Continuing with the top ten commandments of mentoring, here is #2…
2. Determine the Purpose
I have spoken with many women (and some men too) who shared with me that past mentoring relationships proved to be disappointing. This is often due to having different or unfilled expectations. I am very big on communicating the purpose of everything you do, especially mentoring. Expectations should be expressed and agreed upon at the beginning of every mentoring relationship. If a mentor does not know the purpose of the mentoring relationship she will not even know where to begin, much less where to finish. If a mentoree does not understand the purpose she is more than likely going to be disappointed.
In 2007 I began a mentoring relationship with a woman on staff at a very large church. Because she had been a Christian for many years and in full time ministry I expected that she wanted our focus to be on leadership development or developing a dynamic women’s ministry in her church. What she desired was to be discipled in her walk with the Lord. She had come to realize this was a hole in her leadership and so this was our focus for 6 months. I admired her for having the courage to be honest and vulnerable with where she was. Sometimes pride will hold a person back from developing the walk a leader needs for success in ministry. Because we determined the purpose she was not disappointed.
In closing I want to remind you that passion follows purpose and living out your priorities. Without knowing the purpose of your mentoring relationship it can be ho-hum and boring. What about you? Have you determined the purpose of that mentoring relationship?