Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mentor Like Jesus

I recently read a remarkable book by Regi Campbell titled “Mentor Like Jesus.”

For some months now I’ve felt an increasing burden to help some of our 20’s and 30’s men by sharing things which took me 25 years to learn. I’ve been doodling with ideas about various seminar approaches that might work. And I’ve been only partially satisfied with the one-on-one mentoring that I’m doing with a few men.

So the book title “Mentor Like Jesus” definitely caught my attention! And I’m really interested in the approach that Regi Campbell outlines.

Here are some of his key ideas:

“More time spent with fewer people equals greater Kingdom impact.” Campbell spends a year with just eight guys.

Mentor men in groups. The group learning and positive peer pressure is very powerful. But these aren’t huge groups.

Don’t take volunteers. You select them. Campbell picks men not for past accomplishment but for potential, men he thinks he can help. There is a lot of prayer

Have high expectations. Campbell invites men to apply, then selects 8 from there. Each man sign a covenant that he’ll meet 3 hours each month with the group, and be there unless God prevents him. They read a book a month, plus do homework assignments. They get candid feedback. Campbell visits with them at their workplace once during the year. They have 2 extra times where their wives are included. They have high expectations for prayer.

Make it a multiplication ministry. Part of Campbell’s covenant is that each man will one day, when God says it’s time, mentor 8 others using the same approach. Five “generations” of this results in > 1 million men mentored.

The mentor sets the curriculum. It’s not about what the mentees want to cover, but what the mentor can mentor. Campbell covers very specific topics on being a godly man, husband, and father. He covers communication, how to handle money and possessions, how to discern God’s direction, how to apply Scripture (they memorize many verses together), how to serve others. (Side note: Campbell hints at what he does but does not provide a specific “follow this pattern” curriculum. Each mentor has strengths and experiences he should teach from.)

They’re doing life together. The mentor needs to be transparent as well.

It’s intense, but time-bound. One year. The relationships will go forward, but the training is time-bound. Time limits keep your intensity and focus high.

I would encourage you to think about this approach. I see this as a complementary approach to small groups and adult Sunday School times and typical men's Bible studies. Something similar might work well for women, too. I’m already thinking about how I might run a group like this in 2010.

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