Relationships can make a huge difference to the quality of our lives. Some people are better at relationships than others. If you want to have a friend you need to be a friend.

Mentoring is the greatest gift of friendship we can give to others. Christ-like mentors make a tremendous difference to the lives of others; this in turn changes our world.

Fed up of losing

Playing squash, the fast racket ball game is one of my passions. I love it. It gives me great pleasure and is a most enjoyable way to exercise. There's only one problem - I keep losing. My opponent Shane has been beating me for too long. I needed help in order to win so I asked an experienced squash player to coach me. John, my coach watched me play. He gave me some great advice and showed me how I could improve. After just one coaching lesson there was an improvement; instead of losing I drew.

However, I quickly fell into old habits and again was losing games. The answer is simple - to win at squash I need to have frequent coaching lessons.

The same is true of life. The game of life can be won with the aid of a coach or mentor. We all need them. Do you have such friends in your life? The other side of the coin to consider is - could you be a mentor? Being a mentor can have a huge impact. Are you a mentor to somebody?


A mentor is an experienced and trusted advisor. Mentoring is a friendship in which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources. A mentor empowers another person, making their strengths, resources and network (friendship/contacts) available to help another reach their goal.

Mentoring is done through encouragement, visits, fellowship (sometimes over a meal), taking an interest, caring and prayer. Mentoring these men is sharing my God-given resources. An underlying attitude towards them is that I strongly believe in them. I believe in their ability and their potential. They occasionally telephone requesting help of some kind, and because I am committed to them I always try to help. Mentoring others takes up time and energy. As a result of these mentoring relationships, the three evangelists have been built up and their ministries have been strengthened.

The Apostle Paul had a fatherly mentoring relationship toward Timothy. Timothy became strong and reached his goal because of Paul's input. He received great encouragement from Paul's two wonderful letters. We need mentors like Paul. Timothy was a pastor of a church with a secondary calling and gift of doing the work of an evangelist. Paul constantly spurred this young leader on to greater things. 'You can do it, go for it, God believes in you, I believe in you'.

Mentoring can happen anywhere. Most mentoring takes place in a very relaxed setting as it did centuries ago in fatherly apprenticeships...walking, sailing, golfing, driving... anywhere you are. Mentoring often happens ten minutes at a time here and there as you move through life together. Don't see mentoring as all work. It often involves the pleasure of mutual sharing.

Mentoring happens more in the context of a relationship than a formal classroom. Mentoring is a life attitude as much as a formal structure. It can be even more enjoyable as you are doing things you enjoy together!

Few men of God have become extraordinary people of faith without the influence of mentors. A mentor is one who takes responsibility for the spiritual and, sometimes, physical care of another. It requires a commitment from the teacher and the student.

A mentor is someone who is helping another to reach a goal. Anyone can be a mentor. Anyone can be mentored.


(Taken and adapted from a chapter in True Relationships by Andy Economides)

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