What does mentoring mean?

What does mentoring mean, really?

Mentoring involves life-to-life exchanges that help others discover and pursue their passions and sort our their priorities, and it’s a process of mutual growth. Mentoring is relational. How am I investing my life, and spending my time and energy to truly make a difference? Getting the most out of life isn’t about how much you keep for yourself, but how much you pour into others. — David Stoddard’s, The Heart of Mentoring.

I want to do that. I want to help people and pour into their lives, your lives. I’ve had a life-missions statement for 5 years and I can’t believe I’ve never shared it on my blog. I am now. “LIVING TO DRAW OUT POTENTIAL, IGNITE PASSION, and FOSTER GROWTH in MYSELF and OTHERS for the GLORY OF GOD.” The desire to help someone along in their journey is in me. The desire for mentors is in me. I pursue them, if necessary. Books are mentors to me, and I still sit at the feet of the greatest Mentor and Teacher.

So, how does that make my blog different from before? It’s the motivation of my heart. I want to serve my readers, instead of seek to be served. I want to build people, and not use people to build me, my blog, my name. “How can I help someone?” is the new question I ask before I write.

"Getting the most out of life isn’t about how much you keep for yourself, but how much you pour into others." – David Stoddard via www.alifesurrendered.com

And I like how Chip Ingram put it, too, “…everyone needs a Paul, a Timothy, and a Barnabas in their life — a Paul to learn from as a mentor and role model, a Timothy to sow seeds into the next generation, with teaching and encouragement, and a Barnabas you can be totally open with, an encouraging friend who will go through life with you in the good times and in the sweat and heartache.” Good to Great in God’s Eyes

I still struggle, and I’ll tell about my struggles, because I want you to know you are not the only one. We are all in the process. It is genuinely difficult to live this life full-out, with no regrets, holy before God and wholly for God, fulfilling our purpose as a parent, spouse, friend, sister, child of God. We can’t do it without grace, and we can’t do it alone.

So, I journey with you by sharing what I know, what I’ve learned, what I’m still learning, where I’m learning it from, and how I’m learning it. I’m a student and always will be. I’m no Bible scholar, but I am a disciple. I am a child of God who wants to walk in a way that is worthy of the calling and purpose to which I have been called, and I’m desperate to follow God through it all. And though I fail, God doesn’t give up on me. Neither will He ever give up on you!

There is much I need to overcome, but there is much I have overcome. I want to write about both.

It seems not much time passes after I overcome, rise victorious, and a whole new life-lesson begins again. It is from glory to glory we are changed. “…we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” (2 Cor 3:18 EVS)

I know that what I write about won’t relate to everyone, but what if it could help someone and don’t write? What if I hold on, with clenched fists, to the truth and grace I’ve been given that is intended to set even one person free to help them be all they are called to be, and I don’t share it? I started this blog with the directive from the Lord, “…be generous with your life.” (Matt 5:15 MSG) And this is just one way I can be.

“We become great in God’s eyes by helping others become better than ourselves…Greatness comes through building others up, by aiming for their greatness more than we aim for our own…In God’s economy, someone else’s gain is our gain, and someone else’s loss is our loss. The best way to greatness in an economy like that is to pursue greatness for someone else.” — Chip Ingram

I’m cheering you on, friend, cheering you on to greatness! And living for a purpose greater than my own.

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  • http://thefullestjoy.wordpress.com/ Sarah

    Hi Michele-Lyn! I love everything you shared here! There have been times where I desired a mentor of my own, but it is difficult to find someone you connect with who is willing to ‘stick it out’ so to speak. I suppose part of it has to do with my own faith journey too, (not necessarily walking the ‘good Christian’ path). I find myself currently in an awkward in-between stage. Newly married, with no kids, and still trying to figure out my calling and how that fits in with my husband’s calling. There aren’t too many women my age that I truly connect with. I think mentorship is definitely one area that I see as lacking in my home church, which is why I love reading and connecting to women like you via blogging. Thank you for continuing to share your story. Your words always bless me!

  • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

    This is beautiful, and your heart, the fine transition that god is doing, is magnificent to see. So blessed to know you–YOU bless many!! XO

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      I almost missed this comment. I saw it my email and I was confused. 🙂 This post was from July, but I’m so glad that you commented. I just added it to my menu bar today. I’ve got lots to do with that menu, up there. 🙂 This post is sitting lonely. All in time…

      You are my Barnabas, you know. 🙂

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn

      You encourage my heart… to the point I feel I can fly… <3

  • http://heatherhaupt.com/ Heather H

    Love what you’ve shared and LOVE your mission statement! It was funny as I read… I kept nodding and echoing agreement. I was thinking about how I’ve over the years actually sat down to make a list of who can mentor me {and then seek them out}, who are my compatriots and who I can pour into and mentor. It’s been such a blessing to surround myself with women ahead of me in season or maturity, a few close friends traveling with me and those a season or two behind me. And then you quoted Chip Ingram who recommended the same thing. I love how he worded it.
    Looking forward to watching God move through you. It is always so exciting when God hones our vision and when we run full-force in the direction He has for us!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      Chip’s quote was so good, wasn’t it? His book is so good. It’s one of those that I keep on hand as a reference. And thank you for amen-ing with me, so to speak. I remember one hard day when I was feeling very alone in my journey the Lord spoke clear to my heart, “Remember what it’s like to want a mentor, and then be that to someone.” Mentoring is such an important part of the Body of Christ.

