5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Spiritual Mentor

This week, I had the privilege of speaking at an online meeting of Christian university students and young professionals across Northern Europe on the power of sound counsel for life and ministry.

I challenged the group with 5 key questions that should inform their choice of spiritual mentors.

Let me be clear from the outset that as a Christian, the role of spiritual mentors in your life CANNOT replace the cultivation of your personal relationship with the Holy Spirit and your Bible.

That said, the reality is that God often steers our life’s journey and purpose through the godly counsel of a select few in our lives — Proverbs 11:14, 12:15, 19:20.

Are you in the right community?

Knowing your purpose is not a licence or ground to isolate yourself.

Purpose thrives in community; the right community. But community isn't necessarily about size and numbers but common core values, built on trust. Click To Tweet

However, it’s crucial to choose carefully who you lend your ears and heart. Some counsels can have devastating consequences.

The daughter of Herodian did the unthinkable in Matthew 14:8. Amnon committed an abomination in 2 Samuel 13:1-22. Israel fell into immorality in Numbers 31:16. Rehoboam’s ill-thought decision divided the kingdom in 1 Kings 12:1-16.

The common thread is that they heeded wrong counsel, each with a calamitous outcome. Be careful who you listen to.

Godly counsel can inspire positive change and these five (5) questions can serve as basic guiding principles before you select spiritual mentors.

Q1: “Does your life and words inspire me to obey God?”

Anyone may give you ‘good‘ advice but not everyone can point you closer to Christ.

I have seen great purposes derailed when people chose a path contrary to godliness because of who they listened to.

Be careful who you admit into your life. Loyalty to man is overrated; only God should hold supreme value in your estimation.

If their life, as you see it, does not align with their message, you have red flags already. Surround yourself with those whose life inspire you to do God’s (not man’s) will.

Q2: “Do you inspire me to grow God’s vision for my life?”

Great spiritual mentors must act as catalyst to growing, not hinder or curtail, your God-given vision.

Their engagement must contribute positively to your spiritual growth and personal development. Ask questions of the value they bring to your journey.

Discount anyone who adds zero value to you. Life is too short to waste it. Click To Tweet

Q3: “Do you challenge me with difficult questions?”

Surround yourself with people who make you uncomfortable with settling for average or spiritual compromise. If you’re driven by a sense of purpose, ‘good‘ is not good enough.

Great spiritual mentors ask difficult questions and challenge you to continuously reflect on your core values and how you’re staying true to them in light of your Christian walk.

We are quick to shun ‘confrontation‘ and the slightest pushback, but when constructive, they will challenge you to rise to excellence. If you must fulfil purpose, you will be stretched.

Q4: “Do you help refuel my passion to live with purpose?”

Do you have individuals in your life that you never want to stop talking to when you get the chance?

Not because they’re ‘easy‘ to talk to but because they consistently reignite your passion to pursue your God-intended purpose.

I have such individuals in my life and it’s such a blessing. Look out for them. That’s who you need to surround yourself with.

Q5: “Are you still learning and growing?”

This last (certainly not the least) question is critical. I want to admit and engage with people who themselves remain students.

Be wary of ‘professors’ who give the impression of perfection and position themselves as the fountain of knowledge.

If you’re a mentor, I want to challenge you to remain committed to your own learning process. Stay humble, seeking grace daily to grow as you help others do the same.

Photo credit Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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