Will You Mentor Me?

The word Mentor in magazine letters on a notice board

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.


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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • Yesterday was a moving day for me personally at Revolution
  • Katie and I taught together again on how to let go of your past
  • I loved hearing her share her story and how God’s grace has worked in her heart to release people from her past
  • If you missed it as we unpacked Colossians 3, you can listen to it here
  • This series has been awesome
  • So much excitement among women (and men) in our church about discovering what it means to be a beautiful woman of God
  • Katie and I are teaching at MOPS tomorrow on how to communicate and fight well
  • What is so sad about this topic is how few couples do this well
  • Yes, every couple fights
  • If you say you don’t, you are lying to me or yourself
  • It takes time to get good at communicating with your spouse, but if you don’t do it well, your marriage will either end or be miserable
  • I asked the leaders of MOPS to survey the women about questions they have or what they are struggling with and it was heartbreaking to read them
  • My first thought was I’d like to talk to their husbands
  • My second thought was I’d like to talk to the pastors of their husbands
  • If you are a pastor, step up to the plate and start calling the men in your church to task to be the men God created them to be
  • Watched the super bowl last night with some friends (and a few were Broncos fans)
  • I was hoping Peyton Manning would win, but that was a horrible game
  • Wow
  • All I could think was, “this is the best team in the AFC?”
  • I am starting a new coaching relationship today with Brian Howard
  • Really excited about what this means for me personally and for Revolution
  • I took one step closer to finalizing my book proposal over the weekend
  • So excited to get it into the hands of publishers and move forward with it
  • I started a new novel series over the weekend: The Mitch Rapp series by Vince Flynn
  • Started with American Assassin
  • So far, really good
  • Excited for the end of the week, Paul and I are going to a multi-site conference in Phoenix
  • Definitely excited about learning how best to move forward in the coming year with planting a second Revolution Church
  • Pumped for Sunday as we wrap up Beautiful and look at Proverbs 31 and how to “find a wife worth having and becoming a woman worth being”
  • Going to be awesome
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The Importance of Organizational Culture

organizational culture, analysis and development concept

What an organizational culture does to a church:

  1. Culture shapes our lives and all our beliefs.
  2. Culture is vital to effective ministry.
  3. Our culture affects the way we conduct our ministries in the church.
  4. Culture helps us understand better the different people we seek to reach for Christ.
  5. Cultural understanding is essential to leaders if they are to lead their established churches well.
  6. Cultural understanding is essential to leaders if they are to lead their planted churches well.
  7. Culture may cannibalize strategic planning.
  8. Understanding culture helps the church cope with changes in its external environment.

From Look Before You Lead: How to Discern & Shape Your Church Culture by Aubrey Malphurs.


Links of the Week

  1. 6 keys to developing an awesome family.
  2. Scott Thomas on 30 reasons why a leader needs a coach.
  3. Joe Thorn on How he uses the ESV journaling bible.
  4. 7 ways Satan tries to destroy your church. This is so true.
  5. Andy Stanley on Your Leadership Position is from God, Hold it Loosely.
  6. Tim Keller on Preaching in a secular culture.
  7. Huffington Post on The battle of porn addiction among clergy.

My Notes from Acts 29 Boot Camp in Phoenix

Katie and I spent the last two days in Phoenix at the Acts 29 Boot Camp. In case you missed them, here are my notes from the sessions:

  1. “Leadership & the Surge” | Darrin Patrick
  2. “Theology & the Surge” | Wayne Grudem
  3. “Coaching breakout part 1” | Scott Thomas
  4. “Mission & the Surge” | Matt Carter
  5. “Preaching & the Surge” | Justin Anderson
  6. “The Future & the Surge” | David Kinnaman
  7. “Networks & the Surge” | Scott Thomas
  8. “Coaching breakout part 2” | Scott Thomas
  9. “Missional Communities Breakout” | Ed Marcelle
  10. “Gospel & the Surge” | Jeff Vanderstelt

Coaching Breakout Part 2 (Scott Thomas)

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
      • Connect to the gospel
      • Connect to each other
      • Connect to the spirit
    • Review
      • Look at past sessions
      • Accountability
      • Evidence of grace
      • Issues to focus on
    • Objectives
      • 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
    • Strategies
      • 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


Acts 29 Boot Camp: Gospel Coaching Part 1 (Scott Thomas)

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)
  • You can’t lead those you don’t love

7 Core Commitments of Coaching

I sat in Scott Thomas’ breakout on Gospel Coaching. Here are the 7 core commitments of coaching:

  1. To glorify God by shepherding leaders in a holistic manner with the gospel.
  2. To make the gospel of Jesus Christ the primary focus of every coaching session.
  3. To shepherd leaders’ hearts for gospel transformation.
  4. To hold to the authority and sufficiency of Scripture.
  5. To equip leaders to exhibit gospel implications as image-bearers of God.
  6. To promote the local church as the seat of ministry where community, mission and the gospel exude to the world.
  7. To coach church leaders to be qualified, gospel-empowered developers of other church leaders producing healthy, disciple-making churches.

Hire & Keep the Best People

Just finished reading Brian Tracy’s book Hire & Keep the Best People for 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.

Coaching Network

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
  • Follow up
  • 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.