My latest book is available at the following locations--Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and iUniverse in hard cover, soft cover, and e-book for Kindle.
God is very clear about His purposes for you. If you want to live a meaningful life, it must be aligned with His purposes. The first step is to calibrate your heart to the heart of God so that you will be able to navigate the journey ahead. The second step is to determine your unique map that will set the trajectory ofyour life. You have a unique purpose to fulfill, a committed passion to embrace, a role to perform, unique methodologies-a personal toolkit-to employ, and an ultimate contribution to make. The final step is to brings others alongside to help you stay on course. They might include mentors who will help build foundations into your life, mentors who will build skills and competencies, and mentors who will offer guidance.
In Setting Your Course, I seeks to help you set your course, find focus for your life, engage in God's journey for you, and finish your journey well. I employ a three-part process to influence you to live all-out for Christ-the compass, map, and guide
The compass explains the importance of orienting your life in accordance with established biblical compass points.
The map defines the trajectory you are to follow based on how God has wired you.
The guide stresses the importance of being mentored and mentoring others.
Setting Your Course helps you formulate a deliberate strategy for determining your purpose; assists you in aligning your life according to God's plan; encourages you to become a proactive partner in fulfilling God's purposes and redemptive activity; and exhorts you to leave a worthwhile legacy in the lives of others.
What drains your barrel? Depending on one's life stage and current circumstances certain activities drain one's barrel - some legitimate, others not so much.
Each of us has a finite amount of physical, emotional, and spiritual energy. This energy is dissipated at a rate equal to the responsibilities we hold, the obligations we have, and the load we carry. For the most part, this 'drainage' is normal and common to every man. The rate of dissipation increases when we expend our energy on things that could have been avoided such as bad disicisions, dysfunctional behavior, personal weaknesses, and sin.
What fills your barrel? What actions do you take to fill your barrel? Such activities as a vibrant devotional life, prayer, worship, and fellowship can fill your barrel. Meaningful engagement with friends and loved ones can fill your barrel. Exercise and healthy entertainment can fill your barrel. I have recently taken up cooking - it fills my barrel. Anything that gives 'life' to your life can fill your barrel.
If the outflow exceeds the inflow your barrel will drain to levels that will produce anxiety, fear, paranoia, and ultimately, shut down healthy functioning. When your life becomes hectic the tendency is to focus on outflow and put inflow on hold. When live becomes hectic we must ensure that healthy inflow is maintained to manage the rate of dissipation.
I encourage you to conduct a personal audit using the resource Barrel Exercise. The goal is to eliminate unhealthy outflow, recognize legitimate outflow, and manage the dissipation rate by adding positive inflow activities.
Resources for Men
Men's Ministry Resource Books
- Effective Men's Ministry editor Phil Downer
- How to Build a Life-Changing Men's Ministry by Steve Sonderman
- Men's Ministry in the 21st Century: The Encyclopedia of Practical Ideas by Group Publications
- Mobilizing Men for One-on-One Ministry: The Transforming Power of Authentic Friendship and Discipleship by Steve Sonderman
- No Man Left Behind: How to Build and Sustain a Thriving Dicsiple-Making Ministry for Every Man in Your Church by Patrick Morley, David Delk & Brett Clemmer
- Pastoring Men: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why It Matters Now More Than Ever by Patrick Morley
- Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow
- A Life of Integrity editor Howard Hendricks
- A Rattling of Sabers: Preparing Your Heart for Life’s Battles by Greg Bourgond
- Being God’s Man in the Face of Temptation by Stephen Arterburn, Kenny Luck, and Todd Wendorff
- Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson
- Daily Disciplines for the Christian Man: Practical Steps to an Empowered Spiritual Life by Bob Beltz
- Every Man Series Bible Studies by Stephen Arterburn et al
- Every Man, God’s Man by Stephen Arterburn and Kenny Luck
- Every Man, God's Man: Every Man's Guide to Courageous Faith and Daily Integrity by Stephen Arterburn and Stoeker
- Every Woman’s Desire: Every Man’s Guide to Winning the Heart of a Woman by Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey
- Man in the Mirror: Solving the 24 Problems Men Face by Patrick M. Morley
- Man to Man by Charles R. Swindoll
- Papa’s Blessing: The Gift That Keeps Giving by Greg Bourgond
- Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ by Dallas Willard
- Revolution of Character: Discovering Christ’s Pattern for Spiritual Formation by Dallas Willard
- Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper editors Al Janssen and Larry K. Weeden
- Seven Promises of a Promise Keeper, Revised Edition by Max Lucado, Gary Smalley, Bill Breight
- Seven Seasons of the Man in the Mirror by Patrick M. Morley
- Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World by Craig Groeschel
- Spiritual Warfare: Christians, Demonization and Deliverance by Karl Payne
- Strengthening Your Grip by Charles R. Swindoll
- The Barbarian Way: Unleash the Untamed Faith Within by Erwin McManus
- The Four Pillars of a Man’s heart: Bringing Strength Into Balance by Scott Weber
- The Man God Uses by Henry Blackaby
- The Man in the Mirror by Patrick M. Morely
- The Measure of a Man by Gene A. Getz
- The Measure of a Man: 20 Attributes of a Godly Man by Gene A. Getz
- The Secrets Men Keep: How Men Make Life and Love Tougher Than It Has to Be by Stephen Arterburn
- The Walk of Repentance by Steve Gallagher
- Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul by Erwin McManus
- Victory Over Darkness by Neil T. Anderson
- Waking the Dead by John Eldredge
- When Men Think Private Thoughts by Gordon MacDonald
- Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul by John Eldredge
- At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry by Steve Gallagher
- Every Man's Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Purity One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey
- Out of the Depths of Sexual Sin by Steve Gallagher
- Pure Desire by Ted Roberts
- The Dirty Little Secret: Uncovering the Truth Behind Porn by Craig Gross and Carter Krummrich
- When Good Men Are Tempted by Bill Perkins
- Beyond Halftime: Practical Wisdom for Your Second Half by Bob Buford
- Chasing Daylight: Seize the Power of Every Moment by Erwin McManus
- Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen
- Finishing Well: The Adventure of Life Beyond Halftime by Bob Buford
- Focused Living Resource Kit by Terry Walling, Gary Mayes, Steve Hoke, and Julie Becker
- Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance by Bob Buford
- Identity Theft: Reclaiming Who God Created You To Be by Mike Breaux
- In Search of Balance: Keys to a Stable Life by Richard A. Swenson
- Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson
- Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence by David Keirsey
- Rest of Your Life by Patrick Morley
- Second Wind for the Second Half by Patrick Morley
- Seizing Your Divine Moment: Dare to Live a Life of Adventure by Erwin McManus
- Starting Well--Building A Strong Foundation for A Life Time of Ministry by Richard Clinton and Paul Leavenworth
- Strategic Concepts That Clarify a Focused Life by J. Robert Clinton
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath
- Stuck! Navigating the Transitions of Life and Leadership by Terry Walling
- The Common Made Holy: Being Conformed to the Image of God by Neil T. Anderson
- The Man God Uses by Henry and Tom Blackaby
- The Map: The Way of All Great Men by David Murrow (2010)
- The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live Within Your Limits (Guidebook) by Richard A. Swenson
- What You Do Best in the Body of Christ: Discover Your Spiritual Gifts, Personal Style, and God-Given Passion by Bruce Bugbee
- Winning the Values War In A Changing Culture by Leith Anderson
- A Man’s Guide to the Spiritual Disciplines by Patrick Morley
- Boundaries: When To Say Yes and When To Say No by Henry Cloud and Townsend
- Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
- Disciplines of a Godly Man by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
- Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney
- The Heart of a Godly Man: Practical Disciplines for a Man's Spiritual Life by E. Glenn Wagner
- The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
- The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
Apologetics (Defending the Christian Faith)
- Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
- Handbook of Today's Religions by Josh McDowell
- Know What You Believe by Paul E. Little
- Know Who You Believe by Paul E. Little
- Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little
- Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
- The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell
Discipleship & Evangelism
- A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society by Eugene Peterson
- Becoming A Contagious Christian by Bill Hybels
- Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope that Matters by Timothy Keller
- Devotions for the Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley
- Disciples Are Made Not Born by Walter Henrichsen
- Discipleship Essentials: A Guide to Building Your Life in Christ by Greg Ogden
