Dynamics for good Mentorship
The following is a basic format and outline of mentor types with the role of each in the
mentoring relationship. The mentor can take on more than one of these types or can
specialize in just one. See if you can find the one that will help you to utilize your abilities
that you may effectively cultivate the potential
The procedures that we adopted has six mentoring types grouped in two categories;
Intensive and occasional. Under the intensive group, which is our main focus, we have
the: 1. Discipler; 2. Spiritual Guide; 3. Coach. Under the occasional group are: 1.
Counselor; 2. Teacher; 3. Sponsor.
Before we describe the functions of these mentoring types, you need to know that if
there is no sense of connection between the two parties (the mentor and mentoree)
empowerment will not take place. Factors such as time, needs, shared values, and goals
affect any relationship. But the mentoring relationship needs three additional factors to
bring about empowerment. These factors are continually working in the context of a
mentoring relationship and directly affect the mentoree’s progress, change, and level of
The following dynamics are vital to the mentoring relationship:
Attraction - This is the necessary starting point in the mentoring relationship. The
mentoree is drawn to the mentor for various reasons: perspective, values, commitments
modeled, perceived wisdom, position, character, knowledge, and influence. The mentor
is attracted to the mentoree’s attitude, potential, and the opportunity for influence. As the
attraction develops, trust, confidence, and mentoring subjects come together to help
strengthen the relationship and ensure the empowerment transfer.
Responsiveness – The mentoree must be willing and ready to learn from the mentor.
Attitude is crucial for the mentoree. A responsive, receiving spirit on the part of the
mentoree and attentiveness on the part of the mentor directly speed up and enhance the
Accountability – Mutual responsibility for one another in the mentoring process ensures
progress. Sharing expectations and periodic review and evaluation will give strength to
application. The mentor should take responsibility for initiating and maintaining
accountability with the mentoree.
The more purposeful and intense the mentoring relationship, the more important these
dynamics are. Why is this true? Because mutual commitment is necessary for change
and growth to take place. These dynamics are the ingredients that produce this
The three types of mentoring that comprise the intensive group call for more deliberate
and specific interaction and work best when all three dynamics afore mentioned are
present. Each dynamic can be more easily analyzed for its degree of presence and
effectiveness. We will briefly examine the mentoring types, beginning with the Discipler.
Intensive Mentoring: The Discipler- At the heart of discipleship lies the concept of the
centrality and lordship of Christ in believers lives. Believers usually progress in
understanding and appropriating Christ in their lives- Christ as Savior, Christ as Lord,
Christ as strength, Christ as life. Early discipleship efforts focus on personally knowing
and experiencing Jesus Christ.
Flowing from this centrality of Christ there is a recreation of the inner being, which shapes
your attitudes, values, motives, and eventually your behavior. Development of your inner
being usually requires that you establish some basic spiritual disciplines in your
devotional life. This includes reading and studying Scripture for yourself and learning how
Establishing right habits is vital to the life of a disciple. In order to know and follow Christ,
a disciple needs to establish habits that will effect his character and destiny. Habits do
not develop easily; human nature resists change, but resistance can be overcome.
Habits are developed through a combination of knowledge, skill, and desire. Knowledge
tells you “what to do”. Skill answers the question, “How do I do it”. And desire provides
the motives and answers, “Why do it?” The Discipler seeks to provide the answers to all
three of these questions so a growing disciple will develop commitment to stay in the
habit-forming process and reap the benefit and blessing of intimacy with Christ and co-
laboring with him.
Usually these disciplines focus strongly on the inner life. This then reflects itself outwardly
in relationships with others and behavior. Often in the press of external life the new
believer begins to hear the prompting of the Holy Spirit, more often in the form of
convictions for change of behavior and sometimes in terms of guidance in decisions.
Meeting with other growing followers of Christ will then support the Spirit’s promptings,
encouraging and affirming the believer’s continued growth.
Having a discipler-mentor relationship is something most believers long for at some time
in their Christian life. The discipler can have perhaps the deepest and long-lasting impact
of any mentor type. If you are a mature believer I hope you can realize the positive
influence you can have through this type of ministry and make yourself available to some
Intensive Mentoring: The Spiritual Guide- a Spiritual Guide is a godly, mature follower of
Christ who shares knowledge, skills, and basic philosophy on what it means to
increasingly realize Christ-likeness in all areas of life. The primary contributions of a
Spiritual Guide are accountability, decisions, and insights concerning questions,
commitments, and direction affecting spirituality and maturity. You will notice some
overlap between this type of mentoring and discipling. Both types deal with spiritual
growth, but there are specific differences. You will usually need to be discipled only once
in a lifetime. However, from time to time throughout your growth in Christ you will need a
spiritual guide. Discipling is training intensive. Spiritual Guide-mentoring is reflective
Most people need personal guidance on spiritual issues often throughout their lifetime,
but not on a fixed time schedule. The functions Spiritual Guides perform help emphasize
this need. They:
