Let me first be frank...you have to want one to get one. If you don't really want a mentor, then all of the seeking in the world is just a sham cover to keep you from having to admit you don't want to play along. However, for those who genuinely want a mentor, who understand the benefits of being mentored, I have some ideas on how to find one through your local church.
Before going any further, let me talk to the would-be mentors out there. You don't have to wait until someone comes to find you. I will discuss this in a future post. You can go get your own protege without waiting on him. After all, it could be that the young man doesn't think he needs a mentor, or doesn't want one. Many of my mentors have found me without me looking for them. I have sought some out, which is why I write this, but you don't have to wait that long. If you see a young man who has something you want to develop, go get him!
For those who are looking for a mentor, I want to tell you where you won't find one: Your small group at church. More than likely, your small group is a “people of the same season of life” group. Either you're in a young-marrieds, young families, singles, career singles, etc. These folks, as wise as they are, will not be able to mentor you in most cases. If you want to serve God and your fellows with all of the power God gave you, then you need to find someone older and more experienced.
Here are my three suggestions for finding a mentor:
1.Go to your Men's Ministry Breakfast:
Let's face it...most younger men don't wake up early enough on Saturday morning to go to the men's breakfast. Even I'm guilty of this one and on days I don't oversleep I often have other events going on. However, if you're looking for a mentor, your options bloom at the men's breakfast. You'll have plenty of white-haired men there with nothing but wisdom and experiences to pass on to you, and almost always a willing heart to do so. Almost every time I've gone to my church's men's breakfast I've gotten caught up in swapping sea stories with old salts who have this experience I need. So go to your men's breakfast!
2.Hang out with the old men at the Men's Retreat:
We are naturally drawn to men of our own age and season of life. I am more chummy with men who have young children and are career-minded. If I am in need of a mentor, however, this attitude won't do. It's simply prideful and weak. It is prideful because it carries the attitude that the older generation has nothing to offer me...it is weak because I'm not humble enough to admit I could use the help. Deal with it, swallow some pride, and get with an old man.
3.Go to the traditional service at church:
This one might be the hardest for a potential protege to submit to because just about everything is different at the traditional service. It's almost like walking into a different culture. But if you want a mentor, go to the traditional service. Watch who hands out the bulletins before service. Who are the ushers? Who does the announcements before the sermon (if it's not the pastor)? Look for clues for a mentor. Be especially mindful of the guys who are active in church. They are the ones who probably have more to give as far as ministry experience is concerned. This isn't always true, but it's a good start.
Don't ever discount your Men's Ministry as a place to find your mentor. If you've been putting off getting a mentor, then stop dawdling and follow these three tips to find one! And when you're looking, keep in mind these other three thoughts!