Mentorship and Leadership: Living A Life Worth Following
Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 2 Timothy 3:10-11
As we step from August into September, we continue to pray for everyone in the sphere of Education as some schools are just getting back after Labor Day while others have already put in a month of hard work. We then turn our focus throughout September on praying for the Business/Workplace sphere – not leaving Education behind, just increasing our voice and vision in prayer for the people and places where we work, produce, and consume, in every “industry” area in our neighborhoods and nation.
We have all experienced the challenges facing businesses these past several months; supply chain issues, lack of employees, financial debt from Covid closures and more. These challenges affect everyone as cost of goods have increased dramatically and as I saw one sign outside a national chain restaurant the other day that said, “Now hiring people who will show up.” These days give us many opportunities to pray and ask God for His wisdom and help. Remember, if you have time to complain about it, you have time to pray about it, and praying will bring the change and help we need.
One of the things that each of us can do to help create a better today and stronger tomorrow is to be a mentor. Mentorship takes many forms; some meet for meals and talk through life while others may use a more strategic plan or even a study to guide their conversations. Some people are looking for career mentors in areas they are thinking of pursuing or wanting to be promoted while others need an older friend of family-like figure in their life. Paul mentored Timothy throughout his ministry, treating him like a son. Even though they were not related by human blood, they were deeply bound by the blood of Jesus and their commitment is an example worth following.
As Paul reflects in his last letter to Timothy, he affirms and encourages Timothy, once again noting that Timothy has followed Paul’s teachings, conduct, purpose, character, faith, fruitfulness, and many sufferings and ultimately seeing the hand of God work throughout Paul’s life. All of these can only happen through relationship and commitment. Paul knew it was essential to multiply the education, inspiration, and experiences that God had poured into him by training up and traveling with others.
As we bridge our prayer for Education and Business/Workplace I want to encourage you to ask yourself, “Who am I mentoring?” I don’t expect you to take on a fulltime 24/7 mentee, but who are you deliberately pouring information and inspiration into on a regular basis? Would you be willing to let a school know that you would come speak about your field of work, invite students to visit your workplace, or even take on a short-term intern? Is there a youth at your church that you know could use some encouragement and direction? Would you be willing to take them to lunch and be transparent about your challenges and testimony of how God has walked with you and you with God through your teen years or a tough time in your life? Would you be willing to pray for them consistently and offer to meet occasionally or on a regular basis to talk? Listen to them carefully, giving them your full attention; you might be surprised what you learn from them as well! Have you wanted to teach a workshop or start a club about something you really enjoy doing, like an area of art or golf? Please take some time over this Labor Day weekend and thank God for the mentors, friends, family, Pastors, and teachers, in your life and ask Him to show you where you can multiply the legacy of your life by pouring into others.
Will you begin by praying with me now and then take time throughout the weekend and beyond to add specific names and lessons to this prayer.
Lord Jesus You are The Teacher, and I am Your disciple, Your student eager to learn. Thank You for not leaving me in ignorance and immaturity, thank You for Your patience and gentleness towards me and Your discipline when I try to wander too far from You. Thank You for the gifts and talents You have given me and for teaching me and sending others into my life to train me up in how to develop and use them. Thank You for all that I learned from family, friends, teachers/coaches, Pastors, leaders; all the people You have written onto the pages of my life that I might live out You plans with excellence. Show me how I can be a “Paul” in someone’s life. How can I share what You have taught me with others so that Your glory is multiplied? Don’t allow me to say that I don’t have time or anything to share but remind me You call me to care and to love others as You have loved me. Thank You for loving me through life, the life that You have given me, as I live to give it back in love and service to You. In Jesus Name we pray, Amen!
Serving Him with gladness,
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force