Tuesday, September 23, 2008

MENtor Myth I

I'm not qualified to be a MENtor

I had the opportunity to be a Resident Assistant my senior year in college. Each new R.A. had an outgoing R.A. from the previous year as a Mentor. I’ll never forget the advice Mike gave me which I still practice to this day. “Aaron”, he said, “there will come a time when a guy on your floor is going to knock on your door at 2am and at that moment you need to say, ‘God, Help!’.”

Feeling inadequate in the capacity of leading and mentoring is a common ailment that afflicts many Christian men all the way back to the early days of man. Moses, standing before God at the burning bush, told God he was unqualified to lead others. Gideon asked God to perform not 1, not 2 but 3 miracles before he undertook the mantel of leading other men. The prophet Jeremiah attempted to claim youth as making him unqualified. Often we’ll think because we don’t have the right education (or any education), the experiences, enough Biblical knowledge, we haven’t been a Christian long enough, etc that we are unqualified to be a mentor.

Yet looking at these men who’ve gone before us, they were not the biggest, the best, the most educated or the most “qualified” in the eyes of men. They were men willing to share all aspects of their relationship with God, with the men around them. Being a mentor is not about knowing everything or even knowing more than most, it’s about being a friend.

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