I’ve written about how to find a spiritual mentor, but one thing is for sure: it’s not an instant process. It can sometimes take a while to find the right person–or for the right person to find you. If you’ve not yet found a spiritual mentor, take heart! Don’t forget these five ways to continue to grow as you pray and think about who might be a good mentor.

1) Value one-off conversations

You may not be able to have an ongoing arrangement, but don’t forget the value of asking someone you respect in the faith to lunch every now and then. Perhaps you can make a habit of asking one person from whom you know you can learn to coffee once a week. Then remember to do more listening than talking.

2) Find mentors in books

I consider C. S. Lewis a spiritual mentor, even though he died long before I was born. I’ve read almost everything he’s written on Christianity and he is an author I return to frequently for reference when I come up on a theological problem. Tim Keller and N. T. Wright have also become mentors for me this way. Find a solid author that resonates with you, and begin to read all of their work.

3) Create a life plan

Creating a life plan is an essential way to sharpen your focus and gain clarity on how to move forward in life. There are plenty of the self-guided programs out there; I recommend Storyline by Donald Miller. Going through Don’s process will take you a few weeks, but the time investment will pay off. You’ll begin to better understand what’s really important in your life and the areas that you need to be mentored in.

4) Find someone you can mentor

Everyone needs a mentor and to be mentored, depending on the season of their life. Consider whether it might actually be the time for you to reach out and find someone to invest in. As I’ve made mentoring others an integral part of my life, I’ve experienced tremendous personal and spiritual growth.

5) Continue your education

Enroll in classes online or at a local college that will benefit you spiritually. Consider church history, systematic theology, or even a class in spiritual formation. Read blogs and listen to podcasts that will help think through spiritual issues and gain biblical knowledge.

How have you continued to make spiritual growth a priority while you look for a mentor?