The Mentored Life
By Kaarina Hsieh
At the heart of any ministry that seeks to reflect Jesus, regardless of how enthralling its outward appearance might be – there must be a commitment from its leadership to invest in the mentorship of at least a few in the everyday elements of life. Jesus modeled this – Jesus identified His multitude and invested greater time, energy and deeper teaching to those within that multitude. The ministry of Christ was vast and far reaching but the journey in between was reserved for a few – not for the sake of being exclusive but for the sake of being inclusive for those within His inner circle. The best leaders are always the best followers of Christ it seems to me and the best followers are the ones who purpose early on to be transparent, humble, teachable.
A profound spiritual transformation evolves within a healthy mentoring relationship because its values are always centered around principles of faith. The one who knows her true self and true identity in Christ will always be the most trustworthy leader and these are often realities discovered most beautifully through the accountability and intentional coaching of a mentor. The transfer of life skills and knowledge are so important but the nurture of Christian character that is at once strong and tender, bold and gracious, generous and discerning is always at the epicenter of mentoring relationships.
We were designed to live in community between the now and not yet! I love the way Ruth Haley Barton phrases it when she says “community is not an ideal which we must realize; it is rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate.”
We are called to be iron that sharpens iron and we know this is true of us when we recognize that relationships are the essence of our walking around-earthly lives; when we see those around us realizing and reaching their potential and together we become life long learners, as delighted to be seed planters as we are to be harvesters!
The “be-with” factor of journeying alongside another person; asking insightful questions (and not always wanting to answer those questions ourselves); choosing to listen rather than choosing to “fix”; celebrating the smallest of victories; grieving well together and catching one another’s tears on our shoulders seems to me what it was like with Jesus and His disciples on those long journeys between cities and places of ministry activity.
I have been privileged to be mentored by some of the finest, most faithful women and men of God I have ever known and it has been one of my most humbling and cherished joys to know that many women and men would identify me as a mentor in their lives! But it seems more and more clear to me that no matter how we invest and care for an individual, mentors are always chosen ultimately by their mentees and not the other way around! This is what makes it such a gift to find ourselves on either side of such a relationship. The key marks of the mentored life are gratitude and grace – she who has been loved well, loves well and I pray that when I walk into a room, this could be said of me.
Consider how you might journey alongside someone today in a more intentional way or find someone to come alongside your life in this season. NextLEVEL teaching modules are designed to encourage women to reach their fullest potential, identify and move towards their life goals; expand their capacity and competency and really make a difference in the world, all for the sake of Christ.