Leadership is a complex issue in the 21st Century. Christian leaders at every level in business, church, school, and at home are faced with numerous challenges. A common feeling is that of being overwhelmed.
Christian leaders face difficulty and uncertainty every day. The world is changing rapidly. The political, economical, and social pressures are encroaching more and more into everyone’s daily lives. Although leaders face the same challenges as everyone else, they have the added burden of trying to have answers for others as well.
Ask Yourself a Few Simple Questions
As a leader:
- Who do you turn to for guidance, advice, and instruction?
- Who can you trust not only in their advice, but also in confidentiality?
- Who already knows what you need to know and is willing to share their knowledge with you?
- Who equips you to meet challenges when you do not yet know what tomorrow’s challenges even are yet?
- How do you know if you are lacking the skills required to lead and succeed in the 21st Century?
- Are other leaders outpacing you?
- Are you facing new and more complex challenges that you never faced before?
- Are you struggling with the challenge of developing leaders around you?
If so you need a mentor.
Everyone Needs a Mentor
Everyone needs a mentor in life.
Your pastor is probably not your mentor because most pastors are not adept at mentoring people. Being a mentor is not the same as having an office or title. Preaching and teaching alone do not make or qualify someone a mentor. Many leaders do not even have a pastor that speaks consistently into their lives.
Institutions such as Seminaries, Bible Colleges, secular colleges and universities, and even distance learning do not supply the mentoring need. Only a small percentage of Christian leaders can attend either of these institutions. Those who do soon discover that the pace of institutional learning is too slow to keep pace with the rapidity of 21st Century global changes. For many it is simply cost prohibitive.
Most educators are not mentors. The majority of education is focused on completing a required amount of curriculum and tests within a specified time period. Most of the curriculum provided through such institutions does not adequately apply to the actual mentoring need of 21st Century Christian leaders.
God Gave Fathers and Mothers
Historically fathers and mothers taught their children the essential skills needed in order to succeed in life and work. They imparted to their children the things they knew. Sadly there are large segments of modern society that have abandoned the essential roles of the father and mother, and their vital role of mentoring. The art of training up a child in the way they should go has been relegated to others. Today Sunday school teachers are expected to teach the children about God because most parents rarely teach of God in the home. Teachers are expected to educate children today while many parents won’t even make the time to help their children with their homework.
The Apostle Paul addressed the issue in 1 Corinthians 4:15, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” The Greek meaning of the word “instructors” is “boy leaders”; and the meaning of the word “fathers” is “father and parent”.
The Concept of Mentoring
The word “mentor” is derived from the original Mentor in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. When Odysseus, King of Ithaca went to fight in the Trojan War, he entrusted the care of his kingdom to Mentor. Mentor served as the teacher and overseer of Odysseus’ son, named Telemachus. He faithfully poured into him everything he needed to know in life.
Throughout the ages mentors have prepared princes to become kings, recruits to become generals, and managers to become executives and CEO’s.
Every Christian leader needs a mentor to help enable them to become all that God wants them to be.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a mentor as “a trusted counselor or guide.” A common definition of a mentor is “a wise, loyal advisor or coach.”
A mentor is an individual with special gifts or knowledge that imparts, helps and guides another individual’s development. He or she has the willing capacity to impart knowledge, experience, and such into the lives of others.
A mentor imparts to you the understanding, skills, problem-solving techniques, and insights to enable you to make the right decisions and choices that empower you to reach your highest potential. Coaches focus more on developing a process and pathway to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.
One of the most valuable assets your ministry can have is a good mentor and coach.
Christian leaders are besieged with challenges, but when overwhelmed who can they turn to for counsel, verification, and guidance? Quite often confidentiality is a problem among peers. Many pastors do not have a wise or seasoned elder pastor or confidential authority figure to turn to. Quite often finding solace among peers or elected leaders has proven disappointing.
Many Christian leaders have spent fortunes attending conferences and seminars that seldom have long-term results and lasting impact. Most simply offer motivation that quickly fades away as reality rears it head again.
An increasing number of pastors and Christian leaders are turning to mentors and coaches . . . and they are wise to do so. The advantages of having a mentor are many, but several key problems exist when trying to find a mentor.
- They are not easy to find
- They are often inaccessible
- They are expensive
A seasoned and professional mentor or coach is invaluable in helping guide and validate a leader’s choices and decisions.
There is Now a Solution
There is now a mentoring solution available to you. Dr. Fred Childs, a leadership authority and organizational design expert, has assembled a select team of professional associates that will assist him in mentoring church leaders like yourself. Childs’ purpose is to enable others to do what God has called them to do. He wants to catapult ministries just like yours to unprecedented levels of effectiveness and productivity.