March 17, 2012
Several times during the engaging and enriching two-day conversation FTE organized around mentoring young ministers, the ambiguity around formal and informal mentoring relationships emerged, as well as the remembrance of a bygone era in our culture when mentoring was more organic, when it was woven into the fabric and people didn’t have to be so intentional about setting up mentoring relationships. As we told stories of our mentoring experiences and tried to come up with language to define what we mean by the word "mentoring," a passage from Lao Tzu’s Tao te Ching came to mind. "When the Great Tao ceased to be observed, then virtues came into vogue." Could it be that as our Great Way ceased to be organically observed, virtuous words like "mentoring" and "vocation" came into vogue?