Magazine article The Christian Century

Investment Option

Magazine article The Christian Century

Investment Option

Article excerpt

Though churches go to considerable effort to arrange mentoring programs for seminarians and young pastors, crucial acts of mentoring still take place in unexpected ways and places. They occur whenever someone invests time and energy in another person and cares enough to challenge that person's behavior and encourage his or her gifts. For reasons that remain somewhat inexplicable, a particular relationship creates a moment ripe for learning and growth. When that happens, it's a moment of grace.

"Mentoring isn't something someone really does intentionally," commented Samuel Kamaleson, a Methodist leader in Asia and an executive with World Vision International who is known for mentoring mission leaders. "It is a compulsion that comes on you, that makes you weigh relationship as being the primary emphasis in all of life."

Kamaleson recently told the Faith and Leadership blog that as a youth he was a poor mathematics student and was turned over to a tutor. "I went to see him with fear and trembling. I thought he was going to bring the rod down on me. But he asked me to sit, and he brought me breakfast. Then he gave me my first lesson in geometry, and I have never forgotten that lesson. …

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