I was twenty-eight years old when my father died. On the surface, you’d think that as an adult I was past the time that I needed his guidance. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I was a relatively new husband, not yet a father, at the beginning of a career, and still growing spiritually. All of this at just twenty-eight years old. I now know how profitable it would have been to have had a man in my life who had walked the path I was on before me. I now understand that I needed someone who was willing to be transparent and honest about the pitfalls they’d experienced. This kind of relationship would have been important in guiding me, so that I wouldn’t have to make the same mistakes. While I sought that kind of guidance from several men, none willingly accepted the role of mentor. As a result, I determined to be for others what I desired for myself.
Why Is Mentoring Men Important?
Jesus Was A Mentor
Why is mentoring men important? One reason is that we see that Jesus was a mentor. Regi Campbell, author of Mentor Like Jesus and founder of Radical Mentoring considers Jesus the consummate mentor, having spent three years with eleven men who then went on to change the world! I agree with Regi when he says, “If there’s anything we should be able to learn from Jesus and replicate in our own lives, its mentoring.”1
Men Are Hurting
Another reason that mentoring men is important is because men are hurting. Manhood isn’t easy, and many men flounder through the process alone. Eric Mason, in Manhood Restored: How The Gospel Makes Men Whole, said that men are facing a crisis of identity-genocide, self-preservation, spiritual anemia, role disillusionment, absence, perpetual adolescence, and emotional immaturity.
Mentoring Impacts the Mentor Also
For the last six months, I’ve been spending time mentoring a group of five younger men. We’ve committed to spending twelve months together, so we’re about halfway through. We’ve had opportunity to share the stories of our lives with each other, and walk together our path as disciples. I’ve been blessed to allow my life to become an open book for these men; one that they could freely read and glean from. Not only has it been one of the most impactful things that I’ve done in ministry, I believe its one of the most important things that any man can do in life.
Being A Mentor Is Worth The Sacrifice
Being a mentor to men isn’t easy. Most of us don’t feel worthy to fill such a role in another man’s life. But the role isn’t about us. It isn’t about us being worthy or perfect. It is about us being willing to share our life with others in the same way that Jesus shared His life with his disciples. A mentor believes God has the power to use things, that seem of little use, to His glory. Being a mentor is about helping other men come to know their identity in Christ. Being a mentor is about helping them to understand their role as husbands and fathers. Being a mentor is about encouraging men to stand as leaders in home, church, and community. Becoming a mentor is ultimately about sharing who we have become by the grace of God with faithful men, with the expectation that they will do the same.
Question: Are you a mentor to men? Have you been mentored? I’d like to hear your thoughts. You can leave a comment by clicking here.