1. Help believers assess their own development.
2. Point out areas of strength and weaknesses in spirituality.
3. Help believers identify needs and take initiative for change and growth.
4. Provide perspectives on how to develop growth and depth.
5. Provide accountability for spiritual maturity.
This type of mentoring is not bound by time but is usually need-centered. The mentor
always seeks to facilitate spiritual growth in response to the perceived spiritual and
personal needs of the mentored. The issues addressed will differ with the maturity of the
mentoree and with numerous personal factors in the mentoree’s development.
Accountability varies in this relationship. Mentors usually key accountability to the
response and felt needs of the mentoree.
The mentoree’s need of spiritual guidance will ebb and flow. Regular doses of this kind of
mentoring from time to time will ensure their healthy development throughout their
lifetime. They will probably need it most in the thirty-five-to-forty-five age bracket, a
confusing time when pressures and questions increase and plateauing often begins. Later
they will need it to ensure that they finish their life and ministry well.
Intensive Mentoring: The Coach- Coaching is a relational process in which a mentor, who
knows how to do something well, imparts those skills to a mentoree who wants to learn
them. The Coach’s central thrust is to provide motivation and impart skills and application
to meet a task or challenge. A coach is particularly important when you step into a new
responsibility or try to do something you have never done before. A coach is also helpful
when you get bogged down in a responsibility. What are the marks of a good athletic
coach? He knows the basics of his sport. He knows drills that help people learn those
basics. He teaches them how to win-and lose. A coach helps you do more than you think
you can do. He inspires them. The attraction dynamic is crucial to effective coaching.
Good coaches have an eye for talent. When they spot good talent they seek to recruit it.
So too, with coaching-mentors. They recognize people whom they can help become
better. And they attempt to move toward a relationship that will allow for mentoring.
What do coaches do that empowers mentorees? They:
1. Impart skills and knowledge.
2. Impart confidence and understanding in the use of those skills.
3. Motivate people so as to bring out the best in them, usually stretching them
beyond what they thought they were capable of.
4. Model the importance of learning the basics of a skill, a process that will
prove valuable in all of life.
5. Point the mentoree to other appropriate resources and link them up with
6. If possible observe the mentoree in action.
7. Evaluate the mentorees’ experience and give feedback to enhance self-
learning and development.
Coaching-mentors who want to increase their effectiveness in mentoring may want to
heed these suggestions. To be an effective coach you should:
Identify sets of important skills you have. Know your repertoire-what you do well.
Recognize the basic pattern that like attracts like in terms of personality, natural abilities
and spiritual gifts. Be on the alert for those who are drawn to you and may need your
skills. Model well. This is a powerful motivator, since people who can do things well instill
confidence and inspire others. Encourage the mentoree to clarify the challenge or task
and the skills needed to be effective. Everybody needs Coaches. And everybody ought
to be able to coach someone in something. Take the challenge!
Some Mentoring Tips
Being Spiritually Sensitive:
Because some of our human resources may have come from distressed environments
or may be emotionally suppressed. It is important that we pray for spiritual sensitivity,
discernment, and patience with our mentoring partners. Both in our initial contact as well
as the ongoing relationship. It is suggested that intercessory prayer for the mentoree and
personal for you be applied before the session begins. As the relationship evolves, and
as the Spirit leads, let him know how important prayer is to you and would he mind if your
sessions begin and end with prayer. If he is not yet comfortable enough, continue to do
so before he arrives and after he leaves. Trusting God, we are confident that in time the
mentoree will welcome joint prayer to the relationship.
Listening is a practice that is crucial in mentoring. We can desire so much to want to help
an individual that we sometimes don’t listen to what he is expressing. But if we listen
intently, we not only can hear the person’s aspirations, but also the outpouring of their
heart. Listening in this manner reveals fears and concerns, hurts and anger in a person.
But it also can reveal a persons optimism, confidence and motivation.
We cannot allow negative feelings and attitudes effect our perspective at the outset, but
counter with encouragement, optimism and confidence that potential and purpose can be
drawn out and developed in this person just as it was with us all.
Our next segment will address casual mentorship types.
Reference and research books:
The Holy Bible, the Word of God.
By Stanley Phillip Rice
By Paul D. Stanley and J. Robert Clinton.