- Discipleship for the Man in the Mirror by Patrick Morley
- Discipleship: The Road Less Taken by Greg Laurie
- How to Give Away Your Faith by Paul Little
- If You Want to Walk on Water You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg
- King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus by Timothy Keller
- Knowing Scripture by R. C. Sproul
- Spiritual Discipleship: Principles of Following Christ for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders
- The Complete Book of Discipleship: On Being and Making Followers of Christ by Bill Hull
- The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life in God by Dallas Willard
- The King Jesus Gospel: The Original Good News Revisited by Scot McKnight
- The Kingdom Life: A Practical Theology of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation by Keith Meyer and Bill Thrall
- The Master Plan of Evangelism and Discipleship by Robert Coleman
- The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren
- The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism by Timothy Keller
- Too Busy Not To Pray: Slowing Down to be with God by Bill Hybels
- Courageous Leadership by Bill Hybels
- Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell
- Developing the Leaders Around You by John C. Maxwell
- Emotional Intelligence by Travis Bradberry
- Follow Me: Experience the Loving Leadership of Jesus by Jan Hettinga
- Having A Ministry That Lasts--By Becoming A Bible Centered Leader by J. Robert Clinton
- How to Build a Life Changing Men's Ministry by Steve Sonderman
- Lead Like Jesus: Lessons from the Greatest Leadership Role Model of All Time by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges
- Leading from the Inside Out: The Art of Self-Leadership by Samuel Rima
- Leading from Your Strengths: Building Close-Knit Ministry Teams by Eric Tooker, John Trent, and Rodney Cox
- Living and Leading Well by Richard Clinton and Paul Leavenworth
- Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures by Gary McIntosh and Samuel Rima
- Principled Centered Leadership by Stephen Covey
- Reframing Organizations by Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal
- Spiritual Leadership: Moving People on to God's Agenda by Henry & Richard Blackaby
- Spiritual Leadership: Principles of Excellence for Every Believer by J. Oswald Sanders
- The Bible-Centered Leader Workbook: A workbook for Younger Emerging Leaders by Paul Leavenworth
- The Making of a Leader by J. Robert Clinton
- The Power of Team Leadership by George Barna
- The Situational Leader by Paul Hersey
- There’s No Such Thing as Business Ethics by John C. Maxwell
- Transforming Leadership: Jesus' Way of Creating Vision, Shaping Values & Empowering Change by Leighton Ford
- Upside Down: The Paradox of Servant Leadership by Stacy T. Rinehart
Marriage and Family
- The 2:52 Ultimate Devo for Boys: 365 Devos to Make You Stronger, Smarter, Deeper, and Cooler by Ed Strauss
- A Husband After God’s Own Heart: 12 Things That Really Matter in Your Marriage by Jim George
- Being God’s Man in Leading a Family by Stephen Arterburn, Kenny Luck, and Todd Wendorff
- Bringing up Boys by James Dobson
- Every Man’s Marriage by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoker
- Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family by Steve Farrar
- His Needs Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr.
- His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley
- If Only He Knew by Gary Smalley
- If Only He Knew: Understanding Your Wife by Gary Smalley
- Point Man, Revised and Expanded by Steve Farrar
- Point Man: How A Man Can Lead His Family by Steve Farrar
- Raising a Modern Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood by Robert Lewis
- Real Family Values: Leading Your Family into the 21st Century with Clarity and Conviction by Robert Lewis
- The Demise of Guys: Why Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About ItT by Philip Zimbardo and Nikita Duncan
- The Family Book of Christian Values by Stuart Briscoe
- The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to your Mate by Gary Chapman
- The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God by Timothy Keller
- The Young Man in the Mirror: A Rite of Passage into Manhood by Patrick Morley
- They Call Me Dad: The Practical Art of Effective Fathering by Ken Canfield
- What Wives Wished Their Husbands Knew About Women by Dr. James Dobson
- As Iron Sharpens Iron: Building Character in a Mentoring Relationship by Howard & William Hendricks
- Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life by Paul D. Stanley and J. Robert Clinton
- Eternal Impact: Investing In The Lives of Men by Phil Downer
- Mentoring: Confidence in Finding a Mentor and Becoming One by Bob Biehl
- Spiritual Mentoring: A Guide for Seeking and Giving Direction by Ken Anderson and Randy Reese
Time & Personal Management
- Halftime by Bob Buford
- Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard A. Swenson, M.D.
- Mid-Course Correction by Gordon MacDonald
- Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Strategy for Living by Dayton and Engstrom
- The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live Within Your Limits by Richard A. Swenson, M.D.
- Tyranny of the Urgent! by Charles E. Hummel
Work and Leisure
- First Things First by Stephen Covey
- In His Grip: Foundations for Life and Golf by Jim Sheard
- Work & Leisure in Christian Perspective by Lyland Ryken
- Your Work Matters to God by Doug Sherman and William Hendricks
- Confessions by Augustine
- Fearfully and Wonderfully Made by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand
- God Has Spoken by J.I. Packer
- In His Image by Philip Yancey and Paul Brand
- In Times Like These by Vance Havner.
- Knowing God by J.I. Packer
- Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis.
- Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan.
- Salt and Pepper by Vance Havner.
- The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
- The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
- The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a' Kempis.
- The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer.
- The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.
- The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer.
- The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis.
- Your God Is Too Small by J.B. Phillips
Bible Study Guidelines
- Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules by Robert Stein
- How to Read the Bible in Changing Times: Understanding and Applying God's Word Today by Mark Strauss
- How to Study the Bible by John F. MacArthur
- Living By the Book Workbook: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible by William Hendricks and Howard Hendricks
- Rick Warren's Bible Study Methods: Twelve Ways You Can Unlock God's Word by Rick Warren
- Studying, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible by Walter Henrichsen
- The New How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-Changing Approach to God's Word by Kay Arthur, David Arthur, and Pete De Lacy
- Understand: A straightforward approach to interpreting the Bible by Walter Henrichsen
Bible Study Resources
- Manners and Customs in the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to Daily Life in Bible Times by Victor Harold Matthews
- Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts, 3rd Edition by Thomas Nelson
- Nelson's New Testament Survey: Discovering the Essence, Background & Meaning About Every New Testament Book by Mark Bailey and Tom Constable
- Nelson's Old Testament Survey: Discovering the Essence, Background & Meaning About Every Old Testament Book by Charles Dyer and Gene Merrill
- NIV Bible Study Commentary by John H. Sailhamer
- The MacArthur Topical Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to Every Major Topic Found in the Bible by John MacArthur
- The Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance by Edward W. Goodrick and John R. Kohlenberger III
- Zondervan Atlas of the Bible by Carl Rasmussen
- Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Premier Reference Series) by J. D. Douglas, Merrill C. Tenney and Moises Silva
Key Websites for Men
Church for Men http://churchformen.com/
Every Man’s Battle http://newlife.com/emb/
Heart of a Warrior Ministries www.heartofawarrior.org
Man in the Mirror Ministry http://www.maninthemirror.org/
Men of Integrity http://www.menofintegrity.org/
Men’s Fraternity http://www.mensfraternity.com/
National Coalition of Ministries to Men http://ncmm.org/
No Regrets Ministry http://www.menwithnoregrets.org/
Promise Keepers http://www.promisekeepers.org/
Pure Desire Ministries International http://www.puredesire.org/
Top Gun Men’s Ministries http://www.topgunministries.org/
What type of mentor do I need?
One size does not fit all. The mentor you need depends on the area of your life that needs a mentor. Once you have determined your mentoring needs you are ready to seek out the type of mentor you need. Sometimes you need a Sage-on-the Stage and at other times you need a Guide-by-the-Side.
God will provide a mentor in a specific area of need for you if you trust Him for one and you are willing to submit and accept responsibility.
