1. Mentoring is a way of life, not scheduled meetings. It is an outflow of love.

A lot of us structure our (Christian) mentoring/discipleship. We call our mentees once a week. We meet up with them maybe once a fortnight. We go through certain books that are supposed to help them in their Christian walk. We make sure we remember their birthdays.

But while organization. consistency, and structure is important, mentoring is so much more than effort. Mentoring must be your way of life!

Some people are really very natural AND deliberate at it – every trip to the grocer, gym, or shopping mall is an opportunity for mentoring. They ask themselves, who can I invite along? How can I encourage,teach, or inspire this person even as we enjoy ourselves and I get to know him/her better? How can I include this person in my life? They think ‘inclusive’ in as many aspects of their lives as possible! I know my uncle lives this kind of life: invite, include, and invest. 🙂

That’s the only way extremely busy people can mentor, I guess – have quick meals and do little little things with different people who catch little nuggets of truth through short interactions. Increasingly, I am learning to do that – know when to just hang out and have fun, discern when to speak, when to listen carefully, and what/how to impart.

When you develop a strength to relate on a deeper level, you will not feel pressured to make empty chatter. Instead, I find I am learning how to strategically make my conversations count.

But these things take sacrifice. I have deliberately taken effort to find out good places to hang out in Adelaide, and I’m really making effort to find common ground with people I want to influence so that relationship-building becomes easier! I am an introvert, I like being on my own, and it has taken a mindset shift on my part to decide to live a more interactive and inclusive lifestyle. I want to make mentoring as enjoyable for everyone including myself.

If I fail at relating well to people in real-life outside of ‘religious teaching’ I will fail at mentoring. I will fail at being a Christian. I know I learn from how people live life so much more than what people say to me. 🙂