Mentoring Helps

Mentor Madness-Get in the Game!

March may be referred to as March Madness, but here at Mentoring Warriors, we also call it Mentor Madness. For the entire month of March, we are going to focus on different aspects of mentoring. So, get ready, grab your favorite snack and beverage and get ready for some Mentor Madness!

Tip-Off!

You’d think with the cultural popularity about mentoring, everyone would be jumping on the bandwagon. Mentoring, in some circles is a hip word to describe someone we want to emulate, as in “I have a mentor.” It also brings an air of significance to say “I mentor.” Name-dropping in business, church and other social circles where being around the “in-crowd” of leaders is the end all for some.  The rest of us go about our lives, busy doing our own thing with little to no regard for the people around us; except to use them. I mean, we wouldn’t quite walk up to someone and say “Hey! I don’t really care about you, I’m just going to use you for my gain. So, do as I say.” That’s foolishness! And yet how many of us live that way?  Mentoring is the furthest thing from our mind.

All-Star Player

There was a man who modeled mentoring in such a way that countless people have studied, written and done all they can to emulate him. He is the mentor of mentors. Jesus Christ. Yes, the man who claimed equality with God, his heavenly Father. The man Jesus whose ministry on earth only lasted three years. A man who at his death had maybe 120 followers. A man who by many worldly standards was an epic failure, Yet, through his mentoring, he risked everything by investing in twelve men. Twelve young men, most likely in their late teens to 20’s.  Not twelve senior statesmen, rather twelve falwed and ordinary, but teachable men. Men like you and me.

Somewhere along the way we came up with this notion that to mentor you must be perfect; a master-extraordinare. A man of excellence to a fault. Problem-free and most definitely right in his every decision. Where did we get this idea? In fact, equating perfection as the sole qualification for mentoring is a deceptive, excuse for avoiding mentoring altogether.

Keep Your Eyes on the Ball

Jesus’ own words spell out his call for every true follower of him; making disciples. Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV) says:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

A disciple is a mentee, one who is being mentored. At Mentoring Warriors, our focus is coming alongside young men (generally ages 18-30). That doesn’t mean if you are 35, 40 or older, you are disqualified, or for that matter, if you are younger in your early teens. Manhood is a journey regardless of your age. What God wants of you is to not only follow His Son, Jesus but to become a multiplier of men: investing yourself and the essence of the Gospel into the lives of others.  If you claim to be a follower of Christ, life is not about you. It’s about Christ living His life through you, becoming fully devoted to Him. That does not mean instant perfection, but it does mean you are willing to do what Jesus says. The most central and foundational thing He says is to make disciples.

Listen to Your Coach

“I can’t mentor. I can’t speak into someone else’s life when mine is such a mess.” I’ve heard that excuse ad nauseum from men who say they love Jesus. “Now’s not the time. Maybe next year, after I get through this season of life.” In Luke 6:46 (ESV), Jesus says

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

I recall a conversation with a friend who told me making disciples was optional. Love the dude, but what Bible was he reading?  When Jesus says “Go therefore and make disciples”, it is an imperative. Imperatives are not optional. They define you. They send a loud message about who is truly in charge of your life; and it is NOT you!

Here’s how my logic goes with that passage in Matthew 28.  When Jesus was talking to his disciples the first thing He said what “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.”  Now, if someone has all authority and tells you to do something, to NOT do what he says is blatant disobedience. His command is to “Go therefore and make disciples…”  Go mentor. Not what you think is mentoring, but what He says it is. Wherever you go, the ultimate goal of your life is to be investing in others with the Gospel first and foremost. From that eternal foundation, you help others grow in a real-time relationship with Jesus. It’s a theological word called sanctification, which simply means growth towards greater maturity as a man whose life is centered on Christ. All aspects of your life: self-management, life-skills, education/career, relationships, faith and identity are to be influenced by Jesus Christ.

In It to Win It!

Our Mentoring Warriors business card tells a story.  Manhood at any age is an uphill journey. Sometimes the path gets steep and arduous. It stretches you like you cannot imagine. You can choose to go it alone. No one is going to stop you from doing that. When I lived in Austria, one summer I hiked a total of 40,000 feet in 8 climbs. Some I did solo. When you’re young, you take risks you wouldn’t when you are older. In all honesty, for as much adventure I had going solo, there were a few times I wondered what I was getting myself into.

The other side of the Mentoring Warriors business card tells a different story. Manhood is still an uphill journey, but with a mentor, you don’t have to go it alone. God calls us to come alongside others. To walk with them. To lend a hand, wisdom, to share the very presence of Christ in their life. This is what Jesus promises us when He says,

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Just as Christ wants to walk with you in real-time, he asks you to do the same with others. In fact, He will never leave or forsake you in the journey.

Guaranteed Win!

Three Keys to Win at Mentoring

  1. Find at least one guy you respect for his faith-walk with Christ. Buy him coffee and ask what makes his life with Christ so alive.  Ask him who he is investing in for the Gospel. Can’t think of someone like that?  Pray. Ask God to show you someone who is. God will bring someone into your life like that!
  2. Shadow the guy. When you meet him, ask if you can follow him around; to learn from him. What makes him tick. How he invests in others and disciples. Nothing makes disciple-making sink deep into your soul than following a mentor around.
  3. Find at least one guy you know who is humble and hungry.  The best people to mentor are those who are humble. They don’t have a big ego and they for sure are willing to admit their need for help.  They are also hungry. Hungry to learn, to grow, to improve and most of all, hungry for God.

No age is too young, no age is too old to be a part of the greatest call God makes on a man.  As Galatians 2:20 reminds us, “Not I, but Christ.”  He will mentor others through your willingness.

Warrior On!

David Riffel

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of www.Mentoring-Warriors.com. Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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