Training or equipping our ministry teams is often the missing ingredient in our recruiting efforts. We need people to help us, but guiding them in how to help us takes some intentional effort, and it’s often the effort that doesn’t occur amidst the busyness of ministry life. So we just hope for the best. As a friend of mine often said, “Many churches have a two-part training program for their workers—here’s your book and there’s your room.” Funny…but not very effective.
Some churches establish formal training processes. They plan weekend seminars or programs to equip their team members, but most don’t have such strategies available. Why not take a mentoring approach instead? That’s what Jesus did.
Jesus welcomed people to come to Him for mentoring. He was and is the ultimate Mentor. He developed imperfect humans to become effective leaders. Jesus did everything a mentor can do to enable the disciples to flourish in their personal lives and ministry.
What is mentoring? Mentoring is a relational experience where one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources. Mentoring is a relational connection where we simply share our lives with others. In informal settings, like a breakfast meeting or grabbing a cup of coffee, we share our values, our experiences, and our perspectives with individuals so they can begin to understand the things that matter most. And in those moments, we discuss their challenges and the situations they’re facing, just as Jesus did during His days of walking with His disciples.
You may think that sounds like you’ll be drinking a lot of coffee. But mentoring people doesn’t demand an intense schedule. It does demand an attitude of living life with those who are a part of your team. In fact, mentoring requires three primary commitments.
The goal of mentoring isn’t to simply fill a slot on your roster, but to grow those that have joined your team. When those on your team are growing, their effectiveness in ministry and their capacity for an even greater future become the focus. Mentoring connects closely with the whole idea and process of making disciples and it will prove to be your most satisfying work.
And when people see how they can grow when they’re on your team, your recruiting tasks get a lot easier.
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