      • http://heatherhaupt.com/ Heather H

        Well, I’ll formally give an ‘AMEN.’ I love how God speaks and will take His encouragement to you to heart as well, “Remember what it’s like to want a mentor, and then be that to someone.” YES and AMEN!

        • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn

          Haha! This made me smile big tonight! 🙂

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com/ Barbie

    I am so excited for you, for all that God is doing in and through you, and all that He’s going to do! I love your mission statement and I also believe you are already walking in much of this calling. I too have a heart to encourage, to build others up and see them grow in their walk with the Lord. I pray as I continue to give myself and my blog over to Him, that He will use me for His glory.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      Oh, friend. I can’t believe it’s been 5 days since you left your comment! Where does the time go? And you are living what you say! I see it your writing and in the comments you leave all over the web. Disqus does a good job keeping track of those. 🙂 You are a gift to the Body of Christ!

  • Lauren Mills

    Michele – I love where you’re going. And staying true to the work He’s doing in you + wants to do through you. Always, if one life is affected for His glory, YES, it is worth sharing/writing/speaking. Excited to see where He’s taking you 🙂

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      Blogging presents a number of challenges, I suppose only another blogger would know about. But there is no doubt that God is using blogging to help further His Kingdom. And that reason is the only reason I’d keep at it. He is faithful! And thank you for the encouragement, too! Miss you much!

  • Joy B. Rudolph

    Michele-Lyn, thanks for boldly moving forward to pursue your dreams and calling. You inspire me.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      I appreciate you taking the time to say so! Thank you so much. 🙂

  • Resealia McKinney

    Hi Michele-Lyn, your words are so beautiful and precious. I am a brand spanking new blogger, but I have learned much from your blog. You pour out so richly from your heart with no pretenses or hype. I am encouraged by you each time I read your words. Thanks for your obedience to the call! I loved the line, there is much I need to overcome and there is much I have overcome…I can so relate! I hope you will be attending the Allume conference; I’d absolutely love to meet you!!!

  • Jacqui

    Hi Michele-Lyn, It’s been awhile since I’ve come over and commented, but I felt compelled this time. I just wanted to cheer you on – to say I love how your heart is tender to the Lord and His leading. And I admire your example. None of us fully arrives – not till heaven and holiness is a process of godly conviction, confession, and repentance. And I love that you show that process in your writing, making yourself vulnerable. Thanks for sharing your mission and keeping your mission. I agree with Ashley, that it resonates with much of my own, and I’ve been on a break for awhile, too, needing to keep the balance in my life and seeking the Lord for direction and His purpose. Anyway, I can’t wait to see all you have coming up! <3

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      I am so glad you took the time to comment. I know it was almost a week ago, but I’ve been fully engaged at home with all kinds of messy, crazy goodness, and some hardness, too. But God is faithful! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your words, here, too. I am encouraged! And you? What are you feeling led to do?

  • http://sarahannrogers.com/ Sarah

    You already do so much of this here, and I know God is going to bless your heart as you seek Him first and then minister here!

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      Thank you for these affirmations! And I do pray that my most passionate pursuit always be of God! Amen. 🙂

  • http://ashliewrites.com/ Ashlie

    I’m cheering and clapping for YOU friend, and giving a hearty amen to all you wrote here. God truly never meant for any of us do walk through this thing alone, but so many times, we hold back, we are scared, we get comfortable, or we give up. I’m speaking from experience 🙂 I love the passion in your words, and relate to much of the mission the Lord has given you to reach out to others running in this race…may you walk boldly and without fear…you never know the impact you have over computer screens and Facebook and iPhones. They may never even comment, but you can be sure that hearts leave here encouraged and the truth is put out on a platter to take or leave. You have a way of putting the truth right out there but it is also covered with grace. Thank you for being real, honest, a true picture of the love that God gives in our messy lives. Wouldn’t it be great if we all were honest about our many struggles! Thank you for setting the example.

    Love you! <3

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com/ Michele-Lyn


      I feel your prayers and hear your cheers from a far, yet so close to the ears of my heart. You are a blessing, and a friend. And you are right, pain and struggle tends to isolate us, but that’s the plan of the enemy, not God’s. I know you have a call and a passion and it is evident in all that you share and write. You can’t pretend it. 🙂 And I agree with you and pray the same things for you. May you walk in boldness, free from fear of any kind, especially the fear of man and of failure! I look forward to seeing all that God is going to do in you and through you. We journey together!