What to Look for in a Mentor

I wanted a mentor. I understood the value of having a godly older woman pour into me and offer me wisdom. I didn’t need convincing. I just couldn't think of a woman who fit the bill. It took me several years (yes, years) of praying before I finally found my mentor. Having the opportunity to sit under the wisdom of a godly woman is a huge blessing. It’s something I hope you have (or will soon have) in your life. I was so encouraged by my mentor throughout my relationship with Dav. She was there for me before Dav and I started dating. She was there for me during our relationship. She and her husband even did some pre-engagement and pre-marital counseling with us. And she’s been there for us since the wedding. The wisdom that she’s been able to offer me has been priceless. Life is hard. Life is confusing. Life isn’t clear-cut or black-and-white.  The Bible offers us a ton of wisdom, but it doesn’t give us a specific roadmap to follow. The Bible instructs us to have a personal relationship with God, to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, to be in prayer and communication with God, to spend time in the Word seeking what He’s written for us, and pursue wisdom from those that have more experience than us. Life is a journey, and God has given us all of the tools we need to navigate each step. Don’t try to figure life out on your own. Don’t look to social media, magazines, movies, or music to be your guide. Don’t only surround yourself with peers. Instead, take some time to begin praying and asking God to provide a godly older woman to mentor you. It’s been a huge help in my own life, and I’m convinced it will be the same for you.

Here are several things to consider as you begin the process of finding a mentor.

1. Don’t look for a perfect mentor.

If you’re looking for the perfect mentor, you will never find her. No one is perfect but God. He chooses to use flawed people to advance His kingdom. I didn’t want a perfect woman to mentor me. I wanted a mentor who’d experienced the hard realities of life and was still choosing to follow God. I wanted a real, honest, down-to-earth, relatable woman to mentor me. The greatest mentor/mentee relationships happen when the mentor looks at the mentee and says, “I don’t have all of the answers. I don’t know everything there is to know. But, I do know this. I love God. I love His Word. And I want to link arms with you and pull you closer to Him.” If you can find a mentor with this kind of heart, you will have a wonderful mentor/mentee relationship.

2. Look for a mentor who’s actively serving the Lord.

Look around and take note of any women who are actively serving the Lord, whether that’s serving at home with her kids, leading a small group at church, serving in the youth group or singles ministry, leading a Christian book study, mentoring other young women, or just faithfully serving in the season God has her in. Look for that woman. She is the type of woman you are going to want to be taught by.

3. Look for a mentor within your local church.

When it comes to actually finding and asking a woman to mentor you, I encourage you to start by looking in your local church. If you’re not actively involved in a local church, I challenge you to make that your first priority. The local body of believers is God’s good design for us to thrive within. Make sure you’re involved in a church before you find and ask someone to mentor you. Once you’re in a local Bible-believing church, take a look around you. Do you see any godly women? Do you know any of them personally? Have you taken steps towards getting involved in a small group or women’s study to help you get to know the women in your church? Take steps towards getting more involved. If you’re already involved and know several godly women, begin asking God who you should ask. Carefully consider what you’re hoping to gain out of a mentoring relationship and look for someone who can fulfill that role in your life.

4. Look for a long-distance mentor.

Maybe you’ve exhausted the options in your community and church. You still can’t seem to find someone willing or able. That’s okay. My mentor recently moved and no longer lives close by. We can still maintain a mentoring relationship thanks to texting, phone calls, email, FaceTime, Skype, etc. There are so many ways to have a thriving long-distance mentoring relationship. Don’t allow distance to keep you from finding a mentor. I know a young woman who searched long and hard for a local mentor. She just couldn’t seem to find someone who lived nearby. She did happen to know a godly woman who lived in another state. Instead of giving up and quitting, she called up this woman and asked her to be her mentor. This older woman agreed, and they have a wonderful long-distance mentoring relationship.

5. Take a bold step and ask.

Once you’ve considered the first four points I’ve listed above, It’s time to be bold and just ask. Kristen wrote a great blog post walking you through the exact steps she took to ask her mentor to mentor her. Check that out to help you know exactly what to do: “How I Found a Godly Woman to Mentor Me.” This is where the rubber meets the road. You can have a woman in mind, but if you don’t take that bold step and ask her to mentor you, it won’t ever happen. If you truly desire to have a godly woman in your life to mentor you, then it’s time to take that bold step. Read my sister Kristen’s blog post on how to make that ask.

Taking mentorship and making it personal.

We have talked about mentorship extensively at GirlDefined Ministries. We are very passionate about women mentoring other women and growing in their relationship with God as a result. Here are several posts on this topic to help you continue learning and growing in this area. Leave a comment below with any additional thoughts or questions. We’d love to help make the idea of mentorship a reality in your life.

About the Author

Bethany Beal

Bethany Beal is the co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries and co-author of several books, including Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. She is passionate about spreading the truth of biblical womanhood through writing, speaking, and mentoring women, and you can catch her unpacking exciting and controversial topics every week on her podcast, The Girl Defined Show. Bethany is married to her best friend and husband, David, and they have one son, Davey Jr.