Story Magazine - Third Quarter, 2002
The Incredible Power of Mentoring
Think Dorothy or the Wizard of Oz and the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow.
Think Yoda and Luke Skywalker.
Okay, think Jesus and the twelve disciples.
If you want to find powerful examples of mentoring, you need look no further than your bookcase or video collection. Stories of mentoring abound, going back to Homer's ancient epic of Odysseus who asks his good friend Mentor to counsel his young son while Odysseus is away.
The criteria haven't changed in many a century: Mentors guide, encourage and support. They challenge their protégés to go beyond their comfort zone and explore their potential. Probably most important, mentors truly listen. And they take the time to observe.
At Luther Seminary, it seems just about everybody has a mentor story--even though they may not always recognize it as such.With each of the nearly 800 students there is a "cloud of witnesses," individuals who have helped that person come to Luther to study.
Perhaps you are one of those people. Perhaps you can be. Mentoring is life changing for the mentor as well as for the person being mentored. Look around you. Help identify the gifts of others--not just to ministry, but to whatever God calls each of us to do in God's name. Seek out your own mentors, people whose insight and advice you respect. Unleash your potential!