The wisdom literature tells us that two are better than one; “If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the one who falls and has no one to help him up” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). Leaders in all fields are discovering that there are risks in “going it alone”. This is powerfully illustrated in the 2010 movie 127 hours, which is based on the true story of Aron Ralston. Ralston was an experienced mountain climber – a leader in his field. He confidently set out on a solo rock climbing trip into the rugged canyons of Utah. Through an accident he falls and is pinned between a rock and the wall of the canyon for 127 hours. Ralston has become known as the man who amputated his own arm to save his life. Reflecting on this event he said, “I miscalculated the risk of going alone.”
To fall is human (Romans 3:23). Therefore Christian life and leadership, like mountain climbing, is best done with the support of others. The Christian leader develops and progresses best when harnessed to someone a little farther along.
Mentors provide this kind of support by listening, offering accountability, support and more. A good resource for developing a mentoring relationship is Major Beverly Ivany’s book, Mentorship: A Guide for Developing Healthy Mentoring Relationships/25 outlines to encourage conversations.