We were riding in his car . . . someplace.
There was no hurry and it was taking a while because of traffic.
He was pastor of a fair sized church. He’d payed his dues in lesser pastorates, but he got a boost at the beginning of his ministry because his father was a well-known pastor in his own right. His name got attention.
He’d learned in high school that the officers shouldn’t get too close to the enlisted men so their orders would be more effective.
He applied it to his pastoring style . . .”don’t get too close to the staff.”
I was young and hungry for someone to take me under wing . . . mentor me.
Young ministers often look for someone to mentor them
That wasn’t happening.
But during the ride to . . . wherever we were going . . . he began to talk about his kids.
He’d asked me about mine, and he expressed concern them because of some of the problems his had experienced being P.K’s. (AKA: Preacher’s Kids.)
I told him I was trying to keep a healthy, cautious balance between expectations for their behavior and giving them enough freedom to be, ya know . . . kids.
Allow them to have fun, but not get out of line.
We visited till we got where we were going, and for the first, and last, time I was mentored.
By him or any other pastor I worked with.
Being a mentor doesn’t have to be an effort
I don’t even think it hurt him — or me.
For me, it felt pretty good.
I don’t think it was painful for him . . . I didn’t see his eyes “sweat” at all.
Mentoring isn’t just telling the younger &/or less experienced staff member what the rules are.
That’s going to happen without anything close to mentoring.
Mentoring is, a : a trusted counselor or guide
b : tutor, coach
(according to Mermaid-Webster)
This doesn’t mean you have to be a “bff”* and hang out with your staff all the time.
You mentor simply by. . .
- Caring about each staff member by getting to know him or her.
- Being yourself — A mentor fits the definition above by being who he is . . . not by trying to be something someone else is.
- Being genuine with them — Admit when you don’t have all the answers.
- Showing interest in how they spend their time — Being interested in them doesn’t mean you’re being nosy.
- Letting them know they can be themselves with you — It takes time for anyone to know they can safely be themselves without fear of retribution when with a boss.
Enjoy yourself – This doesn’t have to be work! (Yuck!!) Enjoy yourself and allow your staff to enjoy your company.
Be a friend by caring and ministering to your staff.
Build trust to be the counselor/guide.
Be a mentor by caring and ministering to your staff.
Struggling with the guiding-your-staff-and-staying-in-control thing? “Let me hear from you.”