Last time we looked at the first two characteristics of a mentor, consistency and modeling. This week we will continue on with the next three characteristics of a successful mentor. I hope these help you understand the depth of the call and importance of your new role.
I commit to encouraging another; by listening, by understanding, by fostering strengths, and by showing empathy.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.- 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I love that this section begins with listening. Though we are the mentors and authority figures listening first is key. We all have plenty of advice to give but to fully understand the situation and give the best input we need to listen first. I also love that this verse says encourage just as you are, you are already doing the work keep going! Just being there is a huge blessing for these kids so know you are doing good work each and every day! We also need to foster strengths, see the great things your protégé brings to the table above the challenges. Be bold in your encouragement, tell them what you see in them and how you have witnessed them grow. Empathize with your protégé and understand their struggles are very different from your own but that does not make them any less significant.
I commit to building a mutual relationship; to enter the world of someone else, to hear about new dreams and challenges, to share my own stories, and to respect the differences between us.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.– Matthew 7:12
Understand that you will also be impacted and changed by this relationship. No relationship is one-sided but it is easy to see mentoring as only for the benefit of the protégé. You will get out of this what you put into it so the more you invest, the more you will be changed. You will come away a stronger and more understanding because of your protégé and their family. You will learn from this community its strengths and its weaknesses as well as teaching your protégé about your own community. Your world will look very different but just as they are welcoming you into their lives you should also be open with yours.
I commit to asking for assistance; when I need my own support, when the struggles of a child are bigger than I can handle, when I am unsure.
The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.– Proverbs 12:15
Your Relationship Coordinator is here to support you in whatever area you need as well as the rest of the Champions of Hope staff. It is wise to seek counsel especially in a relationship that is very new to you. Very few people have experience training and equipping a 4th grader or even a 12th grader so please ask for help. We are here every step of the way but we cannot help you if we do not know what is going on. You will be walking with someone else through their highs and lows and we want to support you throughout that journey.
-Chandler Miner, Relationship Coordinator