We pastors think of ourselves as those who mentor others. For a moment, however, put yourself in the shoes of someone being mentored. If you had a positive mentor somewhere in your past, think back to what that relationship meant to you then.
When a mentor believes in you, trust comes along with it. He trusts you when he is not around. I’ve always appreciated how Paul applied that trust to Priscilla and Aquila:
Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow. They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. (Acts 18:18–19)
Paul didn’t stay; he “left them there.” A mentor who believes in you trusts you when he’s not around. Do you know the benefit of that? Those being mentored become more responsible. They have to!
The mentors we admire are like the bosses we love to work for: they are not controlling people. They trust you when they’re not around. They give you an assignment and they rely on you to follow through. They’re not peeking in your window. They don’t squint through your keyhole. They’re not checking up on you through a friend or putting spies on your tail. They trust you.
You find that even when they’re not there—because they’ve trusted you—you really want to step up. It makes you feel responsible. The flip side of being trusted is proving yourself to be trustworthy.
Paul left Aquila and Priscilla in Ephesus, and the result was wonderful. Because they were trustworthy, they helped to shape the local church during its formative season. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’re being trusted.
It’s a wonderful feeling.
Now reverse the roles again. Do you trust those you mentor? If so, do they know you believe in them?
Have you told them so? Go there.