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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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.

book

Pray For Your Daughter – Mike Leake is beginning a 31-day pray for your daughter challenge. It kicks off January 1.

Steven Furtick on Point the way, clear a path.

Ultimately, there’s nothing we can do to force people to grow in Christ. Nothing. So whether we offer a 26-option discipleship program or a 4-option one really doesn’t matter. If someone really doesn’t want to grow, they’re either going to say no 4 times or 26.

Breaking the 7 barriers of leadership.

Leaders desire what they don’t have and reach for what they haven’t reached. Unfulfilled passions frustrate. Drive encounters barriers. Barriers block the future and frustrate the present.

Marshall Segal on Are you pastoring your pastor?

Some of the least pastored people in the world are pastors. These men work long, unpredictable hours, addressing every physical, emotional, relational, and spiritual issue under the sun, sacrificing their schedule, comfort, and a thousand other things, all without being relieved of their own personal, individual needs.

The pride of pastors.

My church is better than your church.  Our way is better than your way. We’ve figured out something you need to know. But pride is a deadly force.  It will lift you up on platforms and pedestals, setting you up for shame and mockery when you fall.

Christmas at Elevation 2013 (so powerful)

Leaders Grow

In every leadership book or at every leadership conference you hear the mantra, “Leaders are readers” or “Growing leaders grow churches” or something to that affect. In his book The E-Myth Revisited, Michael Gerber puts it another way, “The job of the leader is to know more than you do.”

I meet a lot of pastors who unknowingly are not allowing their churches to reach their full potential because they are not reaching their full potential. For a lead pastor, eventually, your church will look like you. Good or bad. Two years into Revolution, I can tell you that is very true. I can look back over the last 2 years and many of the things we are doing that are working are things we learned from other churches, reading books and articles, being in coaching networks or going to conferences. It scares me to think where Revolution would be if we did not have this emphasis on growing as leaders.

As we grow, I am seeing that I need to spend more and more time learning, stretching myself, getting alone with God trying to discern what is next and not getting comfortable in what we already “know.”

Here are a few questions I am constantly going through:

  1. For Revolution to become twice the size we are now, what do I need to start doing? What do I need to stop doing? What things will keep us from getting there?
  2. If we were twice the size we are now, what things would we do differently?
  3. What things are we doing right now that need to be tweaked? What things need to go to a new level?
  4. What new leaders do we need to raise up?
  5. What leaders need to be challenged to go to a new level?

For Growth or In Response to Growth

Every church, every business and every leader operates from one of two perspectives when it comes to growth. They either lead, spend money, staff and make decisions for growth or in response to growth.

I have sat in meetings where we knew what needed to be done and then we get into the feasibility of that decision, the finances and resources of that decision. It is in this phase that it becomes clear where you fall. This doesn’t mean that if you make decisions for growth that you make stupid decisions or sell the farm, but it does mean that you take risks.

At the end of the day, the difference boils down to when you do something. If you plan, lead, staff and budget for growth, that means you do something before you are ready.

At Revolution, from the beginning we have made decisions to grow instead of response to growth. It has shaped us as a church and I pray that we never lose that. I think it is easy to move into maintenance mode and protecting what you already have when you start doing things in response to growth.

When Paul and Jennifer moved out here, we made that decision before we needed to. We were a church of 35 people with a budget of $800/week. It was a huge leap. We started small groups before experts say you should (they say to wait until you have at least 100 people so that you don’t become inward focused). We started Rev uP before we had any students. We moved to a new location before we needed to, in preparation for what we expect to happen.

This gets into vision. Do you have a vision? A goal? A plan for your church?

For leaders, this means you need to see what no one else sees. Leading and planning for growth, means you see a possibility, you believe something can and will happen before anyone else does. This vision rallies you and your team to move forward.

At the beginning of the year, we set a goal of being a church of 300 by the end of 2010 and since then we have made decisions to get there.

While it may not seem like a big deal or just semantics, it is a completely different way of leading. It is the difference between offense and defense, waiting and hoping vs. having a plan, a vision.

Growth is Hard

Revolution is growing. I’ll be honest, I have always dreamed, talked and prayed that Revolution would be a church that would affect the lives of those around Tucson. And God has answerd that prayer. But, it would be a lot easier if we didn’t grow. Because, growth hurts. Growth is hard.

Growth means change. We need to make room for new people, the leadership base expands, roles change, relationships change. Not everybody likes change and sometimes, people feel left behind when change happens. And that hurts.

Growth means more responsibility. God is entrusting more and more people to Revolution. All of the guests that walk through our front door are gifts from God, entrusted to us as a church. We are held accountable to our part in their journey back to God.

Growth is expensive. We need to hire and expand to be prepared for growth. I’ve said this before, “I believe God sends people to churches that are ready to receive them and do something with them.”

Growth is much harder than the status quo. It is easy to be a church that sits on the sidelines and complains about how secular the world is and how everybody is going to hell and we need to sit back and wait for the rapture. But, God calls us and expects His church to grow and He empowers (with the help of the Holy Spirit) the church to grow (Matthew 16:18).

So, I/we will keep changing, accepting the responsibility and paying the price to reach as many people as possible.