Everything about us wants something to measure. Like Pavlov’s dogs, we’re drawn back to the age-old adage “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” So, I am faithfully measuring what I eat, what I spend, how much time I’m on social media . . . and on and on . . . and on and on. As I talk with leaders at local churches, they’re all measuring something: attendees, budget, the number of small groups, baptisms, conversions . . . and on and on . . . and on and on. So, logically, I often get asked, “How do you measure success in mentoring groups?” Let’s explore.
This past weekend I commenced my second mentoring group. Eleven months ago, seven guys from Peachtree Presbyterian Church met for the first time. None of them really knew each other, and I didn’t know them outside of their applications. Many of you have stepped into a similar situation and wondered, how will I know if this really worked?
Fact 1: The guys in my group will finish the year having read 10 books, memorized 20 Scriptures by keyword, invested roughly 60 hours of their time in our group meetings and retreats, and spent at a minimum 300 hours reading, working on homework assignments, and meeting with me or with another guy in the group . . . and by the way, my guys did not miss a single meeting or homework assignment. No small feat in our fast-paced world.
Fact 2: Your Radical Mentoring account contains a survey system mentors and churches can use to gather some measurable results for their mentoring process. To date, 500+ individuals from 20+ churches have completed surveys. Here’s what these men have had to say after going through Radical Mentoring . . .
- 97% deepened their walk with God
- 58% increased giving to their church
- 98% said their overall life improved
- 90% developed intentional male relationships
- 96% said their marriage has improved
- 98% improved as a man and a leader
Fact 3: You can’t measure life change, which is ultimately what we as mentors are praying for when we launch our groups. As I think about the last two groups of mentees I’ve journeyed with, we’ve navigated some really challenging times together . . .
- Substance abuse
- Traumatic health diagnoses of close friends and family
- Death of close friends
- Broken relationships with fathers
- Poor parenting decisions
- Job change
- Job pressure
We have also celebrated a lot of exciting times . . .
- New friendships
- Birth of a child
- Pregnancy after many unsuccessful attempts
- Re-energized marriages
- Health miracles
- Reconciled relationships
- Deeper walks with our Heavenly Father
None of which I could have anticipated, measured, or prepared myself for in advance. Mentoring is a ministry of availability.
So, as I reflect on this mentoring season and commencement weekend, what do I hope are the lasting results? That these men will know what an all-in Jesus life looks like because they have seen a little of it from me and from each other. That their shame and sin no longer define them. That they have a core group of men who love and believe in them, even when they remove their masks and let their authentic selves shine through. And that they will believe and live out 1 John 4:19, “We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first,” (The Message).
Challenge: Be proud of what your guys accomplished (books read, Scriptures memorized) in your mentoring season, use the survey data to measure the growth. But don’t hesitate to measure your success in the things experiences and bonds formed throughout the year.