The Best Mentors are Tour Guides not Travel Agents
Many of us probably have experience with both travel agents and tour guides, but have you ever considered the differences between the two . . .
The Travel Agent – Sits behind a desk and makes recommendations, shares pictures and brochures, makes reservations, assists in getting you to your destination.
The Tour Guide – Meets you at your destination, willing to walk with you through the easy and hard parts of the journey, shares their experiences with you along the journey. They have been on the journey before and are willing to share their experiences with you.
They both serve a purpose. They both add value. They both help you get to your destination . . . but only one takes the journey with you.
As you continue to purposefully invest your life into the next generation, ask yourself what role are you playing? Are you making recommendations or are you sharing your experiences? Are you informing your mentees or are you getting your hands dirty with them . . . mentoring along the way?
As I connect with mentors and church leaders all across the country, I’ve realized, I am talking with tour guides. Men who are digging deep with their mentees and leveraging their own experiences, both good and bad, to speak into the lives of the next generation. They are meeting their mentees at their point of greatest need and walking beside them.
Consider Paul and Timothy. Paul never traveled alone. He brought Timothy along with him on his 1st and 2nd missionary journeys. He considered Timothy his “true son in the faith” (1 Timothy 1:2). He not only taught him how to live, he modeled it for him . . . “you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love and endurance . . .” (2 Timothy 3:10-11). And most importantly, he encouraged him to pass it on . . . “You have heard me teach things . . . now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on others.” (2 Timothy 2:2).
It sounds similar to the last commandment Jesus left us with, in Matthew 28:19 . . . “Go and make disciples.”
If you have chosen to mentor, know that you are doing important work . . . work that will shape generations for years to come. Work that will impact fathers and sons and husbands and wives. You’re not just sharing a brochure of what an all-in follower of Jesus looks like . . . you are helping people get there by transparently sharing your life with them.
This is important work. Carry on!
Question: Are you a travel agent or a tour guide? What can you do to become more of a tour guide?
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