Apocalyptic-type movies are not my favorite because they all have the same basic plot, and they create an overinflated sense of impending doom. However, I do think there is something we can learn from them. In 1998, Morgan Freeman played the role of the President in a movie titled Deep Impact. This storyline showed a seven-mile-wide, killer comet on a crash course with Earth. The Americans and Russians worked together to build a spacecraft that could be sent into space with nuclear missiles to destroy the comet before it collided with Earth.
This storyline may sound far-fetched, but it was based on a scientific theory. Scientists believed they could save the Earth by either destroying a comet with explosive missiles before it reached our atmosphere or changing its trajectory by making impact with it.
While Deep Impact was being filmed, NASA was actually planning a mission with the same name. The mission entailed crashing a small spacecraft into a comet to collect data from the impact. After crashing the spacecraft into the comet, they found that there was a slight change in the comet’s speed and trajectory.
You are probably wondering how this information relates to mentoring? You didn’t read this blog for a science lesson on kinetic energy. But, there are more similarities than you may think.
First, mentoring is an intentional act. It is not something that happens by accident.
Second, mentoring is time consuming. The Deep Impact mission planning began in 1998, but it didn’t make impact with the comet until 2005.
Third, when you mentor you can change someone’s life trajectory. Mentoring, like the Deep Impact mission, comes with results.
Okay, so what else does mentoring look like? Let me start with what it is not. Mentoring is not a one-way street. You may think you are there to help and guide your mentee, but you will soon realize that you have much to learn as well. Mentoring is also not about me making you into me. It is about me helping you become who God created you to be.
Mentoring is not complex. Mentoring is simply intentional relationship. We make time for each other in relationship. It isn’t just random unfocused time. Mentoring is specific. It’s about helping someone take the next step, whatever that step might be.
In mentoring you may see grand results or you may only see smaller results. If you ever question whether the small results are worth it, don’t! Remember that, like the rocket crashing into the comet, even small results now can have tremendous impact later! Mentoring is worth the investment no matter the size of the change. God will determine the results.
When you choose to mentor a young adult with a disability you are taking a chance on someone. God loves that person dearly and has specific plans for his or her life. By mentoring, you could forever change someone’s life trajectory. By mentoring, you could empower someone to become who God has created them to be. You could release them to do ministry and not just be an object of ministry.
Ryan Wolfe is the Disability Ministry Pastor at First Christian Church in Canton, OH. Proverbs 31:8a “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…” has become Ryan’s calling. He strives to be an advocate and champion for people with disabilities and their families. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Ryan @ryanewolfe on Twitter.