The 10 Commandments of a Mentor
By Eddie Cornejo If you have ever wonder how to become a mentor of a young worship band, here are a few commandants you need to follow. These are things I've learned in part through my work with Adoration Academy.
1. Do not think that it's about you; it's not.
If you're thinking about mentoring somebody you have to realize that it's going to be a long journey of discovery. You have to be willing to go the distance with your students. First and foremost you have to remember that this journey is not about you and what you have to give but about allowing your students to discover their potential and who they're going to be as Christians and musicians.
2. Do not be a graven image of someone else.
Be authentic. Don't try to be a super mentor or be something you're not. Instead, focus on allowing your students to discover what you have to offer them and discover themselves in what you have to offer. Don't put them in a box or try to make them become a mini version of you.
3. Do not misuse the name "mentor" for personal gain.
It is rewarding to be someone's mentor; there's no denying it. However, don't let it go to your head. Make sure to recognize that you may be wrong from time to time. As a mentor you have to be willing to learn from your students as much as they're willing to receive what you have to give. This symbiotic relationship of give and take will allow you to have a greater impact in your students' development than just imposing your thinking on them because you carry a title.
4. Remember to keep it simple.
Don't force it; sit back and be you. Take a relaxed approach to mentoring by making sure the relationship is flowing naturally. Be aware that not everyone will want to be mentored by you. But with the ones that do, make sure you meet as often as you can and truly get to know them. And always remind yourself to point them to Christ and not your knowledge or abilities as a mentor.
5. Honor your students.
Give them opportunities to shine during practices and worship services. Let them know that all the time and effort they're putting into developing themselves is paying off. Make sure that your criticism is alway positive and that you always point out, with kindness, the areas of needed
6. Do not murder their spirits with criticism and negativity.
Always remain positive toward your students. A mentor needs to provide a safe space for his or her students. They should not feel devalued or inferior. Mentors should help them grow musically as well as spiritually without shaming them.
7. Do not commit adultery of ideas.
There's going to come a point in your mentoring process where your students are going to move very fast. You've given them the principles to become a sustainable worship band and they will want to push the envelope of methodology. Your church may not be ready to move that fast. Make sure that you help them understand that just because "everyone else is doing it" (fill in the methodological blank), it doesn't mean that you have to follow suit and adulterate your identity, mission, or theology with what you do. Keep it balanced.
8. Do not steal.
In a world filled with information, it is easy to get confused and remember where ideas come from. Try to remember and give credit to the ones that have given you those ideas in the past. This will let your students know that you're also growing and learning from others.
9. Do not lie.
Students are longing for someone or something that is truthful and honest. This is where you come in. Your honesty and sincere care for their well-being will pay great dividends. Sometimes it's easier to withhold the truth so that you don't offend or hurt your students' feelings. But it's important to keep it real with them and always tell the truth.
10. Do not covet.
There will be times where you will be frustrated. There will be times when you wish you had students who were more dedicated, skillful, or who paid closer attention to what you have to teach. There will be moments where you wish you had a different set of students, a set of students "just like them" (like the ones you've seen in other churches). But remember that God has blessed you with the people He wants you to be with. So give it your all. You may only be with them for a little while so make your time count.