Mentoring Mythbusters: Why I Don’t Call My Mentees

Mentoring Mythbusters: Why I Don’t Call My Mentees

Posted by Regi Campbell on August 5, 2019

A few of the guys I’ve mentored have gotten their feelings hurt because I don’t call them. I could hide behind “I’m swamped” or “I’ve got a lot of mentees and not enough time to go around” . . . but I don’t.

Truth is they have to call me.

There’s a purpose here. Actually, there are two.

First, men need to take responsibility for their growth and development. With thousands of books, podcasts, videos, and online resources available, guys continue to sit and watch ESPN or Netflix over and over. The median (typical) American reads only four books a year but watches almost five hours of TV a day. Too often we’re content to let culture sell us what it wants without thinking about we want or need.

If a man wants to grow in dignity, integrity, and grace, he’s got to take the initiative. He’s got to reach out to mentors and search out things to read, listen to, and watch. He’s got to take responsibility for his personal and spiritual growth. A mentor is a valuable resource, but ultimately, the mentee has to step up for himself.

The other reason a mentor doesn’t call is to teach his mentees to ask for help. Men today try to project self-sufficiency and do-it-yourself-ness, and as a result, are too proud to ask for help. Yet inside, they’re needier than they can ever imagine.

God created a world defined by need and interdependency. True intimacy begins when a person can safely bring his need to another and get help. There’s something built into us that leads us to help others. It bonds us with them in a unique way. Jesus had twelve disciples, but he was closest with three of them . . . Peter, James, and John. Why? Because they were initiating conversations, asking Him for answers, and seeking His help.

Part of what makes Radical Mentoring work is that the mentor sets the agenda. The meetings are at his house, and he is sharing his life experience and facilitating discussion. Yes, he’s responding to needs and addressing concerns, but the format is on his terms as the older, wiser, more experienced guy.

During the mentoring season, I give my mentees tons of time and energy, if they want more of it, I’ll gladly give it to them . . . they just have to ask.

PS . . . this goes for mentors too. If you need help, ask for it. Maybe even from one of your mentees. We’re made for community. Embrace that.

Question: Are you actively taking it upon yourself to seek out the help, guidance, and wisdom you need, or are you just waiting for it to come to you?

Comment here.

Responses (1)

Homer Les
Homer Les Posted: August 7, 2019, 7:50 am

Excellent point. I agree that men today are not taught to be independent, able to make good decisions and face consequences. Too often we never get the training from our fathers on how to grow up. I know that was true in my life and rampant in this fatherless generation. It took a strict dance teacher how me to face life, make decisions and own the consequences.

We will never learn if we don’t do that. We don’t grow up if someone always calls us, meets us, makes decisions for us. Shoot, our moms may have done that but that isn’t her job now. We, as men, need to own our own choices. Good or bad we need to accept that is our duty and face the music for those choices. If we do that we will mature but not before. Regi is right. Not calling is the best thing. If you want to mature you will have to take the tough steps, make those hard choices, and act like a man. If we do that I guarantee you will start to grow up.

Men need mentors, not mothers, and Regi has got it right. Thank you.

Homer Les

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