This just in, I am a mental case. I some how overlooked an article I asked the wonderful Heather Lea Campbell to write as part my mentoring series. So, today I bring you Heather’s thoughts on what she looks for in a mentor. You can catch with her on Twitter at @heatherlea17 and you can check out her blog at http://heatherleacampbell.me/.
When I was called to do youth ministry, I had only met one female youth minister (and she was mine… until she burned me in eighth grade and left… talk about a good example!).
Although I was secure that God called me to ministry, I had very few examples of women doing ministry. This is what led me to blogging, networking, and the wonderful work that I am blessed to do with YouthMin.Org’s Women’s group!
Here are some things that I desire when looking for a female mentor:
1. A good mentor believes in you.
It is so important to have people who buy into what you are doing, can pinpoint your strengths, and don’t think you are a waste of their time.
If they truly believe in you, they will be intentional and purposeful with their time with you. If they believe in you, they will be deeply committed to you.
2. A good mentor is transparent.
Women want people to be honest with them (unless it’s about their clothing or figure…it’s a trap!). They want a mentor that can share the junk in their own lives, as well as identify the junk in the mentee’s.
This woman is strong, bold, and empathetic enough to just get it and be able to vocalize it in a way that makes sense. And while most women are pretty good at this, a good mentor can be transparent about her struggles while still being a professional.
3. A good mentor is successful in your eyes.
This woman has probably had enough experience to make a difference in peoples’ lives, and you can see that.
The thing is—that doesn’t mean she’s “famous” or well-known. You can tell that she is making a difference in the lives of students and advancing the Gospel, and you dig that. She leads by example and isn’t telling you to do something she wouldn’t do or hasn’t tried. She’s lived life a little and is worthy of respect.
But, what if you can’t find a female mentor?
The same principles apply to any men that are able to mentor you in ministry.
I have a bunch of “big brothers” in ministry who are all of the above to me—they buy into what I’m doing and are my biggest fans, are bold enough to tell me when I need to take it down a notch, and are all running various ministries that I respect. Of course, you need to set certain boundaries there, and probably be a touch less transparent with them (they can’t handle our spaghetti brains!)
I would also encourage you to seek out women in ministry… there are things that guys will never understand, and that’s okay!
Hey women—what are some things you look for in a mentor?
Who are some women in your life that have influenced you?