Every November at my church, we pick the guys we’re going to start mentoring in January. We don’t really know how Jesus went about this, but we do know He prayed all night over His ‘shortlist’ as He made His decisions.
So how do you get to your shortlist? These 6 qualities describe the men I want to mentor and invest my time in . . .
- Potential leaders – Men who have the potential to be leaders and influencers but aren’t quite there yet. I missed this one at first, investing in several guys who wanted to grow in their faith but had no gifting or desire for leadership. Heck, a couple of them couldn’t (or wouldn’t) effectively lead themselves, much less their families or others. We have a limited amount of mentoring capacity. Invest wisely.
- Objective – Defensiveness is the enemy of personal growth. I want men who are willing to take direct feedback without being defensive. If a man spends his energy protecting himself and hiding behind a mask, he’s probably not ready to be intentionally mentored.
- Malleable – I love teachable men. Guys who will look themselves in the mirror and be willing to make changes. We only grow when we exert the courage to look at ourselves, see the gaps between who we are and who God wants us to be, and take bold steps to grow.
- Humble – Scripture says God hates pride but gives favor to the humble. Jesus described Himself as “gentle and humble in heart.” I want to invest in men who are humble and express a hunger for personal growth.
- Committed Jesus-followers – There’s always the temptation to mentor men who are outside the faith. And we should! But that investment should be a one-on-one endeavor with salvation as the goal. When we mentor men who already have a relationship with Jesus (or at least think they do) we’re directing them toward spiritual and life maturity. Put an unbeliever in a mentoring group and he becomes a ‘project,’ sucking the life out of the other guys’ growth.
- Willing to pay it forward – Radical Mentoring groups have always included the covenant commitment to mentor others as you were mentored. Back in the beginning, potential mentees only had to give this requirement ‘lip service’ . . . checking the box was enough to get in. Now, as I mentor through my church, my guys go in knowing they’ll develop a personal ministry plan and commit to begin paying it forward within 6 months of their group’s commencement.
Picking mentees will always be an imperfect science (some would say even Jesus missed one!). But maybe these tips will help as you ask God for ‘the men He will give you.’
Scripture: I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. (John 17:6)
Mentor Tip: Don’t worry too much about launching a large number of groups . . . or even large groups! We believe 4 to 8 men is the best size for a Radical Mentoring group. Resist the temptation to compromise on the criteria just to have bigger numbers.
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.