Since Revolution Church is filled with people in college and their 20’s and because we’re part of Acts 29, myself and the other leaders at Revolution will often get requests to mentor someone. Either in our church or a church planter or worship leader.
This has caused me to think through, what makes an effective mentor. They are important, but I think we often set ourselves and the person we are seeking help from up for disaster.
A mentor is someone further ahead of you in an area you want to grow in.
No one person can mentor you in every part of your life.
This is the problem we run into. We look for someone to be the end all be all for us.
When someone asks for a mentor, I explain this to them and then ask a series of questions:
What is the 1 or 2 areas you want to grow in as you think about your life in the next 3, 6, 12 months? This could be finances, prayer, marriage, boundaries, health, etc.
Why do you think I can help you? I want to know why they think I can help them. Not because I want to pump up my ego, but I want to know they’ve done their homework on me not just threw a dart at the wall and picked the closest person.
What are you doing or have you tried to grow in this area? Often, not always, but often people seek a mentor because they are lazy. I want to know what books or blogs this person has looked at in this area. Are they actively seeking to grow in this area or just hoping to rub off success from someone. Which leads to the last part.
How much time are you willing to put into this? Anything worth doing will take time. You won’t grow in your handling of finances, health, marriage, career, preaching, etc. without putting in time and effort. This is a commitment you are as the person getting mentored is making, the mentor is coming along for the ride and if I as the mentor am not convinced you are into the ride, I’m getting off.
If you are worth your salt as a leader, person or pastor, you will be asked often to mentor people. You must be selectively in who you mentor because you are giving up one of your most precious commodities as a leader, your time. If you are asking to be mentored, to succeed and have it be worthwhile for you, you need to do your homework and be willing to put in the work. There is nothing more exciting than working with a person who wants to grow in an area and helping them to grow in that area. Love seeing that happen.
The afternoon of the Acts 29 Boot Camp was breakout sessions. I went to “Gospel Coaching” with Scott Thomas, which was a two-day breakout. In preparation for the breakout, we had to read the book Gospel Coach, which was great, definitely worth reading.
Here are some things from the breakout:
The goal of coaching is to produce healthy leaders who produce healthy churches
In coaching, you need to focus on accountability
Gospel life plan starts with your calling, goes to your goals, steps of action and then to stewardship
Every believer is called
What do you talk about in a coaching session
Connect to the gospel
Connect to each other
Connect to the spirit
Look at past sessions
Evidence of grace
Issues to focus on
What are your goals for the session?
Decide on one or two objectives
Clearly define these
Tied to disciples calling
If you don’t get to this part, you will have wasted your time
Practical means for, and plans for achieving objectives
Supplication & Spirit
Start with, continue in, and end with prayer
Pay attention to what prayer needs the disciple has
Seek outcomes through the spirit that need to go into an accountability agreement
Coaching is talking to a person and helping them figure stuff out
The afternoon of the Acts 29 Boot Camp was breakout sessions. I went to “Gospel Coaching” with Scott Thomas. In preparation for the breakout, we had to read the book Gospel Coach, which was great, definitely worth reading.
Here are some things from the breakout:
There is a fundamental flaw in all coaching materials
Coaching needs to look at a leader’s personal, spiritual and missional life
Leaders know, feed, lead and protect their church
A good coach can focus things and make it simple, they see the big picture well, they see what you can’t, they focus on your weakness and spend more time there, they want you to win, they push you beyond what you think you can do, they ask good questions
How far does coaching go? Anyone can be coaching: pastor to elders, pastor to staff, etc.
