I’ve had mentoring relationships with many people in my 27 years of ministry and I’ve learned that not every mentoring relationship works. Because mentoring is an investment over a long period of time it’s essential that you’re wise in who you select.
I’ve discovered for me that Rule #1 for choosing a mentee is: find someone who’s potential and personality energizes you. The right chemistry between two people is critical for making mentoring work. Have you ever met with someone that drained you? You’re not sure why, but there is something about the combination of their personality with your personality that just doesn’t connect. There’s no chemistry. BEFORE meeting with them you hope they cancel, WHILE meeting with them you struggle to keep up a natural conversation, AFTER meeting with them you’re drained rather than energized.
We see a strong chemistry in 2 Timothy 1:4 between Paul and Timothy. While sitting in a Roman prison cell Paul writes Timothy saying, “Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.” In this one verse we see the emotional connection and chemistry between these two men. There was a desire to spend time with each other, an admiration of each others gifting and a deep emotional connection that made them give their best to one another. That’s when mentoring works at it’s best.
What young leader has God brought into your life who’s potential and personality energizes you? What investment does God want you to make into their life and leadership?