As we step further into a digital age where quality social engagement are, at times, fleeting and void of depth and vulnerability, this dynamic significantly impacts mentoring relationships. On one hand, we now have access to “digital mentors” who provide teaching, coaching and guidance through various avenues such as podcasts, online sermons, master classes, and the like. While the ability to produce content and make it widely accessible has become more widespread because of the internet, there still seems to be a desire for a deeper sense of belonging and connectedness among humanity. There is something to be said about not only absorbing information and receiving advice by way of a screen, but having other people that can join us in our formation journey, providing support as we navigate life’s valleys and mountain top experiences.
In my own mentoring journey, there have been men and women who have entered my life at critical junctures when I was in need of guidance, clarity, and encouragement. The individuals that came alongside me have been instrumental in helping me to develop consistent rhythms for my spiritual and emotional health. They have assisted me in cultivating the ability to confront and discern the realities of situations, and identify ways in which I can approach life’s challenges and hardships. Through these relationships, I have gained a few insights regarding mentorship:
- Sometimes God uses mentors not only to equip us, or help us develop skills, but as healing agents in our journey through life.
- Effective mentors are confident and secure in who they are, and who they are not. Therefore, they will not seek to emulate themselves with their mentees, but empower mentees to embrace their unique identity and calling.
- Mentors not only recognize the potential for greatness in a mentee, but potential setbacks, and help guide the mentee to healthier thinking and decision making.
Experiencing these rich relational dynamics with my mentors has been transformational and an integral part of my spiritual formation journey. My hope is that as we continue to progress further into a digital era, that we not lose sight of the value of deep human connectedness within mentoring relationships.