Determining the type of mentor you need depends entirely of your need. Perhaps the following questions will clarify the type of mentor you may need…
Intentional/Intensive Mentors provide formal mentoring often using prescribed material directed to establishing foundations of one sort or another.
Do you need to establish the basics of following Christ and the foundations of the faith? If so, you need a DISCIPLER.
A Discipler is a more experienced follower of Christ who shares with a newer believer the commitment, understanding, and basic skills necessary to know and obey Jesus Christ as Lord.
Do you need someone to hold you accountable, help you with decisions, spiritual growth, or inner-life motivations? If so, you need a SPIRITUAL GUIDE.
A Spiritual Guide is a godly, mature follower of Christ who shares knowledge, skill, and basic philosophy on what it means to increasingly realize Christlikeness in all areas of life.
Do you need someone to motivate and encourage you, to help you with spiritual disciplines that will give you the ability to operate at your designed capacity or to meet a task or challenge? If so, you need a COACH.
The Coach’s central thrust is to provide motivation and impart skills and application to meet a task or challenge…a mentor who knows how to do something well and imparts those skills to a mentoree to learn them.
Occasional mentors provide non-formal mentoring based on a specific need for a period of time necessary to master that need. Materials used will be specific for that need.
Do you need someone who can impartial provide perspective and timely advice for relationships and life’s circumstances. If so, you need a COUNSELOR.
The central thrust of a Counselor is the impartation of wise counsel and wisdom on the mentoree’s view of self, others, circumstances and events, and vocation.
Do you need someone to impart knowledge and understanding on a given topic or range of issues? If so, you need a TEACHER.
The central thrust of a Teacher-mentor is to impart knowledge and understanding of a particular subject.
Do you need someone to provide career guidance, organizational protection, access to key networks, resource support, or advocacy within an organization? If so, you need a SPONSOR.
A Sponsor is a mentor who has credibility and positional or spiritual authority within and organization or network who will enable development of the mentoree and the mentoree’s influence within and organization or community.
Passive mentors provide informal mentoring through something written, something spoken, or something produced such as books, tapes, podcasts, etc. The purpose of this mentoring is to inspire, encourage, and provide a catalyst for change. More than likely, these mentors are not personally involved with the mentoree; their influence is experienced indirectly through recorded tapes (audio or visual), books they have written, or presentations they have made to larger audiences which you attend. Some of these mentors may longer be living but their works live on by what they left.
Do you need someone who provides an example and model for godly living, expertise in a competency or skill, or principles and values that serves to empower others? If so, you need a CONTEMPORARY or HISTORICAL MODEL worth emulating.
A Contemporary (living) or Historical (deceased) Model Is a person whose life or vocation is used as an example to indirectly impart skills, principles, values, and practices that empower another person.
Are you in need of the quiet voice of God in your life that offers a timely word for you at critical junctures in your life? If so, be open to a DIVINE CONTACT form the Lord.
God sends us a Divine Contact at critical junctures in our life when immediate insight or a word from the Lord is needed or when a seed needs to be planted in our heart and mind that will serve some future purpose or design of God.
Hebrews 13:7-8 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
In summary, it is important to determine the category of mentor you need; intentional/intensive, occasional, or passive. More specifically, determine the type of mentor that will be effective in helping you address you specific need. Passive mentors will be acquired over time and may augment a face-to-face mentor you might engage.
To be continued…
What’s on your bucket list? What do you want to accomplish before you die? Here is my List…
- Learn to use a kayak really well.
- Fly fish in Montana.
- Buy a cabin in northern Minnesota.
- Tour Scotland’s highlands.
- Retire in Ireland.
- Take a course at Oxford University in England.
- Take a month-long walking tour across northern England.
- See my grandsons grow up to be men after God’s heart.
- Live a legacy worth leaving in the lives of others.
- Crash through the Gates of Heaven, utterly exhausted having left everything on the field of engagement.
- FINISH WELL!
