One of the most powerful things that I have experienced over the past five years, has been the advent of mentors/advisers (both official and unofficial) into my life.
I believe that, as deacons, we need to have mentors and be mentors. As we serve it is beneficial to have someone we can share our journey with who has been there before us. A person who is not only wise, but one who will be our champion, reminding us about our call, our gifts and encouraging us to continue to serve God faithfully in our roles. When our time on the deacon team comes to a close, we need to recognize that we still have much to give and share. To enter into a mentoring role is one way that we can bless and support those who continue to serve.
I remember prior to accepting the call to be a deacon I had a very long conversation with someone who was currently serving as a deacon. She was patient and gave generously of her time and knowledge as I asked question after question – attempting to have a crystal clear picture of what I was saying “yes” to (oh the naivety!). She was also helping me work through some of my fears and concerns. She became my mentor and it was totally natural. She helped me enter the deacon role and grow in it. Later, even when she had completed her term, I would still turn to her for advice, or just because I needed a sympathetic ear.
Deacons have good days, so-so days and not-so-good days. Yes, we’re human! Being a leader comes with a weight. Having a mentor to share successes and struggles with can make the difference between despair and delight. Knowing someone is spurring you on, encouraging you to be the best version of yourself, has your back and really wants you to succeed in your calling would inspire anyone to persevere!
Mentors are champions and mentees become champions! So, I wonder, are you a champion?
Do you have a mentor? How might the ministry of the deacons be shaped by having mentors? What value do you see in having mentoring relationships? Is there a potential mentor for you among those you know? Who might you mentor?