For anyone about to make the jump from youth to adulthood, it can be hard trying to pave a path towards success. With all the colleges, employment, and volunteer opportunities out there to explore, many young people today feel overwhelmed with choices—it can be hard to weigh options and ultimately make informed decisions.
Guidance from God is a wonderful thing—that’s what we all want. We long to know what we should do and how to go about doing it. Believe it or not, many students and young adults feel the same way.
But what many young adults are missing out on is the reality that words of wisdom from the Lord often come through the mouths of others.
Particularly, through the mentorship relationships God has placed in their lives…
The meaning of mentorship
You see, many consider learning to be something done only in the classroom. We grow as people when we find new facts or acquire fresh information. Certainly, this kind of growth happens in part through reading books, writing papers and going to lectures. But a lot of it also happens on accident—when we least expect it.
You see, learning happens most often through doing life alongside others. It’s people, I would argue, not books, from which we glean our most valuable life lessons.
That’s been the case with Kristen. It’s been several professors, but one in particular (Dr. Carolyn Hart) who’s been that significant influence on her life.
You see, we learn best in community and are blessed to be influenced by those around us. These influencers come in the form of casual friendships, sure. But they also come through relationships with those who students might refer to as mentors.
Mentors—in academic settings, the business world, church, or anywhere really—are just people willing to use their wisdom and experiences for the good of those around (and under) them. Often, these are leaders who both see and want opportunities to pour into young lives. This means mentors take part in overseeing mentees growth spiritually, emotionally and, at an institution of higher learning, academically as well.
Balancing motivation and care
For young adults, mentors aren’t just people who provide emotionless advice and stern motivation. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Mentees most often want this older/wiser/more experienced counterpart to not just care about their success, but them as an individual.
It’s not about pushing and pulling young people towards worldly achievements and accomplishments. For mentors looking to really make a difference, it’s actually not about helping students valuing what the world values at all. Instead, it’s about helping mentees—future doctors, lawyers, preachers, ministry leaders, and restauranteurs—come to see their lives as not their own, but God’s. In his hands alone, their future endeavors are fully secure.
The journeys we’re all on ultimately belong to Jesus, but mentors can help along the way.
Becoming a mentor
So, what if you are a young adult and you are saying, “Yes, I need this”?
Respondents from the Strada-Gallup poll gave feedback on many factors surrounding the topic of mentorship. But the data also indicated that generally, a low percentage of students are taking part in these relationships in the first place. Only 43% of Strada-Gallup poll respondents agree in some form that they’ve received high quality mentoring.
If you were mentored, you know the value of it. If you were not mentored, you probably know you missed out.
If you have some experience to share, why not volunteer to be a mentor? And if you want mentoring, don’t be reticent to ask for it.