3 Myths about Mentorship

Posted by Joanna Williams, Young Adult Resident, on Oct 03, 2021

3 Myths about Mentorship

I wholeheartedly believe mentorship is the biggest value-add we can have in this life. But sadly, mentoring has become a lost art. Many times, it seems that our excuses for not mentoring or being mentored are based on preconceptions or myths that just aren’t true. Dispelling those myths is the first step to realizing the power of mentorships, and of building connections across generations, for each of us.

I’ve had many mentors throughout my 24 years of life. Some were only in my life for a season, and some became my closest friends and stood by me on my wedding day. Some were formal mentors, while some I didn’t even realize were mentors until I unpacked our relationship. While each mentoring relationship has looked different, I am beyond thankful for every person who invested in my life and brought me to where I am today.

Here are three of the biggest myths behind mentoring:

Myth #1: Young adults want a picture-perfect mentor.

Mentoring is like any relationship: it goes both ways. Sometimes we think that the mentor has to fix all of the mentee’s problems. This brings unnecessary pressure on the mentor and unreal expectations for the mentee – often keeping either one from pursuing mentoring.

None of the young adults I’ve worked with have actually looked for perfection from a mentor. Instead, I have heard that young adults want a mentor who will be honest with them, be authentic, and be caring. It’s about working together through life’s challenges; if neither of you know the answer, mentors and mentees can problem-solve together.

Myth #2: You have to stick to a regimented study.

First off, we need some flexibility in our busy schedules. Mentors and mentees should find a time that works for both of them. It doesn’t have to be every week; every other week is a great rhythm.

Secondly, people desire relationships over curriculum. I always say, “Be quick to ditch the study” because any study or curriculum is just a catalyst to growth. It can be an amazing tool to bring y’all together. However, completing a study is not the main point. We are built for growth in the context of relationships, not filling in blanks on a page.

If one of you comes in with something weighing heavy on your hearts, spend some time working through those heart issues. Ask some questions and seek to understand the other’s perspective. It’s all about the process, not just the results. Seek to see God in the little and seemingly mundane things.

Myth #3: You need to become best friends.

This myth is probably the hardest one to wrestle with. You might feel a pressure to become besties, but that isn’t the point of mentorship. You and your mentee/mentor are going to be different and THAT’S GOOD! A mentorship isn’t a cloning program; it’s meant to be a safe place to celebrate uniqueness, where you both can glean from each other’s strengths. Mentoring done right takes both intentionality and understanding.

As a young adult, I believe we need this intergenerational connection now more than ever. There have been more changes in the past 50 years than the last 500, which can easily lead to tension and misunderstanding between age groups. A gap has emerged with the corruption and collapse of what our older generations hold dear, causing heart-breaking division with younger generations.

Personally, there are things that I don’t understand about my own generation, but mentoring has given me unique opportunities to ask questions and learn from a perspective that I may not have naturally. One thing I do know to be true is this: there isn’t anything that you are going through now that someone before you hasn’t already faced. Mentoring is an amazing way for us to share our stories and wisdom with someone who is seeking to understand their own experiences.

At Chase Oaks, we desire to invest in the next generation, as we ourselves grow in faith, hope, and love. Our heart is to create a culture in which each generation invests in the next, where the value for mentoring continues to be passed down—adults mentoring young adults, young adults mentoring college students, and college students mentoring high school students. In this way, not only are we all empowering and investing in the next generation, but we leave behind a legacy that impacts future generations to come.

To find out more about Generation Mentoring and get involved, look here

Share This:

Recent Stories

Swipe to Discover more

Behind the Song: "All of My Heart"

Aug 10, 2022

Songwriter Chris Opie shares a glimpse behind the powerful moment that inspired the new Chase Oaks Worship single, "All of My Heart." Read more, here.

Keep Calm and Parent On: Back to School Edition

Aug 07, 2022

How can parents help their kids gear up for a great year ahead? By being intentional, we can be the life coaches our kids need to be successful, at school and in life.

How To Survive a High School Lock-In

Aug 03, 2022

What happens when a grown adult is voluntarily locked inside a space with a group of high schoolers for a whole night? Read more, here.

Surprised by Church: A Social Recluse's Journey

Jul 31, 2022

Like faith itself, our relationship with a faith community is a unique one that can shift over time. Read about one person's story of relating to—and being surprised by—the church.

Respite Nights Make a Difference

Jul 28, 2022

The Local Good Center and Chase Oaks Foster Care/Adoption Team are helping to meet huge and often-hidden needs in our own backyard. Read about how they are making a difference, here.

Two Essential Back-to-School Checklists

Jul 24, 2022

BACK TO SCHOOL. Whether those words prompt panic or joy, we all want to make this year a great one for the kids. Use the following two checklists (one for “checking off” and one for “checking in”) to make sure everyone is ready to go!

A Process for Making Wise Decisions

Jul 21, 2022

Great decision-making is a critical leadership skill. Chase Oaks Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares a simple, proven process for how to make wise decisions.

Discovering a Passion for Mental Health

Jul 17, 2022

Cindy Park's path has led her from personal counseling to pursuing a new career as a professional counselor. Read more about her journey and newfound passion for mental health, here.

5 Reflection Questions To End Each Day

Jul 10, 2022

How can we prioritize mental and emotional health more? One time-tested way: building a regular habit of self-reflection. Start by asking yourself these 5 simple questions at the end of each day.

How To Be an Influencer Who Leads Others

Jul 07, 2022

Being an "influencer" can mean many different things. Executive Pastor Jack Warren shares key steps for leaders to grow in the kind of influence that puts others first.