A Constellation of Mentors
He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher. - Luke 6:39-40
When Jesus talked about being ‘fully trained’ he clearly had in mind the idea of mentoring. A disciple was, after all, simply a student - someone who learned from a master teacher.
Sometimes we can put pressure on a person we deem a mentor by expecting too much of them. One helpful way to think about mentoring is to think about a constellation of stars - they link together, and some may be brighter or dimmer at times. And it’s the same with mentoring. There are different types of mentors that we each need, but no one mentor can fill all those roles. And at any given time, one or two mentoring roles will be more important. For example, early on in a Christian’s life, a discipler is really important; at a time of decision, a counselor is really important; etc.
So look at the image at the bottom and reflect on these different types of mentors. Talk with Jesu about the kinds of mentors you may need at this point in your life, so that you can continue to grow and develop into who God made you to be.
Discipler- A discipler is a more experienced Christian who imparts to a new believer the knowledge, skills and basics to grow in Christ. Disciplers affect the new believer’s character and behavior.
Teacher- The teacher provides knowledge and the ability to communicate that knowledge. Teachers offer perspective and enhancement to ministry.
Coach- This mentor knows how to do something well and how to communicate the skill.
Therapist- This mentor helps the mentoree identify, connect with, and integrate their emotional life, clarifying avenues of God’s work in their heart and its broader implications for their ministry.
Sponsor- The sponsor has credibility, positional, or spiritual authority within an organization, which enables a mentoree to develop and advance within that organization. Mentors often provide influence and protection.
Counselor- This mentor provides wise counsel and advice at crucial times, such as decision making and transition.
Spiritual Guide- A spiritual guide mentor is a mature follower of Christ who shares knowledge and skills related to greater spirituality. Spiritual guides offer accountability and insights for the mentoree’s spiritual growth.