Bernie Anderson
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Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Sunday Sermonizing: Find Mentors (Even If They’re Sometimes Wrong)


Everyone needs mentors.

Not one single mentor. Many mentors. People you allow to speak into your life. Those you listen to and whose patterns you learn from and sometimes follow.

Mentors should be plural. Meaning — you should have more than one and more than one kind.

Many of my mentors are dead.  Some are younger than me. Several I’ve never met. I meet a few of them regularly. I had a different set of mentors 25 years ago from the people who speak into my life today.

Here’s the thing with mentors. Because they’re people, sometimes they’re wrong. But that doesn’t make them any less of a mentor.

One of my first professional mentors, when I was a young pastor, gave me this counsel:

“Bernie, never let people in your congregation be your friend. Keep a distance from them. You’re the pastor. You’re not one of them.”

I tried following his advise for about week before realizing this was not going to work for me.

But, this man was a great mentor for me in so many ways, even though he was wrong about this one.

I consciously tried and failed one way, and through the process found another.

Even when a mentor provides counsel that is wrong for you, it doesn’t make her wrong. It’s still up to you to try and fail and try again until you learn what’s right. Until you learn your path.

Look for mentors (plural) in your life.

Look for them in unusual places.

Be teachable.

Remember ... those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. - Hebrews 13:7