~ I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ~
— Maya Angelou
In July 2010, a new Charter School, called “Mentorship Academy,” opened up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Their Core Principles: CONNECT students, teachers, parents, and the community; CREATE original student projects with real-world connections; CONTRIBUTE by giving back to the community (From their website: http://mentorshipacademy.org/). All three of these Core Principles relate back to what Mentorship really is, at its core. The school’s teachers are all experts in their field, with a desire to “coach” students, to pass on what they know about their subject. Much of the Mentor Teachers’ learning of their subject came from experience on the job, making them perfect mentors/coaches. Someone once mentored these teachers, now it is their turn to pass it on to their students. That is what Mentorship Academy is all about.
According to Author John Sowers, in Chapter 11 of his book “Fatherless Generation,” There are three Benchmarks for Effective Mentoring… Loving, Modeling, and Coaching. Mentorship Academy has the Modeling and Coaching part down. What about the most important Benchmark: Loving. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 13:13: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” So clearly Love is one of the most important things in this world. When I read Chapter 11 of “Fatherless Generation” entitled “Anatomy of a Mentor,” I underlined and highlighted almost the entire section about Benchmark #1: Loving. This is probably because I never felt loved as a child. I am sure I was loved, but I never felt it. Even to this day I desperately seek love and approval from others. I think everyone has a deep desire to love and be loved. Love clearly is a key factor in every relationship. John Sowers had a lot to say about Loving Others…
Some Key Points…
- It takes a considerable amount of time of faithfully being there for a mentee to open up to you.
- Three Keys to how a mentor communicates love to a child: Presence, Involvement, Consistency.
- Without consistency, the mentor just becomes one more person in the ever-revolving door of relationships.
- After showing up, week after week, month after month, trust is born.
- Some of the best dads and mentors are MASTERS at expressing appreciation!
- Offering words of praise… “Great Job,” “Awesome,” “Cool,” “Fantastic,” “Super,” “Wonderful,” and the big one… “I’M PROUD OF YOU!”
- Words, either positive or negative, hold the power of life and death!! A good friend often tells me… “Are you speaking life or are you speaking death?”
- Love is more than just words or emotion, it is an action!
- If we don’t show up, our best intentions don’t really matter!
- The author’s wife “brings the same attentiveness to a discussion of the latest My Little Pony that she would bring to a job interview at Apple with Steve Jobs.” WOW! That spoke so much conviction into my own heart as a mother of three children myself.
- And finally… WE SHOULD BE MENTORING OUR OWN CHILDREN! They should be the front lines of our mentoring. They should receive priority in our LOVING, MODELING, and COACHING of others.
Near the end of the chapter, the author asks a question one of his mentors often asks of him… “Where are your men?” “In other words, where are the men you poured YOUR life into? Where are the men YOU coached and disciple while you were on earth?” I promise you God will be asking you this when you reach the Gates of Heaven. What will you answer?