When Radical Mentoring Executive Director Kevin Harris and I traveled to Minneapolis a couple of weeks ago, the low temp was 28 . . . the high 43 . . . a virtual heat wave for January in that part of the country. We put together a ‘Lunch and Learn’ for pastors from the greater Minneapolis area, hosted by Five Oaks Church, a growing congregation led by Senior Pastor Henry Williams.
Henry is personally leading his second RM group, and when he rose to address the 26 pastors and mentors in attendance, he gave a better commercial for Radical Mentoring than even we could have given. Here are the seven things he and Five Oaks love about RM’s approach to developing disciple-makers . . .
- Flex schedule – RM meetings are all scheduled at the beginning of the season, but they’re done so around when the men are available, not vice versa. Henry thinks this is unique. Typically, churches schedule meetings and men, many of whom travel, have to be available when the church says so.
- Homework – “How many times do we discuss what we need to do in church groups but never do it or check back on each other?” Henry asks. RM homework drives home what discipleship is. Reporting back makes it happen. Change happens only when we practice discipline.
- Vulnerability – What’s kept in the dark rarely gets better. Radical Mentoring’s process creates an environment for men to share and be vulnerable with each other. When guys open up about their struggles, it’s not unusual to hear them say, “Oh, you too? I thought I was the only one!”
- Reading – To be in an RM group, guys are required to read, most likely more than they currently do. One guy from Henry’s first group said he hadn’t read a book since college (he’s in his mid-30’s), but as he finished RM, he and his small group co-leader have committed to read a book a month together and share their net-outs.
- Adaptability – The process can fit into almost any church context. Topics, books, Scriptures to memorize, homework assignments . . . all adaptable to any particular church or denomination.
- Tools – Henry encourages pastors to personally lead at least one group to understand the process and add some new tools to their ministry/discipling/leadership toolshed.
- Engagement/re-engagement of senior leaders – Men who have formerly served as board members, deacons, elders, etc. often get ‘lost’ in the aftermath of service. Asking them to lead a Radical Mentoring group keeps them engaged and adding value. An old African proverb says, “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” Older men who pay it forward through small group mentoring live lives full of meaning as they pass the ‘books of what they’ve learned’ on to the next generation and beyond.
Scripture: Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)
Mentor Tip: Rather than ‘fly solo’ and mentor on your own, let us help you take Radical Mentoring into your church. There you’ll find like-hearted men who’ll join you on your mentoring journey. To schedule a short phone call with a team member who can guide you, click here.