The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2)
This process is not automatic however, it involves a significant investment of time and energy such as Jesus demonstrated as He trained His disciples. Disciples are not manufactured wholesale but they are developed through intentional deep mentoring as we invest our lives in others. Deep Mentoring is designed to provide you with the principles to come alongside others to equip them to live as a reproducing disciple.
This book provides biblical principles of mentoring along with practical tools that can assist you in your mentoring. The emphasis is on developing your skills as a mentor by helping you work through questions such as,
What kind of people are you developing?
Are they more loving, kind, joyful?
What kind of life are you inviting people to? (pp 17-18)
The emphasis throughout the book is to help the reader become a competent mentor, “Developmental theories and maps serve a vital purpose, but what we desperately need more of today are wise men and women who are willing to become guides for others along the way” (p. 23). Through the skillful use of questions, the mentor is able to help others discern God’s will and understand God’s purpose for their lives,
How do I see my life purpose now?
What do I do best?
What role would I love to have?
How would I like to be remembered? (p. 159)
The authors discuss three critical formations to guide one in mentoring others:
Character formation which is related to the care of our heart.
Skill formation is concerned with the practices of developing others.
Strategic formation relates to a coherent philosophy of ministry which provides the moral compass for effective ministry. (pp. 64-65)
I would add a fourth area, servant formation, that would enable the mentor to effectively interact with others.
The authors incorporate several principles and lessons learned from Bobby Clinton’s seminal work in leadership development. Their summary of lessons learned from those who have finished poorly and those who have finished well provide helpful guidelines when mentoring others.
Lessons from those who finished poorly provide instructive warnings how people tend to go astray:
1. They misuse and abuse of finances
2. They exhibit an inappropriate use of power
3. They struggle with pride
4. They do not have appropriate boundaries as related to sexual matters
5. They have unresolved critical issues in their family of origin
6. They may plateau in their leadership development
Lessons from those who finished well provide helpful practices to incorporate into our lives and those we mentor:
1. They maintain a learning posture throughout life
2 They value spiritual authority a primary power base
3. They recognize leadership selection and development as important
4. They work from a dynamic and focused ministry philosophy
5. They lead from a growing awareness of personal destiny
6. They perceive ministry from a lifetime perspective
7. They prioritize mentoring relationships for themselves and in developing others
If you want to make a long-term impact on the lives of future leaders, then you must realize that your example is fundamental to the process – more is caught than taught. The Apostle Paul realized this principle as he wrote the the Corinthians,
Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
Follow me on twitter: rickhiggins5