I just returned home from spending the majority of last week in Alexandria, Virginia where I participated in the Missio Alliance “Awakenings” conference. I will be writing several follow-up articles over the next couple weeks, and can’t wait to tell you more about it.
In the meantime, I am resuming our Mentoring series.
Among Christian evangelical circles, there is a lot of dialog about women, leadership and discipleship right. I am so glad that I not only have the opportunity to participate in these conversations, but more importantly that I have something tangible to offer when people ask, “What can we do about women who lack confidence in their ability to lead in the church?”
My solution is to make disciples who live and share a holistic gospel with a focus on God’s kingdom mission. When we mentor as intentional discipleship, we create a leadership pipeline for women and men in the church. This is the reason that I wrote Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship and its accompanying Leadership Training Manual and videos.
This series of our Mentoring Mondays will focus on the following topics: Freedom, Joy, Love, Peace, Hope, and Life. If this is your first time to the series, please review the first training session, Mentoring 101: Freedom. Today, we pick up part two in a six-part mentoring series that aligns with the Leader’s Training Manual.
If you leave comments, I will attempt to answer the questions throughout the series, or follow the series with specific blog posts to address your questions.
Let’s begin by reviewing this basic definition:
What is mentoring?
Mentoring is a trusted partnership where people share wisdom that fosters spiritual growth and leads to transformation, as mentors and mentees grow in their love of Christ, knowledge of self, and love of others.
Why Mentor for Joy?
A couple of the reasons I hear that people don’t mentor is because life is hard, and mentoring is hard. Both require a lot of us. Living a devoted life as a Christian is a sacrifice. Isn’t that what Christ modeled and called us to?
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
The Christian life is a Christ-centered and other-focused life.
One goal of mentoring as intentional discipleship is renewing the disciple’s mind. While in seminary, I read a book entitled, Discipleship of the Mind. The premise of the book was simple: We must learn to love God in the ways that we think. Renewing our minds with the truth of God’s Word is what helps us push against a self-focused existence in a “me first” culture.
Renewing their minds in this way requires training.
Lesson Two of the Leadership Training Manual focuses on developing a mentoring community. When we agree to mentor as intentional discipleship, we are actually inviting people into an intimate relationship with God and with others.
What does the Word of God say?
Sacrificing is hard, and suffering may be even harder. Sometimes the suffering of this life distracts us from being joyful or prioritizing the mission of God’s kingdom, which is to make disciples. In spite of our culture or our personal suffering, God calls us to become people who stay on our faithful path with eternity in our view, and to pursue joy.
Psalms 16:1 reads:
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Because of the divine reflection of God’s presence always being with us, we can live and mentor with our hearts full of joy. This is the focus of the Lesson 2 teaching video which accompanies the Leader’s Training Manual.
What can you do now?
- Continue in a humble posture of reflection, always asking God: What do you want me to learn? What are you trying to teach me?
- Learn self-discipline. Consider: What are some of my destructive sin patterns, and how can the Holy Spirit—through my commitment to mentoring—help me overcome them?
How does the Leader’s Training Manuel help?
The purpose of the Leader’s Training manual is to help mentors study, and to equip them so they can help others learn how to study. In his classic book, The Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster wrote:
“The purpose of Spiritual Disciplines is the total transformation of the person. They aim at replacing old destructive habits of thought with new life-giving habits. Nowhere is this purpose more clearly seen than in the Discipline of study.”
The spiritual disciplines, personal reflection, and intentionally renewing our minds are all necessary for our spiritual growth and development.
This lesson of the training manual will equip you and your leadership or mentoring team in the following ways:
- Help mentors understand the importance of theological reflection,
- Determine practical ways that people can learn to renew their minds,
- Help mentors develop a habit of theological reflection, personal reflection, and renewing their minds through the truth of God’s Word
- Introduce and help mentors understand and then begin to practice the spiritual disciplines
This lesson includes a personal exercise for mentors, and a group exercise for a mentoring leadership team (or mentors can go through this exercise with their mentees).
You can always follow the mentoring conversation using the #Mentor4Life hashtag on social media (Twitter and Facebook).
The Leader’s Training Manual is designed to accompany the Mentor for Life book, and it can be used as a tool for training mentors and developing a mentoring leadership team. This resource is often made available for free or discount for those who book Natasha to speak, or those who receive leadership training and mentoring coaching from Natasha. Natasha will also make an electronic version of this document available to those who email and show proof of purchase for 5 or more Mentor for Life books.
Check out Natasha’s official website, www.natashaSrobinson.com, to receive free downloadable tools, recommended resources, request Natasha to speak, or to receive leadership training or mentoring coaching.