You Need a Mentor
I recently spent some time on the phone with one of my mentors. I call him every few weeks to pick his brain and ask him questions. We also take time to encourage one another. Although I couldn't record that phone call, I did want to talk with you about the importance of having mentors. If you want to think better, create better, minister better, you need to have other people speaking life into you that are helping you go to a new level.
I look back on my life, and I look at the times I've done stupid things. I've made mistakes, and I have regrets. These mistakes are normally centered around decisions that I made in a silo; I didn't bounce them off of someone else for feedback. I didn't get advice.
You and I desperately need mentors in our lives. We need people to encourage us, to champion us, and people to learn from. We need people whom we can ask tough questions. This is desperately needed, because there are times we just don't know what to do. Proverbs 30:2 says: “surely I'm a stupid man.” I don't know if you can relate to that, but I can! Sometimes I feel like “I can't figure this out for anything! I need someone to come in here and help me.” You need a mentor. I need a mentor. It doesn't matter whether you are new in your ministry or in your life work. It doesn’t matter whether you've been at it a decade or five decades. You need people speaking into your life!
Let me give you a few tips on how to do that. First, I would find someone that you think you can learn from. Maybe it's someone that you have met at the church or a pastor. Maybe it's an old college professor, or a friend that you went to high school with. Maybe it's someone that lives in your community. Maybe it’s someone that lives far away, so you don't get a lot of face-to-face time with them, but you do have phone conversations.
Second, find someone who is good at something that you need to be good at. Maybe you need to get better organized, work on your walk with the Lord, or be a better parent or a better spouse. Maybe you need to do better with your finances. Maybe you need to do better taking care of your body to improve your health. Whatever the areas that you need to grow in, find someone who you think is doing well in that area and spend some time with them. You also need to find someone that you can just open up to from time to time. Find someone that you can be vulnerable with and that you can share your struggles and your weaknesses with, and that you can ask to help. How do you go about this? A lot of times we overthink things; don't overthink it! You don't have to ask someone, “Would you be my mentor for the next two years?” What I would do is ask someone if you can buy them a cup of coffee, or take them to lunch. Build a relationship, add value to that person's life, and in return he or she will add value to your life.
Proverbs says that, “as iron sharpens iron, one man sharpens another.” If you want to sharpen your ministry, your business, your marriage, or your parenting skills, if you want to sharpen your involvement in that board, in that non-profit, in that community, or whatever it is that you're doing Sunday through Saturday, I encourage you to invite other people in. Don't go at it alone! A lot of you lean in on me to be a mentor, and I appreciate it. That's why I've created my Kidmin Mentorship program. There are a group of pastors I'm working with, of leaders I'm working with every month.
You don't have to be part of a program. You can listen to podcasts, read books, take a pastor or someone you look up to to coffee. Ask if you can swing by their office to talk for thirty minutes, and pick their brain. Don't make it too hard; the key is just to start!
Here's a frog I want you to eat today. What is it in your life that you need to improve? Where in your life do you need to grow? If I were to ask your spouse, your boss, or one of your kids where do where does Joe need to grow? Where does Carrie need to grow? What would they say? What would you say if you took an honest evaluation of your life? Identify this area and that's your frog. Think about who you could invite into your life to help you grow in that area. Don't wait; don't put this off for the next two weeks, and don't put this off for a month. Start today by picking up the phone, sending someone a text, and allowing and inviting other people into your life’s journey. It makes all the difference in the world!
Your #1 fan,