Weekly Thought – December 24, 2013
Fred’s family had a tradition of buying presents and decorating a tree on Christmas Eve. It was years before the family knew their Dad started the “tradition” because trees went on sale that afternoon, as did gifts. He and Mary Alice made it special and festive.
The year is coming to an end. Has 2013 flown by for you? It is fun to look back and see all BWF (and BWFLI) has accomplished. Without your help, it would be impossible to continue this work. You are a gift to us. Thank you so much. And please know we will be praying for you to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ with joy and contentment.
We need instructors as well as mentors. With an instructor we share an interest in the same subject and can communicate easily around that particular material. Instruction is what Plato referred to as “transferring information from one mind to another.” Instruction includes showing how to use the data transfer to maximize gifts and talents for usefulness. Instruction is helpful for the learning of techniques.
Mentoring is different. Our best mentors are those with whom we share a common philosophy of life, knowing that what we do is an expression of our mindset. Personally, I have found that I can best be a mentor to those whom I respect most. That respect creates an atmosphere in which the mentee can learn the arts of development since we are talking about more than technique. Mentoring is the process of developing unique qualities in the art of learning. For example, such things as thinking, feeling, and dedication to excellence cannot be given by instruction – they can only be coached.
Mentoring involves the heart as well as the head.
The requirements of a good mentor are: 1) share a comparable philosophy; 2) sincerely believes in the mentee’s potential; 3) both understand where he/she wants to go; 4) able to make assessments and be willing to offer alternative directions; 5) recognizes when the “season” is over; 6) attached to mentee through accomplishment; 7) being mentored themselves; 8) willing to be committed, serious, and available.
As a practical matter, instructors have to be changed more often than mentors. But mentors themselves need to be surrendered when they have served their function. Seldom is it a personal lifetime commitment to each other – it is a commitment for a purpose. When that purpose is accomplished, the relationship may change to friendship but does not need to be continued as mentor and mentoree.
This week consider: 1) Who is my mentor? 2) Who am I mentoring? 3) Which is more comfortable for me, instructing or mentoring?
Words of Wisdom: “Mentoring involves the heart as well as the head.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.” (Ephesians 6:22 NET Bible)