In return, our mentees teach us in ways that are often surprising. It could mean teaching us empathy or about a generational or cultural idea that we didn’t know. Sometimes it’s a profound observation or life lesson that we needed to hear at just the right time. And that friendship doesn’t just affect us in our mentorship relationships. It affects us as we parent our own children into adulthood; as we grow long-term friendships, injecting an expectation of freshness and new life into our conversations; and in boundless other ways.
Jesus modeled this attitude of mentorship and friendship with his own disciples. In John 15, Jesus tells his disciples that they are no longer servants but friends. That’s striking to me! Jesus does not need to learn from his disciples, and yet He’s chosen to rely on them, to trust them, and in turn to support them. He’s chosen a posture of friendship as model for us to do the same.
As we mentor and lean into friendship with our mentees, we are changed to be more like Jesus—to be more loving as we are reshaped to become better friends. And honestly, I think the world could use better friends.