By Mike Ramey

*A mentor is NOT a personal or verbal punching bag.

*A mentor is NOT a person to be disrespected.

*A mentor is NOT a person whom YOU seek–they seek YOU!

*A mentor is NOT an ATM that you may tap at will.

*A mentor is NOT a person who will always tell you that you are right.


*A mentor CAN NOT undo your past, but CAN point you in the right direction.

*Mentors CAN NOT fight your battles, but CAN teach you how to fight your OWN battles.

*Mentors CAN NOT change your attitude, but CAN give you the tools to check yourself out!

*A mentor CAN NOT tell you only the good things, but CAN share the good and the bad about your abilities to help you correct shortcomings.

*An effective Mentor SHOULD NOT be of the opposite sex, but SHOULD BE a born again, Bible believing Christian who has been where the one being mentored IS going to go.


*A willingness to let the person being mentored GO. Meaning that the mentor’s job ends when it is time to let that individual go out and DO what they have been trained to do.

*A willingness to provide Biblical TRUTH. Sure, war stories are nice…but training someone else to fight life’s battles on their own is the main objective. The person is NOT a carbon copy of the mentor; but have been taught the truths of life–good and bad.

*One CAN NOT mentor via long distance. A mentor has to let individuals IN CLOSE for not only instruction, but also up-close observation. It is one thing to tell someone how to handle something. It is another to let them SEE how YOU handle the matter you are trying to convey.

*A willingness to INVEST in the person being mentored. This means coming out of the pocket of the mentor. Books, magazine articles, newspapers…even a new Bible if needed. Bottom line–the spoken word is effective; but giving someone something to take home with them–for homework and future study–is great!

*Modeling of character in the face of adversity. This is where the rubber meets the road. How the mentor handles disappointment, tragedy, loss, reversal, and loneliness is the fuel that gives the one being mentored the strength to go on.

*A Mentor NEEDS to be involved for the LONG HAUL. It may take weeks, months or even years of effort to teach the one being mentored the ropes of the business or discipline that one is entering.


*Loyalty: A person being mentored cannot afford to harbor a spirit of ingratitude towards their mentor. They also cannot give in to ‘gossip’ or ‘innuendo’ that happens to surface about their mentor.

*Patience: A person being mentored MUST be patient with their mentor AND themselves.

*Professionalism: A person being mentored must keep the relationship above board.

*Punctuality and Observation: Be on time, or have the flexibility of time.

*Respect: At all times, respect your elders who are taking the time to train you.

*Reflection: Take the time to ‘chew on’ what you have been taught. It may come in large chunks, or small portions. The biblical admonition: Write it down and make it plain!

*Gratitude: Always take the time to thank those who have helped you ‘grow up’ and mature.

*Becoming a mentor: Eventually, you will have the opportunity to ‘pass on’ what you have learned to another individual or small, select group of individuals. After all–someone took a chance on you!

*If you can live to be forgotten and possibly re-forgotten, you have a great life ahead of you as a Mentor.

The Ramey definition of a mentor: An older person–oftentimes of the same sex– who will serve to guide, to teach, and to equip you to succeed at a particular stage in your life–and will let you go on to be successful. This may not be a ‘by the book’ definition, but one based upon my personal reflection, observation and experience.


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