What does it mean to FINISH WELL? My mentor, J. Robert Clinton describes the characteristics of finishing well…
Finishing Well: refers to reaching the end of one's life, having been faithful to the calling God has placed upon that life...is about Christ followers being more passionate about Christ and His mission as they fulfill their life purpose than they were at the beginning. It also entails a life that experiences the depth of God's grace and love...it is living out one's destiny and the making of one's unique and ultimate contribution in expanding God's Kingdom. (J. Robert Clinton - Leadership Emergence Theory)
To take a journey, especially over unfamiliar terrain, we need a GUIDE; someone who is familiar with the landscape who can help us arrive at our desired objective. Taking a journey alone over treacherous or difficult territory can be frustrating, anxiety producing, hazardous, and even dangerous if we don’t know what we’re doing. More specifically, we need mentors to guide us.
Some of us long to be mentored because we feel the hole in our soul. We know instinctively that if we keep doing the same thing in our lives the result will be the same thing.
Some of us know exactly what our mentoring needs are. Others of us haven’t got a clue – we just know we need help. Still others of us have multiple mentoring needs but haven’t determined the highest priority.
One of the jobs of the Holy Spirit is to counsel us, to provide direction, to teach us. If you are unclear about the mentoring area seek His counsel through prayer. You might pray something like this…
Mentally project yourself to a preferable future. What does it look like? Does it serve God’s redemptive purposes? Is it God-honoring? Does it align with God’s wiring of you? Come back to the present and look for mentors that will help you reach your preferable future.
These QUESTIONS will help you determine your mentoring needs.
- What are you doing now you need to KEEP doing (but do better)?
- What are you doing now you need to CHANGE doing?
- What are you doing now you need to STOP doing?
- What are you not doing now you need to START doing?
Perhaps you need a mentor to help you become a better person, a better husband, a better father, a better friend, or a better employee.
Perhaps you need a mentor to help you learn the basics of the faith and what it means to be a Christian.
Perhaps you need a mentor to help you with a sin pattern or a stronghold of the Enemy that continually defeats you.
Perhaps you need a mentor to help you master a particular competency or life skill.
Perhaps you need a mentor to help you realize your God-given potential.
Perhaps you need a mentor to open up new networks of relationships.
Perhaps you need a mentor to help you grow spiritually.
Perhaps you need a mentor to help you with life management.
What are your mentoring needs?
Who within your sphere of relationships could help you with those needs?
Do you need an INTENSIVE mentor who will help you establish key foundational building blocks?
Do you need an OCCASIONAL mentor who will help you deal with a particular need?
Who are your PASSIVE mentors who inspire and encourage you?
To be continued…
As mentioned in the previous post leaders who have finished well have had from 10 to 15 mentors in their life. Of those that do other individuals helped them in timely situations along the way and significantly enhanced their development.
It may be helpful to discuss a few mentoring concepts and principles first.
Mentoring is a relational process in which a mentor, who knows or has experienced something, transfers that something (resources for wisdom, information, experience, confidence, insight, relationships, status, etc.) to a mentoree, at an appropriate time and manner, so that it facilitates development or empowerment.
Succinct Definition: Mentoring is a relational experience through which one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources.
The term ‘mentor’ has an interesting origin. In the Illiad, Odysseus, better known as Ulysses by the Romans much later, contracts his ‘wise and trusted counselor’ as a tutor for his son, Telemachus before leaving on a long journey lasting 20 years. This journey was precipitated by the kidnapping of Helen by Paris, the son of the King of Troy. The name of his tutor was Mentor. Mentor's name – with a lower-case "m" – has passed into our language as a shorthand term for wise and trusted counselor and teacher.
To finish well we will need from time to time a guide-by-the-side or a sage-on-the-stage; someone to help us navigate our journey, help us avoid dangerous pitfalls, hold us accountable, or provide a resource such as…
- Wisdom and discernment…
- Life experience…
- Timely advice…
- Competencies and skills…
- Life principles…
- Important values and lessons…
- Direction and guidance…
- Support and encouragement…
- Sponsorship and networking…
- A kick in the seat of the pants!
There are basically three categories of mentors: Intensive Mentors; Occasional Mentors, and Passive Mentors.
Intensive Mentoring is generally a formal process often using a prescribed curriculum or resource to build essential foundations into the life of the mentoree. The process is more regimented and has a clear objective that will ultimately provide a basic platform for operation.
