Gil Hanke (left) and Harold Batiste, one of the leaders of UM Men who mentored Hanke prior to his service as president of the Commission on UM Men and prior to his current role as top staff executive of the commission.
We talk a lot about mentoring and we encourage folks to be mentors.
I was being interviewed the other day and I was asked, “Who mentored you?” Many family and friends and leaders came to mind, but in the last few days I have had more time to consider that question, and to consider why mentoring is so important.
I am blessed with two amazing older brothers. Both have exceptional academic and musical skills that are way beyond any skills I have in those areas. Many times family friends would point out, “You’re really not like your brothers.”
The folks who really stood out in my life were those persons who saw in me something good, something of value when others did not. Many times they saw potential in me that was not visible to me.
• My scoutmaster realized there was going to be a limit to my success in some areas, but he saw potential in other areas that kept me in scouting.
• My Sunday school teacher, Mrs. Li, always told me that God had a plan––a great plan for me.
• Dr. Alan Toronto, a graduate school professor, saw potential in me while others only saw an older student facing overwhelming odds. Dr. Toronto became the model of what I wanted to become.
• I learned about intimate prayer relationship with God from my grandfather;
• I was mentored in missions by the Rev. Sam Duree and Cecilia Manness.
My list is long, just like yours.
Who are you mentoring today?
Who are you grooming to follow in your footsteps?
In the newest “Service of Installation of Officers in UMM” on our website, one of the questions we ask of every leader at every level is “Will you prayerfully begin today to mentor someone to take your place?”
As a leader within your local church, seize the opportunity to mentor in BSA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, UMYF, or mentor another man who will someday take on more leadership in your church. Answer that call this week. Someone mentored you; give that gift to someone else.
Gil Hanke, general secretary
General Commission on United Methodist Men
This article is part of a bimonthly e-letter to leaders of UM Men. Other articles in the February letter may be found at: