Be clear about what you are offering the protégé. Be sure it is exactly the sort of mentoring relationship you can both sustain and want. How much time and support can you realistically give? Unfulfilled expectations on both sides lead to disillusionment and ultimately, relational breakdown. Don’t make rash, emotional promises.
2. Natural Connection
You cannot mentor everyone. Look for the “spark” of true relationship and connection with someone whom God is leading you into a fathering role.
3. Mixed Messages
Be consistent in your encouragement and commitment. Be sure you actually want to mentor this person.
4. Fill The Emotional Bank Account
Stephen Covey, author of “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, speaks of a persons emotional bank account. How much positive credit (i.e. trust/love/affirmation) have you deposited? Don’t rebuke and correct when the bank account is empty. Relationships only work with the account in credit.
5. Remember What You Were
You were once “radical”, “over the top” and riddled with doctrinal ignorance, but God trusted you and released you. In the same way you must support and cheer your protégé through the early battles of idealism and ignorance. Don’t “correct” out of your protégé the very drive that got you where you are.
6. Releasing the Mentor to Mentor
Who is the Protégé releasing you to be? A leader can only truly be what followers allow him or her to be. If a potential protégé doesn’t release you to mentor, you will have little influence in their lives.
7. Behind the Facade
Allow the protégé into the difficult and disappointing areas of leadership. Never make it sound like your success was easy or overnight, because it wasn’t, was it!
Listening is the greatest leadership art. It builds trust and security. Everyone needs to feel “heard”.
9. Release, Don’t Clone
Your role as a mentor is to facilitate the protégé to become all they can be, not to reproduce yourself.
10. End Well
Know when the time has arrived to end the deeper mentoring relationship. Healthy relationships can continue if the protégé is allowed to move on. All relationships must develop to new levels.