What is Mentoring?

The terms, “mentor” and “mentoring”, are used rather loosely to describe a wide range of roles and activities, and so the words have come to mean different things to different people.

“Mentor” generally contains two common elements:

The mentor is a trusted individual.

The mentor is more experienced than the mentee, and freely shares that experience with the mentee.

A mentor can also be thought of as a(n): friend, advisor, coach, guide, teacher, and role model.

Mentoring is a relationship in which a trusted and experienced person freely acts as a friend, advisor, coach, guide, teacher or role model to someone less experienced and in need of such a relationship. Mentoring is a relationship through which one person shares him/herself as well as knowledge, skills, information and perspective to further the growth of someone else. A mentor is “a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction”

Mentoring can be carried out in many different ways and for a variety of purposes.

Degree of Formality:

  1. informal or casual mentoring
  2. formal mentoring

Functions and Goals:

  1. educational or academic mentoring
  2. career mentoring
  3. personal development mentoring
  4. cultural and faith-based mentoring


  1. church
  2. community
  3. school
  4. workplace
  5. Internet

Number of Mentees:

  1. One-to-one Mentoring;
  2. Group Mentoring; Family Mentoring

A good Christian mentor has the following characteristics:

  1. growing in Christlikeness (Christlike character, worldview, accountability and service);
  2. a sane estimate of ourselves and others;
  3. the ability to ask good questions;
  4. active listening skills;
  5. know their limitations and be able to set boundaries;
  6. have the time to give;
  7. believe in the power of prayer;
  8. familiarity with the Bible and, above all,
  9. have a living relationship with God.

Ideally we should seek to be engaged in each of these aspects at one and the same time to balance the receiving in personal mentoring relationships with a giving of support and encouragement to others. That is all of us should have mentors, even as we seek to mentor others. Mentoring is a very significant role every growing, maturing Christian disciple can fulfill, irrespective of age or experience. Indeed, despite the above list of what it takes to be a good mentor, it is often the most unlikely people who succeed in this ministry.

Characteristics of one who is looking for a mentor

  1. a growing spiritual hunger and thirst; a desire for a deeper relationship with God
  2. an awareness of one’s own spiritual weakness and a longing for more
  3. recognition of the need for a guide along the way; the realization that we aren’t meant to make this journey solo
  4. Willingness to listen to the voice of mentors, not as absolute experts with the final authoritative word but as the mature, discerning expressions of those who have traveled this way before.
  5. Humility and the willingness to be accountable to another before God

For more information on Mentoring and Leadership Training, contact Wi-Guan, the Nurturing Team Leader [email protected] or one of the Pastors.


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