The term mentor comes from two Greek words, mentos meaning with purpose, spirit, and passion and meno meaning to remain, abide, continue, be present, wait, endure. I believe this definition gives a whole new weight to mentoring. It is not only a call filled with purpose and passion but also something we are to endure through and be present during. Mentorship is a process and with that comes both high and low points. We have been called to invest, love and commit to the children and youth of South Dallas, what a great opportunity to disciple the next generation!
Each one of us decided to take on new roles when we became a mentor so I want to talk about what those roles are and how we see them play out in our mentoring relationships. The Mentor Pledge outlines these roles very well and gives good insight to the struggles and joys of mentoring. Each section will talk about a commitment that is made when taking on the title mentor but I have also included scripture references to reinforce those points. Over the next couple of months we will look at all eight sections of the pledge but for now we will just dive into the first two. I hope you find this as helpful as I did.
I commit to making a difference; to support, guide, and be a role model.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.– Hebrew 13:6
This first section of the pledge is the basic role of a mentor. Each of you, as mentors will make a difference in the life of your protégé but it is up to you what kind of difference you make. You control the conversation and how you respond to the things your protégé brings to the table. Your job is to support, guide and to set an example for how a follower of Christ acts and serves others. You could be the only positive light your protégé sees in a week so take advantage of every opportunity to speak truth. Mentorship is a journey and not a destination so modeling is one of the most valuable resources you have as a mentor. Your actions will always speak louder than your words and your investment will impact them forever. You are most likely the coolest person in the life of your protégé so understand they make note of everything you do. I am amazed at the amount of things they remember when I thought they were not even listening.
I commit to being consistent; to be a steady figure over time, to be persistent, and to help another persevere.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.– 1 Corinthians 15:58
This statement is key. Consistency is something that many of our protégés lack. With turn over at school and inconsistency in many families you may be the only steady figure in their life. As a former teacher I was burdened daily by the struggles of a child in a low-income environment but was equally encouraged by how they reacted to my love. They value love and presence above anything else, just having someone around was the biggest blessing for them. Being a consistent figure gives you a new voice of influence whether you see it all the time or not you have the power to speak truth into the life of your protégé. You can also help them persevere. Life in South Dallas can be challenging but your love and unconditional support can make all the difference in the life of your protégé no matter if the child is 10 or 18.
-Chandler Miner, Relationship Coordinator