I’ve described the difference between the advisor, coach, and mentor. I’ve also established that Jesus did all three and that all three are important in the disciple-making process. So what’s the big deal? Well, nothing unless you’ve experienced a mentoring relationship! Those of us who have been and had mentors know that it makes a huge difference in people’s Christ-like transformation. My whole purpose in writing these posts is to aggressively recruit you to become a mentor versus just an advisor or a coach. Let me give you three reasons why my hair is on fire about this.
Advice alone is not leading to life transformation.
Advisors are a dime a dozen. And I’m not talking about people giving bad advice. I’m talking about good advice! We have great folks preaching sermons, writing books (and blogs), making videos, and these pillars of sound direction will even sit down and have a cup of coffee with you (occasionally). But with all these Giants of Guidance giving a giant volume of advice, we still have a giant gap between the amount of information people know and what they are able and/or willing to do. Advice alone is not facilitating individual, corporate, or cultural change.
Coaching alone is not enough relationship to sustain life transformation.
Although there are probably not as many coaches as advisors, it seems like everybody and their brother is training people in new methods of ministry. In fact, the landscape is so dense, that people roll their eyes when they hear about another program (including #NoPlaceLeft). But before I come down too hard on the coach, let me say again that coaching is essential. The problem comes when the coach is not vested in the trainee’s life and they hit obstacles that are not associated with the ministry skills being taught. People’s lives consist of much more than becoming competent and confident in ways to do ministry.
Mentoring is a holistic approach to the disciple’s life
A friend recently asked me this question; How do you cast vision? He rattled off some of the more conventional ways leaders try to lift up people’s eyes to stretch them toward a “kingdom” mentality versus a “me” mentality. My answer was anything but conventional. I said, “You have to walk with people in the vision in order for them to get it. And this is precisely what a mentor does with a mentee in virtually every area of life; they walk with them. They walk with them as they journey through the ups and downs of ministry, their personal relationship with Jesus, and even the mundane stuff of life. A mentor has agreed to lock arms with you and “do life” together. I like what Amos says;
Two people will not walk together unless they have agreed to do so.
It’s that simple. You, the mentor, have agreed to walk with someone for the purpose of discipleship.
Now that I have you signing the dotted line in blood, I want to spend the next few blog posts describing some key principles for mentoring using the Bull’s Eye Illustration.
Call to Action: Who have you agreed to walk with? Do they know that your objective is to help them become conformed to the image of Christ? Ask them what that means to them.
A Blast from the Past: A DISCIPLE OPENLY IDENTIFIES WITH CHRIST