When Mentors Let You Down

Recently I have spoken to several young leaders who have become disillusioned with their mentors and the leaders above them. They have felt let down but also confused. At first they drank up everything that their leaders taught them, they mimicked and modelled themselves on their mentors. But then as the years passed they began to guiltily spot the flaws, they saw areas in the lives and practice of their mentors which they did not want to mimic. As even more time passed they saw themselves developing a synthesis of what they wanted to take from their mentors advise and what they wanted to leave behind.

This process is very normal. In Jesus’ time disciples would have several Rabbi’s or Sages during their lives. The Jewish disciple was encouraged to move Rabbi’s occasionally so as to get a rounded education. Part of the wisdom behind this was built upon an understanding that every Rabbi would have expertise but also flaws and blindspots. God places mentors in our lives not only to teach us what to do, but also what not to do.

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