The Value of a Mentor

Oct 9, 2014 by



How do you make a difference? How intentional are you at mentoring someone? How often does it happen by the life we choose to live and how we choose to live it?

One of my spiritual mentors never set out to be one. He was a mentor to many, but it was because he chose to live his life with character – with integrity, devotion, and compassion. He never wrote a leadership lesson or had 7 steps to train a person seminar. These are so needed and valuable for us. They allow others to mentor us from a distance, often in writings or teachings. We know and are privileged to be some of those who are mentoring, coaching, and developing people in relationships from our communication opportunities. But for those who simply open up their lives and share who they are and how to live life, they too are mentors and developers of character in people.

One of those mentors for me, along with his wife, was there for me during my teenage years. I reflect on how they were youth directors and leaders in our church long before paid youth pastors came along.

  • They opened their home, their hearts, and their lives for us to see, learn, and grow.
  • They put up with a lot of things from several of us through our immaturity or simple stubbornness.
  • They saw more in us than we saw in ourselves at times.
  • They loved us with a love like Christ,
  • they spent much of their own dollars, and again,
  • opened up their home where we probably abused the privilege and stayed way past what was fair to them.
  • They modeled for us the concern and care, the listening ear, and the heart to help us win in life.

In so many, many ways they mentored us by allowing us to watch and listen to them as we did some life together. Yes, they taught us with prepared lessons, but the greatest teaching came from their lives.

How they lived life was much more important than any formal lesson they gave.

As you might have guessed by now one of my mentors passed away suddenly and much too young. He left his wonderful uncle davewife, three great adult children with families of their own. There is story after story about how Dave Hosier made a difference. As I reflected on his life when I heard the news, I immediately and readily thought, “I am confident of one thing, he is hearing “well done…”

Now who are we mentoring with intentionality? I don’t mean formally. I mean who are you allowing to see your life up close, to ask questions, and in doing so help others win at life?

You see, most of us will never be known by those around the world. That shouldn’t matter. What does matter is how well known we were to those who were closest to us. This mentor is hardly known outside of a large family and the local community. But he is “well known,” and he has a great reputation of a life well-lived and modeled by those closest to him.

I hope to allow more and more inside my life to mentor, add value to their lives, and simply enjoy sharing so much life together that my choices, decisions, habits, and values “mentor” and disciple them to win at life, first with faith, then family, and then with any success and significance in life. Like Dave Hosier, not popular by the world’s standards, I trust that I am known by the only One who counts and He, my Heavenly Dad, says to me, “Well done…”

In what ways do we allow others to see our lives up close so that it will pay dividends in their lives?

~ Jim and Jerolyn




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