There are two incidents in my life that woke me up to the power of intentional mentorship:
1/ when my pastor and spiritual father asked me if I had people other people in my life that were challenging me and holding me accountable. I guess, back in those days I was “a closed book” in his own words.
2/ the second time was when my wife out of frustration blotted out “you have no friends, no mentor, no one speaking into your life – how can you like that?”
Those two moments really opened me up to the power of intentional mentoring. I realized at that time that in order for me to grow, I needed to stay accountable, seeking out mentors and make it one of my highest priorities. That I needed to step-out of my comfort zone and seek that person who God will place on my heart to ask, not being afraid of approaching them. A relationship in which I can find opportunities for God to stretch my mind, heart, and spirit. Over the years I have been able to stay connected with some godly men that have challenged me in many ways. I recently wrote a note of appreciation to one of them. Here is what I wrote:
Dear Ron, I was reading a blog tonight about the levels of Intentional Mentorship and I came across this little paragraph as the writer tried to describe the 3 levels of mentorship – “This is a person that has gone through it all. They have wisdom and you will see that they want to share it with you. This will bring joy to their lives along with giving you the opportunity to gain a broader perspective on life.” I first want to say I miss you very much, and also I want to thank you very much for your kindness toward me all these years. When I read this paragraph – you came to my mind and I wanted to say thank for being there for me, encouraging me, challenging me and investing time, wisdom, excellence and kindness to me – you are greatly appreciated and may the Lord continue to bless you and your family.
Your brother Walter
Here are the 3 levels of intentional mentorship that you can practically implement in your life: They were taken from a blog written by Rena Kosiek.
1: Your Generation. A first level mentor is someone around your age, give or take a few years. This person will be on a similar level with you. They are not necessarily your friend, but someone you respect and know has insight that will challenge you to think.
2: 1 Generation. The second level of mentorship is someone who is the next generation older/younger. For me at age 22, this would be someone around my parent’s age. These are people who have wisdom, yet can still connect with you in relevant ways. A level two mentor is usually a person who tends to hold the most accountability.
3: 2 Generations. The third level of mentorship should be someone 2 generations older/younger than you. This is a person that has gone through it all. They have wisdom and you will see that they want to share it with you. This will bring joy to their lives along with giving you the opportunity to gain a broader perspective on life.