One of the best things about mentoring men the Radical Mentoring way is commencement. We used to call it graduation. But graduation says, “I’m done.” Commencement says, “I’m beginning.” Just like Jesus sent out His guys, commencement starts a new phase.
So, what begins with commencement?
- Accountability is now self-imposed, as opposed to a built-in part of the group. For the last nine to twelve months, the discipline of reading a book and netting it out had a clear deadline each month. Now, reading’s up to me. I’ve been reading at a rate 4 to 5 times the national average, and the books have been about important stuff. Some haven’t been all that fun or popular or easy to read, but they’ve been helpful. Built muscle and strengthened bones.
- Community is now up to me. For a year, I’ve had a scheduled time to connect with guys. Like-minded guys who love Jesus, love me, and love hanging out together. Now to have these guys (or others) as friends, I’ve got to initiate. I have to create time, make a call or send a text, put it on my schedule, and invest time in creating and/or maintaining close relationships. If I don’t, I’ll end up isolated again, I’ll lose the momentum from my group, and my growth will sputter.
- Intentional focus on my wife and kids only continues if I make it happen. I’ve got to come up with stuff to make life interesting for them and for me . . . stuff that draws us closer and keeps the fires burning. You can find marriage ideas on radicalhusbands.com. And great ideas on fatherhood and family stuff on All Pro Dad, but ultimately commencing is up to me.
- Pay it forward starts now. “I can never pay you back, so instead, I’m going to pay it forward. I’ll do for others what was done for me.” Commencement marks an outward turn . . . it’s not about me anymore . . . it’s about Him. And when my life is about Jesus, the first place I’m drawn is to people. It’s what He told me to do . . . love others as I love myself. Starting with church. I have to connect, give, and get involved. I’m asking God to show me where He wants me to pay it forward . . . who He wants me to influence.
Over the course of this year, I’ve come to know and love these eight guys. They are my friends and now they are each other’s friends. True friends. Transparent. Vulnerable. Brutally honest yet forgiving. They love each other.
But more importantly, they’ve come to know the love of their Heavenly Father. They know they are His adopted sons. They know He will never disconnect from them . . . they can’t be un-adopted no matter what. So out of gratitude to God for His forgiveness and love, they go make disciples.
If you’ve been invested in, it’s time to invest in others. Time to begin helping other guys latch on to these truths and watch God transform them. It’s time to commence.
Scripture: Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:6-7)
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