In honor of Fathers Day
Fathers are called to be mentors. There are similarities between fathers and mentors, and at the same time there are differences. For example, you can choose a mentor but you don’t choose your father. Mentors choose to mentor but when a man becomes a father, he is always a father and the responsibility to mentor comes with it. A father is forever, while a mentor is for a season.
Mentors may be fathers but not always. However, it is clear a father is to be a mentor. God told Moses to tell fathers to teach their children. Talk to them about God's guidelines for successful life, when you are at home, when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. (Deut. 11:19)
"Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.” Deuteronomy 11:19 (NLT)
God provided a Biblical format of mentoring within the family to ensure that faith in God would be passed from generation to generation. He said "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them …. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deut 6:5-9 I love to picture a young boy chasing after his father as soon as he leaves the house wanting to follow him, learn from him, and be like him. This was the way it was before others were chosen to teach our children. Before TV, smart phones, digital games, and social media, the father, as well as the mother, were mentors to their children. The father was their link to the big world outside the home. He was the path to acquire knowledge and understanding of the world. That happened well when the Father gave his mentees God’s perspective of life. Some men have natural as well as spiritual children. Both are to be equipped and empowered for life and ministry. Here are seven ways that a mentor, like a father, imparts and improves the younger.
Just as a father gives special attention, listens, and offers advice for your personal growth, learning, and ministry development, so does a mentor.
The father-mentor is a “change agent” who walks alongside their mentees, setting an example of how to live a Christian life.
Mentoring is a relational process based on mutual trust and respect. Because of the father-child relationship, fathers can do this best.
A mentor is often a more successful and experienced senior leader who wishes to pass on what they’ve learned to someone else who will benefit from their experience.
Like a father a mentor is a role model and advisor to you focusing on shaping your development.
Mentorship is a valuable tool for turning your vision into reality. Mentors are expected to guide and advise you, helping you build a successful life and ministry.
As a concerned father prays for you, so a caring mentor commits to hold you and your family before the Lord.
Many great achievers in history have had a significant mentor at some point that helped them succeed.
To summarize, mentoring is a relational learning process between a senior leader and a more junior leader to maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they want to be. I encourage you as fathers-mentors, who have both natural and spiritual children, lead well and fulfill the charge God has given us to mentor. As a father you may not feel like you are a very good mentor. However, you are the mentor God choose for your children. Give it your best and let God do the rest!