Who's Mentoring You?

Do you have a mentor? Someone to help guide you through the peaks and valleys of life? A seasoned person who's committed to helping you live a life of integrity before God and others? Would that be of value to you?
Through the years, individually or as a couple, my wife, Kim, and I have sought to be such people to those around us. In fact, in our efforts to be all the more effective, we’ve just completed the process of becoming officially trained Marriage Mentors through the ministry of Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott.
Honestly, whether it's formal or informal, we don't want to skip a beat in being there for others. In the spirit of Hebrews 10:24-25, we want to be used of God "to stir up one another to love and good works."
Come to think of it, as I write both of us spent today’s lunchtimes mentoring friends. Indeed, that's a key aspect of what our ministry with The Navigators is all about . . . not merely teaching others about these things, but living it out ourselves.
Here's a challenge we've faced along the way, though. While we've been grateful to serve as mentors throughout our 37 years of marriage, we realize we're not beyond the need for mentoring ourselves. Yet it's been difficult for us to find folks to mentor us. Difficult . . . but not impossible!
Recently we've latched on to Skip and Buzzie Gray, longtime ministers with The Navigators. Skip met the Navs in 1950 at a revival at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. That's where he met Buzzie, who told us over lunch recently that one thing that attracted her to Skip was his heartfelt, even tearful prayers for the lost and missionaries who sought to share Christ with them.
(In fact, Buzzie knew fellow Wheaton student Jim Elliot quite well. You may recall that he and several friends lost their lives as missionaries to the Auca Indians of Ecuador. Jim's known for the quote, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.")
Skip studied discipleship with Navigator founder Dawson Trotman in the early 1950s, and he's held numerous leadership positions in the Navs through the years. As a couple, much like the two of us, Skip and Buzzie have sought to use their home as a place to encourage and train young adults in life and ministry.
At our recent lunch (where we took this picture of the two of them), the Grays asked us some very direct questions. We talked about our marriage and family, opportunities and challenges, hopes and dreams. They shared words of encouragement, examples from their lives, and insights they learned along the way. And we prayed. How refreshing to have them invest in us as we seek to invest in those around us!
In a piece titled The Enduring Value of a Mentor, seasoned pastor Chuck Swindoll tells of various mentors who have helped him along in the spiritual journey, one of them being Bob Newkirk from The Navigators.
“I believe in mentoring is because I am the product of it,” says Pastor Chuck. “[Mentors] made a major difference in my life. They saw potential where I did not. They encouraged me to become someone more than I was. They reproved and corrected me. They pointed out my ‘blind spots.’ They modeled what I longed to become. They made me want to be a mentor myself. As a result of being mentored, I learned the value of being vulnerable, open, unguarded, and honest—a person of authenticity.”
Let’s return to where we began. Who's committed to helping you live a life of integrity before God and others? Who are you walking alongside? May you experience the joys of being a mentor, having a mentor, and thriving in life and ministry!
Click here to read about leadership lessons from Skip Gray. If you’re interested in learning more about Dean and Kim’s ministry with The Navigators or contacting them, you may do so on their staff website here.