The Fear Factor in Mentoring

Today's guest blogger is Ellen Castillo.

In my experience with training women to become Biblical Mentors, I have held conversations with women about the reasons why they do not mentor the younger generation.
The most common responses are:
Fear of not having anything to offer.
Fear of man (insecurity).
Fear of failure.
Fear of not knowing how to help with deeper life struggles.
Fear of not knowing God’s Word well enough.
Fear of causing more harm than good.
Fear of being transparent.
Fear of giving bad advice.
On the flip side, I have also had many conversations with younger women in the church about the reasons why they do not have a mentor, or why they do not seek out a mentor.
Their most common responses are:
Fear of bothering or burdening someone.
Fear of man (insecurity).
Fear of failure.
Fear that others will not understand her deeper struggles.
Fear that the advice will not be Biblical.
Fear that she won’t be able to follow through.
Fear of being transparent.
Fear that the women they seek out will not be a good match.
God’s Word has much to say about fear. There is one type of fear that is beneficial and encouraged - the fear of the Lord. This is the reverence for a holy God, the respect for His power, the awe of his glory, and the knowledge of his wrath. (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 19:23; Proverbs 14:27; Proverbs 14:26). There is another type of fear that is to our detriment, and that is something for women to overcome. This fear holds us back from serving God’s people effectively. 
The Bible calls it the “spirit of fear” in 2 Timothy 1:7. The verse says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (NKJV). A spirit of fearfulness and timidity does not come from God.
As we approach our mentoring relationships, we must be sure that the Gospel informs how we proceed. Where there is fear, love is set aside. This is an issue of the heart, and both mentors and mentees will need to do some heart-work in order for the mentoring relationship to be fruitful.
If fear is our ruling force, we will not be able to fulfill God’s command in the second chapter of Titus to teach the younger and be taught by the older. The good news is that there is a remedy for our fear: The Gospel.
To overcome the spirit of fear, we need to trust in and love God completely. 1 John 4:18 describes, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Only by understanding and believing the clear Gospel message can we trust in and love God completely. We cannot muster up this kind of love on our own, so it must be God’s love for us, God’s love in us, and God’s love pouring out of us that allows more experienced women to engage in healthy relationships with less experienced women.
Scripture is full of “fear not” verses. If fear is holding you back from serving God faithfully, look up these and other Scriptures that speak to our fears: Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 10:31, Psalm 56:11, Job 13:15, and there are so very many more. Using an online Bible verse site and searching the word “fear” will draw up more examples to aid in discovering God’s plan for you.
By receiving The Gospel for salvation and then applying it to our sanctification, we will be able to learn to put all our trust in God. Only then will we no longer be afraid of the things that hold us back.
If you have a heart to mentor or to be mentored, but fear is holding you back, I encourage you to do a bit of heart work and ask The Lord to show you His love for you so that you will be motivated to love him back completely. Only that relationship between you and Jesus will help you to move past your fears and begin to fulfill the command in Titus 2:3-5 to teach the younger women and to be a younger woman being taught by an older woman.
Mentoring relationships are a beautiful, Biblical thing that is beneficial to all of us. If you don’t have one, I encourage you to both serve and be served as mentors and mentees in the body of Christ for your benefit and for God’s glory!

To learn more about becoming equipped as a Biblical Mentor, please visit where you can find training and resources to assist you in your mentoring relationships.