Egmont Mika

Mentorship - Respect, Freedom and Trust


When Jesus commanded his disciples to go out and make disciples, they understood this as building a master-disciple relationship. The apostle Paul translated it into his greco-roman world by instead talking about a father-son relationship. Today, we often use the term mentorship.

Still, it’s the same content, the same mission. It’s the mission that Jesus gave us.This is how I use this term in my blog.

Mentorship - Respect, Freedom and Trust

Mentorship requires trust.

And trust presupposes respect and freedom.

For a mentor this means respecting another person’s background and personality, her opinion, taste, religion, or whatever she brings along. Also her negative sides. It’s possible to show respect without necessarily agreeing.

Furthermore, it means respecting that person’s decisions. Granting her the freedom to live her life and follow her own preferences. This includes the freedom to say “yes” or “no” to Jesus, and also to you as her mentor.

Respect and freedom - these are the preconditions, but finally it’s all about trust.

Trust is a relationship. You can’t buy it, neither do you get it by begging or arguing or manipulating. And you never build trust by engaging someone in your projects, thus “using” her for your own purposes. There is no such way.

Trust grows gradually… You’ll have to build it, patiently and carefully through consistency in action, thought and motives.

Trust needs to be cultivated, not managed. There is a world of difference between those two.

Respect, freedom and trust - you can see them in Jesus’ way of meeting people, as three expressions of his love.

As his disciples and communicators of that love, we can never depart from those three. If we ignore any of them, we lose our mentor relationship.

Therefore, acting Jesus-like means in this context:

  • Showing respect, even when disrespected

  • Granting freedom, even when controlled, manipulated or threatened.

  • Building trust, even when undeserved.

You can start out with any acquaintance, on any level of relationship. Sometimes, though, you’ll have to start from scratch. It isn’t always easy. People aren’t easy. For you as a mentor, it’s an investment into another person’s life. An investment of your love, time and energy, although with no guarantees.

However when successful, it’s an investment that produces good fruit.

All the way to eternity.