"Mentoring," says the late Fred Smith Sr. in his book Leading with Integrity, "is back in favor again, like a wonderful old story that hasn't been told for so long it sounds new."
Then he succinctly explains the danger of that dynamic.
"In some ways it has taken on the characteristics of a fad; if too much is expected too soon, it will fail."
Much like Smith, I have listened in recent years to the growing chorus of voices insisting younger people like me need a mentor, an individual who can listen and provide sage wisdom to me in my faith, my marriage, my parenting, my career, and my leadership. Almost all of those messages have come at me as I sit in the pews of the churches I've attended. Unfortunately, none of these churches effectively found ways to orchestrate meaningful mentoring relationships between older and younger congregants.
It's a question I've chewed on in recent months as I begin the journey of finding a mentor in my own life. How can churches help people connect in ways that ...1