One of the common wishes/requests I hear from younger folks (of which I am one) is the need for a mentor. We’re trying to figure this out at New Life Fellowship, and one of the ways we’re hoping to do this is by hosting inter-generational events (retreats, classes, and connections) that will create opportunities for mentor-type relationships to form naturally.
With that said, we’re still looking for intentional ways to create mentoring relationships, so if you have any thoughts, please comment here.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for a mentor, here’s what I’d suggest:
1) Ask – This is easily the first step, but often the most overlooked. Usually it’s a simple case of “you do not have because you do not ask.”
2) Be persistent (but not overly-persistent) – If the first request doesn’t work out, don’t give up, God might be leading you elsewhere. If you’re not sure if you’re being overly-persistent, ask.
3) Come to classes (or small groups led by older folks) – You can get brief “mentoring” times by coming, learning, asking, and even finding times afterward to ask questions, etc. *Learners are usually the most attractive people for older folks to mentor.
I’m thankful that NLF has a bevy of different age groups that we can attempt to create mentoring opportunities between older, wiser folks and younger people who are just starting out.
Here’s a quick list of mentors I’ve had throughout the years, and how I met them:
1) Ralph Dyaz – TA in our 4th grade class at Mar Vista Elementary School.
2) Edwin & Esther Chung & LWEC Youth leaders – Family friends and Sunday School Teachers who made a significant impact on our family and all the brothers.
3) James Yim – Pastor of a small church plant in LA that we attended in high school. Now the lead pastor at Living Way Community Church.
4) Gary Nomura and Loc Ta – CCC Staff at our college fellowship at UC Berkeley.
5) John Shim – Pastor of Eastbay Baptist Church, which we attended in college.
6) Andre Ashby – Founder of Soul’s Cry Ministries and former staff member at NLF.
7) Mark Taft – NLF.
8) Jim Owens – NLF.
9) Pete & Geri Scazzero – NLF.
10) Jay Feld- NLF.
11) Craig and Ellen Fee – NLF.
14) Paul Lim– Professor at Vanderbilt University, he was a seminary professor of mine while I was at Gordon-Conwell.
There’s many more I could add to this list, but these people are folks I’ve had significant conversations with about life, love, work, and basketball. I’m not even sure if some of these people would consider me a “mentee”, but these people have been great influences in my life, and I wouldn’t be who I am if I didn’t have these folks.
Some of these relationships I simply fell into – being in the right place, at the right time. Others, I had to keep showing up and asking.
Either way, if one takes the posture of an avid learner, I think one can fall into these types of relationships too.