By Regi Campbell, contributing writer
If you’re a ministry leader, you’re a mentor. If people are under your charge then you are charged with mentoring them. In the church world, this is typically called “leadership development” and the words are usually translated as “send people to conferences when they ask to go.” This is not really mentoring.
Mentoring is also not just randomly spending time with your leadership team. It is more than task oriented conversations or time spent on coordinating calendars. There is a difference between these actions and mentoring. The key difference is intentionality.
Mentoring requires intentionality. Mentors first have to decide that they care enough about the person they are mentoring to truly help them grow and fulfill their potential. It is a mindset. This is a decision that has to be made even if it is not communicated early on in the mentoring process. Mentors should see great potential in the person they are mentoring. They always strive to find ways to help them grow.
Making the decision to mentor other leaders may be one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. Here are three reasons that you should mentor others:
1. You will model Jesus – When we do what Jesus did for the same reasons He did them, people will respond. The disciples knew that Jesus loved them (He chose them over His own family). That’s why most of them died martyrs’ deaths…not for teaching His stuff, but for telling His story. Jesus was selfless. He thanked God for “those you gave me” (John 17:6). He always looked for opportunities to teach them, stretch them and grow their faith and confidence.
2. You will shift back into growth mode – We always teach what we need to learn the most. You won’t help someone learn how to manage his or her time better without focusing on time management yourself. You know so much more than you think you do; it’s just buried. Intentional mentoring will lead you to search it out, dust it off, share it, and maybe even reuse it yourself. Check out this 35-second video from John Ott at North Point Community Church.
3. You will catch fire again – Nate Larkin, in “Samson and the Pirate Monks,” said it this way, “When we make another man’s progress our concern, giving him a listening ear and a caring heart and opening ourselves up as a conduit of God’s grace, we find OUR walk propelled to a whole new level.”
Too many of us have become comfortable playing roles but not taking any personal interest or responsibility for the growth of the individuals under our leadership.
Make the decision to become an intentional mentor to those you lead. Think and pray about what you could teach them. Instead of just assigning a task, put the assignment in the context of who they are and where you want them to grow.
Our guest post today is from Regi Campbell, author of Mentor like Jesus and founder of Radical Mentoring. Regi is a business man who has served as an elder at North Point Community Church, has been involved in starting a bunch of businesses and ministries, and has personally mentored over 100 men over the past 25 years. His latest, The Mentoring Manifesto (B&H Publishing, 2012) can be downloaded FREE at www.radicalmentoring.com/ebook. You can also follow Regi on Twitter @radicalmentor.