Christian Living

How to Find a Mentor

Mentoring Can Help Us Grow in Our Faith and Increase Our Impact

People sometimes ask me to mentor them. I’m honored that they ask. I want to say yes. Instead, I decline as respectfully as I can. Why? It’s because God hasn’t called me to be a mentor—at least not in the traditional sense.

He’s called me to write for him.

Taking time to mentor people one-on-one would detract me from doing something better, something better to advance God’s Kingdom.

Consider Nehemiah rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem. Some people want to meet with him to discuss what he’s doing. He refuses. He realizes that taking time to talk to them would take him away from his mission (Nehemiah 6:1-15).

In context, however, the people that ask to meet with Nehemiah have ill intent, which is not the case of people wanting me to mentor them. But the principal is the same. We must avoid distractions from what God has called us to do.

Types of Mentoring

When most people think of mentoring, they have one view in mind. Yet there are several ways to mentor people. Here are some of them:

In-Person Mentoring: One-on-one in-person mentoring is the most common and best-known method of mentoring. It’s when two people meet for the purpose of one person learning from another.

Sometimes this is scheduled and structured. The other extreme is unscheduled and informal.

Regardless of the approach, the goal is for one person to help the other.

Remote Mentoring: When meeting in person isn’t possible or practical, mentoring can occur at a distance. This is remote mentoring.

It may occur using the telephone or video call for real-time interaction.

Or it may be done via email or using another nonsynchronous communication tool. This is ideal for situations where people aren’t in the same time zone, or when schedules don’t align.

Historical Mentoring: We can also mentor ourselves through historical figures. This, of course, is one-way mentoring, where interaction isn’t possible.

Yet reading about these notable figures from the past and learning from them is a viable way where we can self-mentor.

With historical mentoring we can look at their life journey to see what they did well and what they could have done better. We can also learn from what they taught others, realizing those lessons ourselves.

In most cases historical mentoring occurs through reading books about them. But mentoring can also occur through watching videos. This can be of them directly (for those from the more recent past) or recreations of their lives (for those from longer ago).

Regardless, we can learn from them.

Mentoring through Books and Writing: We can also receive mentoring from contemporary sources. This can occur through books and writing (which I do a lot of) or through video (which I seldom do).

For people who want me to mentor them, they can receive practical and actionable input through my writing. I’ve written numerous books (currently over three dozen), which they can read and learn from.

For those who can’t afford to buy books, I have over 2,300 posts on this website, with one thousand more on

That’s well over one million words of thought-provoking information. I gladly offer these posts for free to everyone, at any time, around the world.

In addition to this, I also have a special section on my website with resources for pastors. This is primarily for those who find themselves in a ministry situation but don’t have access to formal training or lack the means to pay for it.

Though not comprehensive, it’s a collection of helpful resources to help them move forward.

Peer Mentorship: As the proverb says, iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). Two people can mentor each other.

This is a way of mutual edification, teaching one another, challenging one another, and helping one another become better than they could on their own.

If you long for a mentor and find someone else who also wants a mentor, considering mentoring one another.

(For relevant related information, from a business setting, see my post “Peter’s Law of Reciprocity.”)

Mentoring to Avoid: Too often, however, we allow popular—albeit unqualified—people to mentor us from afar. Just because someone can sing, act, or excel at sports doesn’t make them a worthy role model.

Yet if we don’t guard ourselves, we will allow them to do just that.

In most cases, they will let us down, and too often they will mislead us. That’s why it’s critical that we choose our mentors carefully.

How to Find a One-on-One Mentor

A one-way mentoring from historical figures or contemporary writers is an easy way for anyone to receive mentoring, but some people long for one-on-one mentoring. The question becomes, “How do I find a mentor?”

Ask: The easiest approach is to ask. But go in with low expectations. The people most qualified to be a mentor are also the busiest. Give them the freedom to say no, and offer them grace when they do.

Receive: Though not common, someone may approach you and offer to mentor you. This is a huge gift. It means they see potential in you. They want to help you do better in life and achieve results faster.

Pray: Another option—a better one—is to pray for a mentor. Ask God to send someone your way, to prepare a path for mentorship. You still may need to ask them or wait for them to offer. But with God’s hand in it, it’s more apt to happen.

Listen: A final consideration—one that I use often—is to rely on the Holy Spirit to teach me.

I pray for supernatural insight. I listen for answers. I ask questions. I wait when needed.

Being able to hear from the Holy Spirit, however, doesn’t happen easily for most people. I wrote a blog post about how I learned to hear from God. I did this twice!

Consider Being a Mentor

One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to others. In like manner, a key way to grow is to mentor others.

You don’t need to have all the answers. You just need to be one step ahead. It’s all right to tell your mentee that you don’t know or will have to get back with them.

As you mentor others, you will grow. And you’ll find that what they give back to you is worth your investment in them.

Mentoring Conclusion

Mentoring can occur in many ways, but the results are the same: We grow in our faith, become closer to God, and benefit those around us.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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