laugh together.
  1. Look for venues to do stuff together and come prepared. It takes work to grow and to help someone grow. Since your mentor is giving you their time and energy, take the time to make it easy for them.
  1. Give your mentor a return on his/her investment. Show them their time is well spent. Report on how you’ve applied what they’ve suggested. Thank them for their feedback.

Comments (5)

  • Seth, THANX! I see from your advise here that culturally, mentoring will take a miracle to really happen in our part of the world. Many barriers will have to fall for it to work. It’s a thing of “honor” to keep back info from the young…younger ones in most cultures here. To invest in another means to give all. How can the elders here come to that level of self emptying in the younger…without the fear of losing prestige? It’s hard to imagine. Getting the right mentor like you’ve highlighted here, will be a divine work of grace…a mega miracle! I will keep praying and trying to hang on tight to the one I “seem to” have.

  • Uche – My guess is that it all stems from insecurity. The secure leader doesn’t mind being abased – he doesn’t need the ego strokes.

    Thanks for the perspective, Uche – as always, it’s good to hear from you.

  • Thanks for this Seth- God keeps bringing this to my mind lately, that maybe I need a mentor. Do I have tons of awesome people whom I love and respect pouring into my life- yes! But a specific “mentor”, no.

    No clue who or where or how to even start ‘looking’, but this blog is helpful. Thanks for the great advice and application.

  • Chimezie Marvelous AkaChukwu

    Thank you for this..
    I know this is an old post but it is still valuable.

    I’ve been working on the difference between a mentor and a spiritual father because of the group I handle….

    This series answered my questions and gave me better insights…

    Thank you

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Radical Living:

Receive updates on the latest posts as Seth Barnes covers many topics like spiritual formation, what if means to be a christian, how to pray, and more. Radical Living blog is all about a call to excellence in ministry, church, and leadership -as the hands and feet of Jesus.

Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



© Adventures In Missions. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy