General Mentoring Helps Relationships

Three Things That Help a Mentoring Relationship

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to be on several radio interviews across the USA, regarding my book, Mentoring Warriors.  In virtually every interview, a common question was asked:  “What are the key things that make for a healthy mentoring relationship?”  Keep in mind that we at Mentoring Warriors value a Kingdom approach to mentoring. Regardless of the context between the mentor and the warrior, seeing Christ become an increasing part of both the mentor’s and warrior’s lives is foundational to maturing in our manhood.

Here are three key things that if implemented can foster a healthy Kingdom approach to mentoring.

It’s Living and Active

Word

Regardless of what you and your warrior are doing, bring God’s Word in every time you connect up. It could be a formal Bible study or memorizing Scripture, or simply a conversation about a passage from the Bible you are processing, how to live it out.  

Why is this important?  The Bible is the only book on the planet, in the entire Universe, that has the 100% endorsement of God himself.  He is the ultimate author of the Word. There is an entire foundation of how we got the Scriptures and how they were determined to be God’s Word. In Hebrews 4:12, it says that God’s Word is “living and active”. What that means is when you and I interface with the Bible, God, through the Holy Spirit, supernaturally uses the Word to penetrate our souls. He uses it to change us. To mature our manhood.  When a mentor and a warrior connect up, engaging the Word in one way or another, they give God an opportunity to impact their lives for good.

A friend and I were memorizing Galatians 6:1-2. In quoting it to each other, we were able to have a conversation beyond just the mechanics of memorizing to the underlying meaning of the verses. It helped both of us understand the value of putting ourselves out there for others. “Bear one another’s burdens and fulfilling the law of Christ.”

Pray without ceasing

Prayer

To be honest, in my warrior days, I didn’t value prayer very much. I was too independent, too self-sufficient to ask God for much help; unless it was a crisis. “I can handle it.” was my downfall. That’s all changed. Prayer isn’t just asking God for a nice day, it’s about hearing Him and giving permission for Him to father me through a host of challenges and choices. Whenever a mentor and warrior connect up, praying for each other is vital. Not just, “God, thank you for today.”, but, “God, let us hear from you. Father us through the challenges we are facing right now.” It doesn’t have to be a long-drawn-out time in prayer (although it can be). It could be a simple hand on one’s shoulder as you wrap up your breakfast meeting. Or, a prayer as you wrap up a phone conversation with each other.  The point is to bring God into your relationship and prayer is a very effective way to ask God to enter-in.

Doing Life Togehter

Have Fun!

I can’t emphasize this enough. Part of what makes any healthy relationship worth the time is when you do things you both enjoy; local sports game, favorite band, hiking, or biking, woodworking, fixing cars. A couple of guys I mentor enjoy camping, so we make it a point to do so now and then. Another has this knack for finding great music on Spotify. It’s given us a common interest that keeps discovering new sounds. A couple of warriors are very astute with guns. Although I didn’t grow up around guns, they’ve been great teachers for me as we will occasionally hit the target range. 

It’s finding a commonality that helps any mentoring relationship be healthy. Doing life together brings God into life. He becomes far more than a cerebral ascent.

“Sound’s like a job for an extrovert.”  I hear that from some introverts who want to write off mentoring. All I know is as an introvert, God has used these three essentials to build some healthy mentoring relationships with some awesome warriors!  It reminds me of Mentoring Warriors’ key verse:

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17 ESV

Warrior On!

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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