I have hung around Radical Mentoring for a long time, from the beginning actually. I watched the development of Radical Mentoring. My son-in-law was in one of Regi’s groups. I even sit on the board.
Until recently, I never led a group. There are a lot of reasons. I have a demanding calendar. I work with about thirty-five executives and my time is at a premium. I am an introvert and five or ten more relationships just might push me over the edge.
I do enough.
My reasons for not leading a mentoring group were so good they even persuaded Regi.
But, last year when Rich, one of the guys from my Sunday School class, asked me about mentoring, something in me shifted. I decided to see if there were enough guys in my Sunday school class of young married couples who would be interested. I wasn’t really convinced I was making a good decision. In fact, a big part of me wondered if this was a colossal mistake.
God’s call looks different for different people. As far as I know, he only used a burning bush once. His vision of a man from Macedonia was a one-time apparition. For me, it was hearing Rich and moving in the direction of starting a group to see what He might do next.
I am not going to tell you what you should do. I have no idea what you ought to do or what God is calling you to do. I don’t know if you would be a good mentor or an awful one. And I truly hate motivating people with shame and guilt.
What I do know is that five months into this process I am having a great time. Far from being the drain that took me over the edge, it has been a joy. There have been a few days in which adding a one-on-one mentoring meeting to my schedule was a bridge too far. But those have only been a few. Far more common was the joy and exhilaration of getting to join in with one of these young men as they sort out their life with God, their wife, their work, and each other.
I am impressed with what God is up to in the lives of these men.
I am excited to see how eager they are to learn and grow. I am amazed at what they have overcome and how they have already been shaped by the loving hand of their Heavenly Father. I wish they were more relational with each other and would invest more in regular engagement. But we have a long way to go together.
Our Story Retreat was awesome. These young men told their stories with great vulnerability and courage and received each other’s stories with kindness and acceptance. I could feel God turning my heart toward them as they explained who they were and how they got here. By itself, this is a fantastic outcome.
The impact of our year together, if we all use it wisely, will reach for decades into the future. Someone smart said, “grandchildren are arrows, shot to a time we will not see.” Mentoring is like that. Families, marriages, and workplaces may change. Young men may find their band of brothers to go into life with. I have built new friendships that are rich and may one day be deep too.
So . . . speaking as a man who stood on the sidelines for a long time, having a lot of good reasons for not being a mentor . . . come on in. This is fun. It matters and may matter for a long, long time. If you have an inkling that mentoring might be a good choice, just take a step and see what God does next.
ACTIVATE THE MEN IN YOUR CHURCH
Small group mentoring can help you engage your men, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.