“No matter what stage of development, we need spiritual companions – mentors and guides, friends and peers along the journey – in order to flourish over a lifetime of godly service” (Reese and Loane, Deep Mentoring, 179).
The need for mentoring should be obvious. We begin today with a consideration of Jesus’ mentoring as it unfolds in the gospel of Matthew.
This gospel highlights an interesting word: behold. Matthew wants the reader to pay attention and observe. The genealogical record, activity of angels, fulfillment of prophecy, and the involvement of dreams are all significant to the claim of Jesus as the Christ.
Terms used to describe the involvement of Jesus as the Christ include shepherd, ruler, king, light, and healer.
However, the key is built upon the name, Immanuel – God with us, the powerful nature of His presence. The true nature of mentoring involves being present. If God left the glory of heaven to be with us, to shepherd, rule, provide light, and heal, then we should also recognize that mentoring necessitates our being present and involved in the lives of those mentored. More tomorrow…
Information about mentoring is unlimited and various approaches indicate there are options available for consideration.
I intend to explore several areas related to the concept of mentoring and how Christians can use mentoring to achieve the second half of the Great Commission: “…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Mentoring involves an experienced and trusted advisor who trains and counsels someone else. The mentoring relationship may extend from a few days to a few years depending on the nature and purpose of the relationship.
As a spiritual influence in the lives of others, we all want to pursue ways we can mentor someone in developing a mature faith.
The approach to mentoring we will examine in the days ahead is based on ways Jesus mentored the disciples.
As we explore these areas, please examine ways to get involved in mentoring others, but also seek out someone who can be a mentor.
Before we begin to dig deeper, pray about someone who can be a mentor and pray for someone you can mentor.
Adding value has become a catch phrase and a popular concept connected to the vision statements of several organizations. Leaders recognize that people are drawn to the idea of receiving something that adds value to their life.
From a leadership perspective, its serves us well to consider exactly what it is that adds value to the people we attempt to reach on a regular basis. The dichotomy between what we value versus someone else develops an interesting challenge.
What areas might be considered that add value to any person in any culture or generation? The answer may possibly be as subjective as what someone determines as valuable.
However, let’s consider a few possibilities.
Physically: Regardless of our nationality, we all have physical needs. When we provide for someone’s felt needs, we add value.
Emotionally: A bit more challenging, but high on the list today. When we demonstrate emotional intelligence toward others it adds value to their life.
Spiritually: Without a doubt, this is the most significant of the three. The greatest value we can add to someone’s life involves the spiritual connection with God.
While traveling across the country it is not uncommon to see signs indicating this may be the last chance to get fuel, food, or rest. As the country develops these signs become less frequent. However, the message does have a significant meaning.
We have no way to determine exactly how long we have before desperation creates a situation of panic and despair.
A number of warning signs may indicate we face the last chance for something significant when considering our leadership.
This may be the last chance to help someone reach their potential in fulfilling personal dreams and goals.
This may be the last chance to prepare those closest to us with a legacy that will help them carry on without us.
This may be the last chance to build a relationship that improves our ability to lead others to greater success.
No one knows when that last chance might be, but if we treat every opportunity as the last chance, then what we accomplish makes a lasting difference.
I enjoy reading new material, especially when it focuses on passion. Most agree that passion is the difference maker to success.
Darren Hardy’s book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster, talks about “Four Passion Switches.” These switches are below with a snippet of what they reference.
Be passionate about what you do: This one is the most common. People talk about their passion for what they do, but maintaining this level of passion 100 percent of the time is challenging.
Be passionate about why you do it: The mission and vision that drives what a leader does adds another level to passion and when we understand why, passion increases.
Be passionate about how you do it: This switch represents going above and beyond, not just settling for good enough or the status quo. How speaks to the importance of quality.
Be passionate about who you do it for: Hardy refers to this as the “means-to-an-end” switch. Knowing who benefits: family, community, country, etc. drives passion upwards.
I am excited to read more and encourage you to find ways to increase your passion as a leader.
An old Swedish Proverb says, “Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.”
Jesus implied a lesser value exists if we only love those who love us. We are doing nothing more than those who were considered to be the worst of sinners.
The challenge has always been the application of loving those we might classify as those who do not deserve it. When we continually give and receive nothing in return, we feel helpless and want to leave or give up.
In those moments we need to remember how our God feels when He continues to give and receives nothing in return. Worse yet, how does He feel when we blatantly reject His love pursuing our own selfish desires?
Leadership should remember this proverb. When we show an unconditional love, especially to those who deserve it the least, two possibilities occur: 1) We demonstrate a God-like spirit, and 2) We help those who really need it understand the nature of God’s love as seen through us.
The effort is worth the time when we consider the outcome. Lead in love!
These three words play a vital role in the development of leadership, especially with regards to spiritual leadership.
Lou Holtz expressed it this way: “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.”
The thought raises several questions: (1) What are we capable of doing? (2) What are we doing? (3) How well are we doing it?
Scripture indicates we all have abilities. God intends the church to utilize our abilities to function as He designed the church (Eph. 4:11-16).
Before motivation, think about our attitude. It’s like the “chicken or the egg” scenario. Does attitude determine motivation, or does motivation determine attitude? Either way, the choice of attitude is critical. We choose our attitude and if misguided, motivation suffers.
What really motivates us when we examine the leadership situation in the church today? Are we comfortable leaving it up to anyone who will lead?
It is time to step up. If we don’t, the future of church may rest in the hands of those who are incapable, misguided, and unmotivated. Where will that leave the church?