“Leadership is both something you are and something you do. A mentor is not a person who can do the work better than his followers; he is a person who can get his followers to do the work better than he can.” – Fred Smith
“We loved you so much that we delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…” – 1 Thessalonians 2:8
(1) Select a mentoree whose philosophy of life you share. Our greatest mentors are those who are also our models.
(2) Choose a person with potential you genuinely believe in. Some of the nation’s greatest athletes have come from tiny schools that receive no publicity. All those ball players needed was for scouts to recognize the potential that great coaching could bring out. The secret of mentoring in any field is to help a person get to where he or she is willing to go.
(3) Evaluate a mentoree’s progress constantly. An honest mentor will be objective. If necessary, he or she will encourage the person to stay on course, to seek another direction, or even to enter into a relationship with another mentor.
(4) Be committed, serious, and available to mentorees. New York Philharmonic Conductor Zubin Mehta said of the young pianist: “I cannot teach him how to play, for he knows what the composer wanted to say; I simply help him say it.”
Dr. Ted W. Engstrom (1916-2006) led several major evangelical institutions – including World Vision, Zondervan Publishing House, Youth For Christ International, and Azusa Pacific University. He wrote or co-authored over 50 books and specialized in mentoring and developing leaders. “His ability to integrate the gospel with everyday life was absolutely inspiring,” said Dean R. Hirsch, head of World Vision International. “Dr. Ted made work and faith walk together.” The excerpt above was adapted from his book The Fine Art of Mentoring, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1989, 24.