The Right Mentor for the Job

The Right Mentor for the Job

Posted by Michael Leahy on January 16, 2017

Today’s post is the 2nd of 2 from Michael Leahy, the founder and Executive Director of BraveHearts . . . a ministry focused on sexual integrity discipleship. If you missed Michael’s first post, you can read it here. And before you skip over this one, I’ll quote the same stat I did on Monday, according to Barna Group research, 65% of Christian men have looked at porn in the last 30 days. Michael has been through this struggle himself and walked with numerous others through it. Take a listen to his valuable perspective.

Recognize the picture above? If you’re a movie buff like I am, then you’ll recognize this scene from Taken, the action/thriller about an ex-CIA operative (played by Liam Neeson) trying to rescue his kidnapped daughter.

During this critical moment in the movie, Neeson lays down the gauntlet. Uttering these words to his daughter’s captor . . .

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you’re looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money . . . but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”

When it comes to mentoring, you’ll no doubt notice many different types of and approaches to mentoring. The typical approach you see in corporate world is 1-on-1 mentoring. But group mentoring is starting to be more popular, especially in church world. Both have their place, and both can be valuable learning and growth experience­­s.

But there’s a­nother oft-ignored factor in mentoring relationships. It has to do with what your felt needs are at the time, and if you’re facing an impending crisis requiring a greater sense of urgency.

That kind of self-examination demands we ask ourselves this question: “Do I need a mentor who’s a generalist, or a specialist?” Often, the answer is “Both.”

If you stop to think about it, we operate in a world of generalists and specialists. We see a general practitioner for our annual checkup, but if we reach our knee pain threshold, we expect him to refer us to an orthopedic knee specialist.

In the church world, we may be perfectly happy with our small group. But if we suddenly lose our spouse or a child, that group of ‘generalists’ can’t possibly give us the kind of support, encouragement and empathy we would find from others who’ve ‘been there’ and are members of a DivorceCare or GriefShare group.

Radical Mentoring does ‘generalized mentoring’ really well. And I love that, because all guys need that. We need to learn from others older and wiser than us about all aspects of what it really means to follow Christ. And the Radical Mentoring approach is the best way I’ve seen to go about it.

But I also know that the vast majority of Christian guys consider sexual temptation and sexual sin to be their #1 struggle. Guys just like you. For most, it’s an ongoing battle.

And no normal small group could ever devote enough time addressing the subject to help those who struggle with habitual sexual sin find the freedom they’re looking for. It’d be like your general practitioner trying to do knee surgery.

That said, I have a message for those of you who do struggle . . .

“BraveHearts Mentors have a very particular set of skills. Skills we have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make us a nightmare for people like (Satan).”

Ok, that last part was all me. But seriously, if you’re one of those guys who finds himself battling sexual temptation often enough to know that it’s robbing you of your joy as a Christ-follower, I want you to know that you can be free. I know because I’ve been there, as have the other BraveHearts Mentors I’ve trained and certified. And with God’s guidance, we’re confident in our skills and abilities to fight alongside you and lead you to freedom. And maybe one day, you can glorify God by leading others to freedom too.

Scripture: So don’t go to war without wise guidance; victory depends on having many advisers. (Proverbs 24:6)

Mentor Tip: Mentors, chances are good that sexual temptation and sexual sin will come up in your mentoring group. If you have a feeling that one or more of your guys may be struggling with habitual sexual sin, have them take the Sexual Addiction Screening Test and consider connecting them with BraveHearts.

Comment here.

Note: If you’d like to ask Michael anything about his experience or get his advice on yours but aren’t comfortable posting it as a comment on the blog, you have the opportunity to do so here.

Responses (2)

Jay Pyatt
Jay Pyatt Posted: January 16, 2017, 11:46 am

Thank you for talking about this. I was one of those guys that went to church and even went to an accountability group, but was watching porn anyway.

For some reason, I thought I could get it back under control. But my porn habit continued to get worse and worse until it put my marriage and my sanity at risk.

Also, I love that quote.

Lori Posted: January 16, 2017, 1:32 pm

I love the generalist/specialist word picture.

As mentors, the first person I heard use that analogy was the Director of the leading Christian Counseling center in our town:

“The 23 therapists here are like general practitioners; you two are the specialists. You’ve been there/done that, and found a way out.”

Love that you made the same connection.

Great article.

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