ACSI Vol 17.3 : Page 33

Time “Spiritual mentors give of their time generously and sacrificially just as Jesus did with His disciples” (Kreider 2008, 124). Spiritual mentoring relationships deepen the quickest when the mentoree and the mentor are in close proximity and they can share life together on a regular basis. Since spiritual needs seem to ebb and flow, spiritual mentoring relationships are best fostered through regu-larly scheduled time (Stanley and Clinton, 1993). Christian schools provide a fantastic opportunity for teachers and students to spend time together in a Christian setting. What steps can you take to be a better spiritual mentor to your students? Ask yourself, “Which of my students has shown interest in one or more aspects of my spiritual life?” It is possible that this student is attracted to your spiritual life. The next step is to begin or to continue conversations with this student with the intention of spending more time together. The purpose of this research was to help me discern who has served as a spiritual mentor in my life and to iden-tify the stimulators that deepened my relationships with my spiritual mentors. I hope the Christian teachers who read this research are able to connect to the stimulators and draw conclusions for themselves concerning how they can be more effective spiritual mentors for their students. Accountability Another stimulator of spiritual mentoring relationships is accountability. Keith Anderson and Randy Reese define “accountability as growth through exercises of grace facili-tated by the mentor” (1999, 13). Spiritual mentors need to provide accountability to the mentoree as he or she learns through spiritual exercises initiated by the spiritual mentor. Mentorees need to be responsive to the teachings of a spiritual mentor if the relationship is going to deepen. Praise God for using spiritual mentors to make an impact on our lives. Praise God for Christian teachers who serve as spiritual mentors every day. Thank you for mak-ing the sacrifice to be a spiritual mentor for your students, and may God continue to bless each of us as we inspire students to become devoted followers of Jesus Christ! References Anderson, Keith R., and Randy D. Reese. 1999. Spiritual men-toring: A guide for seeking and giving direction . Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. Hendricks, Howard G., and William D. Hendricks. 1995. As iron sharpens iron: Building character in a mentoring relationship. Chicago: Moody Press. Kreider, Larry. 2008. Authentic spiritual mentoring: Nurturing younger believers toward spiritual maturity. Ventura, CA: Regal Books. Nouwen, Henri J. M. 2006. Spiritual direction: Wisdom for the long walk of faith. Ed. Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco. Stanley, Paul D., and J. Robert Clinton. 1993. Connecting: The mentoring relationships you need to succeed in life. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress. Acceptance An environment of acceptance is a stimulator for spiritual mentoring relationships. Larry Kreider states, “Effective spiritual mentoring involves a commitment to vulnerability, a willingness to open our lives to one another and acceptance of the other person without reservation” (2008, 140). Responsiveness of Mentoree Mentorees need to be responsive to the teachings of a spiritual mentor if the relationship is going to deepen. “We define responsiveness as the sustaining of a respon-sive spirit of teachability. In order to grow, the mentoree must submit willingly to the guidance of the mentor” (Anderson and Reese 1999, 13). The mentoree’s ability to listen to the spiritual mentor and to take action shows the degree of responsiveness of the mentoree. Love A final stimulator of spiritual mentoring relationships is love. Kreider says, “Love is the pivotal point on which a spiritual mentoring relationship rests” (2008, 73). Spiri-tual mentors and mentorees often demonstrate a genuine interest in each other’s spiritual, social, emotional, physical, and intellectual well-being. The love relation-ship between a spiritual mentor and a mentoree provides the ideal environment for training and developing the character of a mentoree (2008). David De Jong, EdD, is the preschool through eighth grade principal at Pella Christian Grade School in Pella, Iowa. He earned an EdD in educational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 2012. Who Are the Spiritual Mentors in the Lives of My Students? . cse Volume 17 Number 3 . 2013/2014 33

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