Mentoring Monday: Can I mentor from a Distance?

Can I mentor from a distance?

I understand that sometimes you are acquainted with a younger believer who lives far away from you. Paul clearly mentored Timothy even when Timothy was no longer in Paul's presence. It's biblically acceptable, and I would say that it's logistically possible as well, particularly because of modern technology. In fact, I have mentored young Christians from a distance myself. It is never the best option, mind you, and I do my best to help my young protégés find someone in their local area to fall under for guidance, but it can be done.

It will be very important for your protégé to find other methods of accountability because you will honestly not be close enough to him/her to really ascertain whether he/she is meeting all of the goals you set down at the beginning of the relationship. Your protégé may tell you that the Bible reading and prayer times are good to go, but that doesn't make it necessarily so. It will be, to a large degree, up to them to make that happen. You are there for guidance, not for accountability.

4 comments:

boilt frog said...

One could argue that the entire NT is mentoring from a distance.

One could also argue that everything we do is mentoring. However, this dilutes the force of the word.

Dan Smith said...

You know, I had this conversation with a friend of mine in Florida. An old Navy buddy actually. He suggested that the apostles are our mentors, but I don't agree. The Apostles had their disciples (protégés). Mentoring, or discipling for that matter, requires interaction. We do get guidance from the Bible, but mentoring comes from someone who interacts with us.

boilt frog said...

Good point. NT does speak of interactions between individuals. Consider Jesus and the twelve.

How goes the Rapture paper? Publish a draft. Truth is our goal. Let's help each other get there.

Dan Smith said...

That will unfortunately have to wait. I doubt you will, but shoot me an email and I'll just send it to you. I'm already behind in class work for this semester and I've got two classes to do.