The Call to Mentor | Titus 1

Welcome to Real Life. Some things must be taught.

“My mentor said, ‘Let’s go do it,’ not ‘You go do it.’
How powerful when someone says, ‘Let’s!’”
–Jim Rohn

I was so fresh. At age nineteen, I landed a receptionist position at National Engineering and Contracting Company. It was my first experience in a corporate culture. Muriel (Wilson) Dean, the office manager and my supervisor, patiently schooled me in office etiquette, administrative, and relational skills.

Muriel led by example. It was the early 1980’s. I watched her become the first black female stockholder at our heavy-highway construction company.[1] Under her mentorship, I was soon promoted as Executive Assistant to the Chief Engineer. Muriel joined the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), Cleveland Chapter, and rose to the office of President. She not only sponsored me to join NAWIC, she inspired me to hold offices as well. Muriel graciously let me tag along to NAWIC regional forums and conferences. I still laugh when I recall checking into hotels as a black and white woman traveling together. “We hate each other,” she’d tell the front desk (with a wink), “You better give us the largest room you have!”

NAWIC Regional Conference, Indianapolis

Muriel's Retirement Celebration

As a mentor, Muriel welcomed me into her space, her expertise, and her heart. After leaving the corporate world to raise and home educate my children, Muriel’s influence continued, as she gave me the confidence to serve as a leader in women’s ministry for the last thirty years. Five years ago, after I was hired by Hill International, Inc. (and reentered the construction industry), I couldn't wait to call Muriel!
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness…
To Titus, my true son in our common faith.[2]
Reading Paul’s letter to Titus, I thought of my beloved friend and mentor. After leading Titus to faith in Christ, Paul discipled Titus and allowed Titus to accompany him on missionary journeys. Paul then commissioned Titus to establish the church on Crete. Paul taught Titus sound doctrine and principles of practical Christian living. Titus, in turn, taught the elders of the Cretan church. These elders, in turn, taught their congregations. Are you sensing a pattern?

All of us are on some point of the mentoring continuum. There is always someone ahead, wiser and more experienced, to teach us. And there is always someone behind, less knowledgeable and experienced, to learn from us.

At my church, I mentor young women through the Flourish Ministry. But you don’t need an official position. My husband Terry is mentoring our son Calvin in plumbing, electrical, and carpentry skills as they construct Cal’s new bathroom. Parents train children. Older siblings teach younger ones. Managers train staff. Teachers mentor students. A mentor is not always older, just further in knowledge and experience. My young Slovak language tutor, Martina, is patiently teaching me.

Often, we fail to mentor, because we don’t feel good, smart, or confident enough. But none of us are perfect. And we all have experience that could benefit others. Muriel is one of dozens who have taken me under their wings in big and small ways. A side benefit to mentoring is that it motivates us to become better, smarter, and more confident!

We all wield influence. Somewhere out there is a fresh nineteen-year-old eager to learn. Let’s welcome her into our space, our expertise, and our hearts!

Dear Father-God,
Give us humble and teachable hearts.
Grow and mature us.
So that we may, in turn, help others grow and mature.
We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Is there a Muriel in your life? I'd love to hear about her (or him). Please leave a comment.

Take it further...
Learn more about Flourish, the Women's Mentoring Program at Grace Church (scroll down to Spiritual Mentoring): Grace Women's Ministry Page.

[1] My personal Black History hero!
[2] Titus 1:1,4

Comments

  1. A gentleman at my church, Gary Hoffman, has been a real role model in my Christian life. He has led many young men through leadership training and discipleship groups in which I have been involved. He's stretched me by pushing me into teachings situations for which I would not normally volunteer. I'm still on the mentorship journey, but I realize I should also be looking out for those God brings into my life for me to help guide and mentor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Dennis,
      I'm so glad you have Gary Hoffman in your life! What a blessing that he is teaching you and stretching you beyond your comfort zone. Though you are still young, I know you are and have already influenced many for good. Go, Dennis!

      Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
  2. My dear Peggi,

    I would like also to leave a comment, if you do not mind. :)
    I do think, we have mentors, spirits, who we admire and who show us, how to grow all around. We just have to open our eyes and minds and we will see them. There is always someone, who can teach us to become "better person" in our life's journey.

    I would like to mention only a few of my mentors. For instance my 10 years old adorable girl, who I teach Slovak. She can cook fantastic cakes. I can not do that. Wow, and she is only ten. Or my French student, who is only 17, but she knows already 10 languages and she is interested in politics. I can not do that. She told me passionately about US president inauguration like another girls in her age speaking about make-up.

    And in the end, you Peggi are my big mentor. I teach you, but actually you teach me. There is no student without eager teacher and there is no teacher without eager student. I became "better person" in many fields in my life, since I know you. You give me a hope, you give me a job and feeling of importance, you give me joy with your outstanding progress...
    Big thank you belongs to you, Peggi.

    Sincerely,
    Martina

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear Martina,
      It's so true. We all have much we can learn from each other if we see and recognize it. You have such a positive and teachable spirit, Martina, that is very beautiful!

      You are an amazing teacher and mentor, Martina! Thank you for using your gifts and knowledge to benefit me and many others you are teaching. And thank you for teaching me with such joy and patience. I always enjoy our lesson time together.

      Thank you for your kind compliments, as well. They are a gift!

      I so appreciate your thoughts on my blog!

      Delete

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