The biggest difference with Gospel Coaching is that it is more concerned with outcome instead of output
What you do doesn’t define you, who you are defines you
Every church leader needs a coach
Lead as a shepherd by serving (Matthew 20:25 – 28), overseeing (1 Peter 5:1 – 4), providing (Psalm 23:1 – 3), loving (John 21:15 – 19), sacrificing (John 10:1 – 5, 11 – 18), fighting (Acts 20:28 – 35), providing (Revelation 7:15 – 17) and focusing on the Chief shepherd (Jeremiah 3:15)
Just finished reading Brian Tracy’s book Hire & Keep the Best Peoplefor my coaching network. While the book clearly lays out how to hire staff and keep them (which is a huge need, especially in churches), I think the principles he laid out apply to how a church raises up volunteers. Here are a few principles that I found helpful and how they can work with paid staff or volunteers (in no particular order):
Go slowly. Churches always have holes, they always have needs for people to step into. This is good and bad, it is especially true in a growing church. The problem churches run into is that in an effort to get a warm body in place, they rush. They don’t give the person a chance to prove themselves, you only have to attend a church for 2 weeks to become a leader, or maybe you don’t do a background check on someone. Obviously, there needs to be things in every church that someone can step right into (ie. greeting, set up and tear down, hospitality), but most roles in a church you need to take time (small group leader, teacher for kids or students). To become an elder at Revolution, you have to attend Revolution for 1 year, be a partner, in a small group, serve in the church, give back to God and then start the process (which takes 8 – 12 months). The reason is that through all of those steps, you will prove your capability to fill that role.
Be clear on what you are asking. What do you want someone to do? What are the goals? How will you know if they did a good job or not? Be clear on this. What is the win?
Go for the best. Many leaders, especially pastors have a hard time going for the best person or leader for a role. Whether it is a volunteer or staff position. The reality is, if you want the best, you have to ask the best. This means you will often have to make a big ask to someone who is busy, or on staff at a larger church knocking it out of the park. When we hired Paul, he was on staff at a church 25 times larger than Revolution, yet I believed he was the missing piece for us moving forward. So, I shot high, made a big ask (which included a significant paycut for him and Jennifer), but they said yes. Don’t be afraid of going for the best person.
Be weary of the available person. This goes with the previous one. Regardless of what a person tells you, if they are unemployed, not volunteering somewhere, or bounce from church to church (but they always have a great story why it wasn’t them), be weary. There is a reason. You should also be weary of the person who overpromises and sells themselves high. I had a guy tell me once that people told him when he preached he sounded like Perry Noble. I thought, “that’s incredible. If you did sound like Perry Noble, you would be speaking somewhere every weekend. Not looking for a place to speak.”
After making the big ask and they say “Yes,” ask them why. This was eye opening because Tracy points out they might have an idea of what the job or role will be like, and it might be incorrect. If you ask them why and they say, “I’m excited to play the guitar” and the role is teaching 2 year olds, they might miss the boat. They might also say something that is contradictory to your mission and if you can catch mission confusion at the start, it will save a ton of headaches.
Here are a few quotes from the book:
The critical constraint on the growth and success of your business, or any business, is the ability to attract and keep good people.
The 10/90 rule. The first 10% of time that you spend thinking and planning will save you 90% of the time and effort required to make the right decision and get the right result in the long run.
The best predictor of future success is what that person has done in the past, don’t be fooled.
Morale does not rise in an organization, it always comes from the top down.
I think the most helpful thing about this book was his process of interviewing. As our church is growing and we will have to bring on new staff members in the future, I will definitely be stealing his interview process. It is incredibly thorough.
Definitely a book worth reading as a church leader, and the best part is that it was less than 11o pages.
I am starting a brand new lead pastor coaching network today with Bob Franquiz. Last year, I was part of one with Nelson Searcy which proved to be an amazing experience for me as a leader and for our church.
While we have a lot of systems in place at Revolution and things are humming along well, I am excited because of what will be covered in the coaching network with Bob. We’re going to cover:
The personal development of the lead pastor
Developing other leaders
Leading an effective staff
Advanced outreach strategies
Preaching for life change
Breaking barriers to growth
We’ve been having a lot of discussions as a staff about how we break 250 and continue to grow. I feel like this network is coming along at just the right time for me personally, our team and for our church as we will be covering things I need to grow in or we need to be prepared for in the coming year.