How to Find a Christian Mentor

A Christian mentor can help you on your faith journey.

You’ve reached a point in your faith walk where you feel like you could use some help and guidance from a Christian mentor. Maybe you’re brand new to your faith and have no idea what to do, and somebody recommended you get a mentor. 

I know that this can sometimes be a tough topic and I get it. For a long time in my late teens and early twenties, when I had one little guy at home, I struggled with my faith. I wasn’t discipled growing up despite growing up in church. I was saved super young, but I didn’t have anybody teaching me what to do and how to do things once I decided to follow Christ. 

When I became a young adult and I had this new baby I was working, taking care of my little one, and I couldn’t figure out how to fit in the things that I felt like I was supposed to do. Someone at my church encouraged me to get a mentor. I remember thinking how that sounded great but I had no idea what that was or how to find one. 

I prayed about it and waited and waited. It took a couple of years, but I finally found somebody who offered to mentor me in the faith and I’ve had a couple of mentors since then. Please know that when I talk about this, I’m coming from a place of understanding where you are based on my own experience. 

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What Does a Christian Mentor Do?

First, I think we should talk a little bit about what a mentor does. When you think mentor think of someone who teaches you how to do what they do. In the past, that would be how people would get jobs. They would apprentice, work with, or be mentored by somebody doing what they wanted to do. 

Your mentor is like a role model who sets an example for you to follow. It’s someone that you can look up to and who will show you the “right way to do things”. In our case, they need to be able to walk the walk and talk the talk. 

When it comes to your faith and following biblical Christian principles, a mentor is also somebody who’s going to pray with you and pray for you. They are going to encourage growth in you by challenging you and asking you hard questions. 

Your mentor should stay on you about whether are you doing the things that you said you wanted to do when it comes to your faith. They will also speak the truth in love. You want somebody who’s not afraid to step on your toes and not afraid to push back against you a little bit. 

They’re not afraid to challenge you, and they are not going to be afraid to confront you with something that is not aligned with what God wants you to do.

What a Christian Mentor is Not 

There are a few things that a mentor is not. They are not a counselor who will help you go back into your past and fix all of your problems. This is not the person who’s going to help you if you’re having mental health struggles like depression or anxiety. 

You need an actual mental health professional who’s been educated, trained, and licensed on how to do those things. Your mentor is also not your coach. When I do spiritual coaching, I am not in that mentor position where I’m trying to teach you how to do what I do.

I’m not in the business as a coach of replicating myself, whereas a mentor is going to do a lot of talking, advising, and telling. A coach is not going to do that. A coach will spend time listening to you and asking questions so that you can figure out your own path.  Yes, a coach will also hold you accountable, speak the truth, and encourage growth, but not in the same way as a mentor. 

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Why Would You Want a Christian Mentor

This is a great question and probably is the first step when you are thinking about looking for a spiritual mentor.  First, you need to be clear about why you want a mentor and what you are hoping to get out of that mentor-mentee relationship. 

If you’re not clear on that you are going to have a really hard time finding somebody who fits the bill. For example, I can at any point in time have mentors for different areas of my life. I have a fitness mentor and a homeschooling mentor. Within a homeschooling mentor, I have someone that I look to for homeschooling neurodivergent high schoolers. 

I also have a mentor for Charlotte Mason method because that’s our educational philosophy of choice. Get clear about what is going on in your spiritual life and faith walk that you are seeking a mentor for. 

Are you looking for somebody who’s going to help you with those basics of the faith? If you’re looking for discipleship and how to understand the tenets of the faith, theology, and doctrine you need to have that in mind when you’re looking for somebody to mentor you. 

Maybe you’re looking to just grow in your prayer life or bible study. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to serve and use your gifts in the way that God has made you to do so. Be clear about your why because that why is going to help you narrow your focus on finding the right person.

Invite God into Your Search for a Christian Mentor

Once you know why you want to mentor, you need to spend some time in prayer. Invite the Lord into the process of seeking, finding, and working with a mentor. God knows exactly who you are and he knows exactly what you need. 

Even when you figured out your why, God knows even better than that. He knows specifically what you need, when you need it, how it needs to be done, and he also knows the person that’s going to be best suited to step into that role and help you get to where you want to be. 

Pray and talk to God about what you’re struggling with, what you’re confused about, and what you want to see. Ask him to lead and guide you and give you direction on the right person to ask to be your mentor. 

