We are continuing our mentoring series with the topic “Mentor for Love.” If this is your first time to the series, I encourage you to review: Mentoring 101: Freedom and Mentoring 102: Mentor for Joy. Today, we pick up part three in this six-part mentoring series that aligns with the #Mentor4Life Leader’s Training Manual.
I just completed a mentoring session with one of my mentees, and every time we open the Word of God together, I am both challenged and encouraged. Today, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness and love.
Presence with God
Through mentoring, we have an invitation to receive the gift of presence with God and others. Recently, at the Missio Alliance Awakenings conference, one of the key note speakers shared her concern that when we use this language, we indirectly communicate that people are falling in and out of God’s presence. In reality, we know that God is with us wherever we go (Ps. 139:8).
When I speak of being present with God, I am not assuming or concluding that there are times when God is with us, and other times when he is not. What I am saying is that oftentimes we are not aware of his presence, nor do we intentionally engage him enough to understand why or how his presence activates our lives. It is not God who moves. We are the ones who move away from him when we are not aware of his presence.
Henri Nouwen refers to this attentiveness or presence as “the place of conversion, the place where the old self dies and the new self is born, the place where the emergence of the new man and the new woman occurs.” The place of conversion is where we are reminded of God’s love for us.
It is not until we are consistently aware of our presence with God, that we become move actively aware and attentive to our relationships with others.
Presence with Others
When the question, “Who is my neighbor” was posed to Jesus, he responded with a parable. The story ended with the most unlikely neighbor, a good Samaritan. The Samaritan was neighborly for showing mercy to a man who was robbed, beaten, and left for dead in a ditch on the side of the street. This lesson gave Jesus the opportunity to challenge his hearers to go and do likewise.
If we are not neighborly or merciful to people who we know well, it is very unlikely that we will be neighborly or merciful to strangers. In our mentoring relationships, we learn to show love and mercy to our neighbors—beginning with those relationships within our mentoring groups.
One of the ways that we show mercy, and communicate love and safety within our mentoring groups is by setting healthy boundaries. Lesson Three in the Leader’s Training Manual will help mentors and mentoring ministry leaders establish clear expectations and positive affirmations for their mentoring group.
In addition to creating a safe space for the individuals within a mentoring group, mentoring ministry leaders must also provide perspective for the mentors who are leading mentoring groups. It is so easy in all of our doing to forget the true picture of God. God is love.
Because of this truth, Jesus has given us the Greatest Commandment to Love God and Love Others (Matthew 22:37-40). The entire law and prophets are summed up in this one commandment.
This is the truth we draw on to today:
How does the Leader’s Training Manuel help me Mentor for Love?
The purpose of this lesson in the Leader’s Training manual is to help mentors establish safe boundaries and a healthy expectation for learning and sharing within a mentoring group.
By the end of the lesson, mentors will be able to:
- Create positive affirmations for their mentoring group.
- Set and clearly communication expectations to encourage spiritual growth in a safe and loving learning community.
This lesson includes a “Affirmations of Mentoring Group” exercise for mentors, and a team-building or group exercise for the mentoring leadership team (or mentors can go through this exercise with their mentees).
You can always follow the mentoring conversation using the #Mentor4Life hashtag on social media (Twitter @asistasjourney and http://www.Facebook.com/NatashaSistrunkRobinson).
The Leader’s Training Manual and accompanying videos are designed to accompany the Mentor for Life book, and it can be used as a tool for training mentors and developing a mentoring leadership team. This resource is often made available for free or discount for those who book Natasha to speak, or those who receive leadership training and mentoring coaching from Natasha. Natasha will also make an electronic version of this document available to those who email and show proof of purchase for 5 or more Mentor for Life books.
If you leave comments, I will attempt to answer the questions throughout the series, or follow the series with specific blog posts to address your questions.
Check out Natasha’s official website, www.natashaSrobinson.com, to receive free downloadable tools, recommended resources, request Natasha to speak, or to receive leadership training or mentoring coaching.