Image from https://tribktla.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/dawn-wall.jpg.
What does it look like to be a mentor? I believe one of the most beautiful pictures of this occurs in Acts 9. If you can picture it: Saul used to persecute Christians and everyone knew about it. But by God's grace Saul gets saved along the Damascus road and his life is forever changed. Saul is then brought to the church in Jerusalem to share his testimony. Just a while ago he was killing them, now here he is joining them. He is standing outside the room, I'm sure a little nervous, not knowing what is going to be asked. Then listen to what the Bible says:
Barnabas, however, took him and brought him in...and explained to them...
Barnabas came and got Saul and said "hey I'm going in there with you". Not only that he wouldn't even let Saul speak at first, Barnabas was the one talking about Saul to the church. As I said this is a beautiful picture of being a mentor.
There is an acrostic that I use to describe being a mentor.
B- Build up. Mentors build up others around themselves to teach them how to serve Christ. Who are you building up today or who is building into you?
E- Encourage. Mentors will see beyond the faults of someone and encourage them to continue on. Encourage means to give courage. I'm sure it gave Saul confidence and courage knowing he wasn't walking in the room alone.
L- Lead. As mentors you are called to lead. You are leading others how to grow in spiritual maturity that will affect all areas of their life.
A- Acknowledge weaknesses. There has only been one perfect Mentor. So let's get over either thinking we have to be perfect to be a mentor or that we will never be the perfect mentor. Be transparent in your journey.
Y- Yield. Lead by example by yielding to the leadership of the Holy Spirit every day. See how being a mentor is as much of a spiritual journey for you as it is for the ones your mentor.
What does it spell? BELAY. This is a rock climbing term. It means that someone is holding your rope so that you can keep climbing.
The picture above is of the Dawn Wall in Yosemite National Park. There were two men that free climbed this wall which meant that when one climbed the other would hold a rope. The rope though would only support them in case they fell. The wall has 32 climbing sections with section 15 being the most difficult because there is a point in which the climbers often had to totally let go and jump to a hold. The first man went along section 15 seeing the path and navigating through it all. By the way it took the men 19 days to climb the wall. Now we would think being up there that long that when the first climber finished section 15 that he would have just kept going, right. He was being successful. He was doing what was right. Don't stop, right? No he stopped and held the rope so his climbing partner could make it through section 15 as well. This is mentorship. It's holding the rope for others as they come behind you.
Who are you holding the rope for? Who are you mentoring today? It's time to find Saul's around us and be a Barnabas. We must for the continued existence of the church.