Pay Attention to the People Around You

The next thing that you want to do is pay attention to the people that are in your life. To the men and the women in your community and your church.  You want to see what their character is, what they are strong or weak in. Get a feel for their teaching style. 

If you have different classes and things available at your church, go to different ones taught and led by different people and get a feel for their style and personality. You need all this information to know if you’re going to be a good fit. Then after that, you want to speak up. 

If you find somebody that you feel would be a good fit, you’ve got to speak up. Standing there in the corner hoping that maybe they’ll notice you and come over to you and to mentor you isn’t going to cut it. You need to be proactive. 

I am the most introverted person that I’ve ever seen in my life. I don’t like talking to people, I don’t like putting myself out there. I don’t like speaking up. But sometimes we have to just get over ourselves and do the thing. 

Speak up. Let people in your community, in your circle know that you’re looking for a mentor that can be a great place to get referrals. Approach someone who you want to be your mentor and take them out to coffee or go out to lunch. Do something where you can get to know each other. 

Share where you are and why you’re looking for a mentor. Remember to stay in prayer throughout this entire process because just because you find somebody you think is a perfect fit, doesn’t mean that they’re going to say yes. 

Be Patient and Flexible While Searching for a Christian Mentor

They may be in a season where they don’t have the time to dedicate and focus on another person. So they might have to say no, or they might just have other things going on. So be prayerful throughout this whole thing and be patient. It can take time to find the right person. 

It took me years and years to find the right person to be my mentor in the beginning. Also, keep in mind, that not all mentorships are long-term. You might only work with this person for a few weeks, a few months, or a year. 

It doesn’t have to be that big of a commitment unless you both want it to be. Think through that as well as you’re searching.  Once you find a mentor, continue to evaluate that relationship as time passes. You might start strong and it might be a great fit, but there might come a time when it’s time to part ways. 

You might be ready to move on to a different area of your spiritual growth and your current mentor might not be the best person for that. Evaluate your spiritual growth for fruit and if your mentor is holding up their end of the bargain.

I know that it can be scary and frustrating at times, but I promise that if you just take the time to be in prayer and be patient, you’ll be able to find somebody who can step into your life and be helpful for you. 

Mentors in the Bible

Let’s take a look at mentor relationships in the bible. Elijah and Elishah are my favorite examples of mentoring. You’ve got this prophet, Elijah, who’s doing great things and is strong in the faith. He takes Elisha under his wing and teaches him everything that he knows. Eventually, Elisha goes on and does even more than his predecessor did.

Ruth and Naomi is another example. It’s a very mentee-mentor relationship with this daughter-in-law and the mother-in-law who are sticking together through the hard times. In the New Testament, we see Paul and Timothy.

Titus 2 is all about the older and the younger men and women really coming together and working together to support and encourage each other to grow in the things of God. The best example is Jesus and his disciples. 

That was very much a mentor-mentee relationship where Jesus was pouring into these men and women who were following him. Teaching them, showing them the way, and encouraging them. He most certainly speaks truth to them all in love. It is a very clear picture of what mentoring can be. 

Other Mentoring Options

If you’re wondering what to do when you don’t have a community or you don’t have time to go anywhere no problem! In-person mentoring is not the only way to be mentored. You can meet virtually. 2020 gave us all of these new and creative technologies and ways to connect. 

Maybe you are going to have a mentor who doesn’t live where you live and you meet over the phone or Zoom. You don’t have to be face-to-face for that mentor relationship to work. You can also be mentored by a person without them ever knowing.

Books, courses,  and podcasts are great ways to learn and be mentored by someone you’ve never met. I did this a lot in my early motherhood stage. Sally Clarkson, a wonderful lady, mentored me through her books for years.  

I was in a group that was studying one of her books that she’d written, and I was like, oh my goodness, this woman has all the knowledge that I will ever need in my motherhood journey. Give me more. And for years, I consumed everything that I could find. I read all of her books on motherhood. 

I would read articles that she wrote and I would listen to her on podcasts.  She was my mentor and she never even knew it until one day I met her at a homeschool conference. I actually got to sit down and have a chat with the Sally Clarkson!

me and sally clarkson

I was so excited. She sat next to me, put her hands on me, and smiled at me.  With her soft, sweet voice she spoke such words of love and encouragement over me. I just could have sat there and melted into a puddle. It was so wonderful. 

Don’t let the idea that you can’t find someone in person keep you from being mentored. If you find somebody who’s solid in their faith, doctrine, and theology, see what kind of resources they have available.

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The right Christian mentor can boost your spiritual growth and help you grow closer to God.

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