Occasional mentoring is a non-formal process that tailors the mentoring relationship to address a specific need or needs. Once the need is addressed the mentoring ceases. The need could be mastery of a particular competency, a problem to resolve, a weakness to eliminate, a skill to acquire, a network to access, or a sponsorship to seek.
Passive mentoring is an informal process that is initiated by the mentoree looking for inspiration, knowledge or wisdom from contemporary or historical models. The resources provided by these ‘models’ may consist of books to read, workshops to attend, seminars to participate in, websites to search, podcasts to watch, webinars to attend, or audio tapes to listen to. The mentoree will have little to no face-to-face contact with a person. The passive mentor may be in fact deceased. But these mentors, contemporary or historical, address a fundamental concern or growth requirement.
Why consider being mentored or mentoring others?
- People are longing for their story to be heard and their life to be shaped.
- It is one of the most effective ways to change lives.
- It provides an avenue for passing on what we have learned.
- It is one of the most effective ways to shape a person’s character.
- It can be a significant means to facilitate leadership development.
- It is essential to finishing well as a leader.
To be continued…
My mentor, J. Robert Clinton, author of Leadership Emergence Theory, conducted extensive research on how a leader is developed. Using grounded theory methodology he and his team studied the lives of biblical, historical, and contemporary leaders. 3800 case studies have been amassed. One of the key findings is that very few leaders finish well. Those who have finished well have had 10 to 15 significant mentors in their lives.
Not too long ago I was interviewed on the subject of mentoring. The interviewer knew I was committed to mentoring others. He himself had benefitted from mentoring. Three questions were asked of me.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking for a mentor?
- Read Connecting by Stanley and Clinton. This resource provides excellent guidance in finding a mentor.
- Identify the issue, area, or concern you hope a mentor will be able to address.
- Determine what type of mentor you need (discipler, spiritual guide, coach, counselor, teacher, sponsor, or passive mentor - someone who can provide needed resources from a distance).
- Determine what will comprise your view of a successful outcome. What objectives do you hope to reach?
- Prepare a single page document outlining your mentoring need, the type of mentor you seek, what you will provide in the relationship (i.e., your commitment, what you will provide in the relationship, your teachability and willingness to take direction,
- Look for someone who has demonstrated expertise in your area of need.
- Meet with the potential mentor and pursue establishing a 3-month mentoring relations, at the end of which both of you can decide to continue or terminate the relationship.
- Seek advice from trusted advisers regarding their mentor recommendations.
- Be willing to engage the journey and leave the destination to God.
What red flags do you see that would lead you to say no to investing in someone?
- Lack of clarity regarding their need for mentoring.
- Unwillingness to be held accountable.
- Too many verbal conditions or reservations.
- Lack of follow through with an initial assignment meant to test their commitment.
- Argumentative spirit, arrogance, defensiveness, or otherwise poor attitude.
- Resistance to advice or counsel.
- Victim mentality that sees no hope of victory.
- Someone who wants association without responsibility.
Your recent book Setting Your Course is about helping people live focused lives. Why this book? Where are leaders missing it?
Many leaders live unfocused lives with little intentionality, reacting to circumstances, bouncing from one crisis to another, and living a life of mediocrity. Situational lifestyles are adopted to make one’s way forward – patterns of avoidance, reaction, transference, indecision, and obsession – all motion with little forward progress. Coming to clarity regarding your divinely ordained wiring will help a leader move from scattered engagement to laser beam focus. A calibrated compass tuned to the heart of God (beliefs, values, attitudes, and motives) will help a leader understand and navigate the unique terrain of their journey (biblical purpose - beingness, life purpose - doingness, committed passion - focus of engagement, role boundaries - supporting context, unique methodologies - your tool kit, and ultimate contribution - the aroma you will leave when God calls you home. Finding guides by the side will help a leader reach his or her destiny. The book provides a framework for developing a Focused Life Plan consisting of a compass – personal alignment plan, map – personal life mandate, and guide – personal mentoring strategy. The compass provides direction, the map provides the journey we are to take, and the guide provides assistance to reach our God-ordained destiny.
To be continued…