Tag: Mentoring (home)

[Mentorship] usually resulted in getting the toughest and most demanding jobs and working longer hours than most of a person's contemporaries. A mentor was someone who took the time to guide, counsel, advise, and teach and prepare one for increased responsibility, and thus higher rank.

permalink source: Edgar Puryear, American Generalship, p 189
tags: Mentoring, Delegation

THE POWER OF A PERSONAL COACH My experiment in trying to become a more effective Christian leader. by editor Kevin Miller I had read about "personal coaches," consultants who work one-on- one with executives, pastors, and other leaders to increase their effectiveness. But I had never considered trying one. I think the name scared me off. "Personal coach" smacked of "personal trainer," a status symbol for wealthy Hollywood stars. But about 8 months ago, my work was moving me into a new role, and I felt uncertain about my ability to adjust. The department had grown (from 2 people to 7 people in the past 3 years), and I was shifting from "leading doers" to "leading leaders." What should I do to effectively lead them? What had to change in my daily work patterns? So driven by a desire not to goof up, I asked a personal coach to help me. Thus began one of the most productive learning experiences I've had. I count my coaching time more valuable than almost any conference I've attended. Surprise. Let me tell you what happened, in case you want to work with a mentor or coach to increase your own abilities as a Christian leader. My coach, Bill Hoyt (executive director of NexStep, http://www.nexstepcoaching.org/ ) explained in his introductory letter, "Working with a professional coach usually generates accelerated personal growth. Most clients hire a coach to accomplish several specific goals." Thus, he asked me 4 questions, which I had to answer before our first meeting: 1. What are the 1-3 most important things you'd like to accomplish as we work together over the next 90 days? Please be very specific. 2. What, if anything, is likely to get in the way or prevent you from accomplishing any of these things? 3. What's the most important thing you need from me as we work on these objectives? 4. How will you know your investment in coaching has been worthwhile? We talked by phone for 30-45 minutes every week or every other week. I was responsible to make the call. I set the agenda by telling Bill what challenges I was facing or where I wanted to grow. Bill listened and asked lots of questions, mostly to clarify my goals, situation, or motives. Then he gave me homework. (I know, I know, we all hate that, but I have to admit it did help me.) For example, I explained to Bill that I was spending more and more time in meetings and wasn't getting time for valuable, but less urgent tasks: write, read for personal and professional growth, plan, and just plain think. Bill helped me carve blocks of time in my calendar for the entire year and admonished me, "You can move a block but never remove a block." Then he suggested I spend some blocks of time outside the office, where I could focus without interruptions. I didn't like the idea: wouldn't my staff resent it when they needed me but couldn't find me? So I tentatively shared the concept with my key team members, and they actually encouraged me to give it a try. On those block days, about once a week or every other week, I do 4 things: 1. Projects I need to write or do in larger chunks of time 2. Planning for the department 3. Personal development, reading that will help me become more effective 4. Prayer. I now look forward to these days, and on them I am twice as productive as on any other day. What really surprised me is that even though I accomplish more work, I finish a block day feeling refreshed. That's just one example of what I've gained from a coach, and I suspect I wouldn't have gained it from merely reading a book. Why? In coaching: --The learning is customized. You pick the topic you need to discuss, when you need to discuss it. --Someone holds you accountable. You change because you know that otherwise you're going to have to explain why you didn't. --You can pace your learning. A few times I scheduled calls farther apart because I needed more time to assimilate the new procedures my coach gave me. You can also quit when you're done. I now call Bill only once every 6 weeks for a tune-up. I encourage you to experiment, if you haven't already, with a mentor or coach. I know it's not easy to find just the right coach. Look for someone who will handle your concerns confidentially, who doesn't affect your employment, who is wise, who won't be afraid to challenge you. If you're unsure about working with a coach, as I was, set a limited number of coaching sessions. But I have become a strong believer in the power of a personal coach. Give one a try. --Kevin Miller is editor of Leadership Weekly, editor-at-large of Leadership Journal, and a featured speaker at the National Pastors Convention in February 2002 -- check out http://www.NationalPastorsConvention.com for all the details, to request a free brochure, and to register by the Early Bird deadline.

permalink source: Kevin Miller
tags: Mentoring

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Equipping and Developing, Part 2 By Dr. Dan Reiland ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Peter Drucker said in his excellent book, "Managing the Non-Profit Organization", "Any organization develops people; it has no choice. It either helps them grow or stunts them. It either forms them or it deforms them." Whew! ...that is a lot to think about and it's a huge responsibility. In the last edition of "The Pastor's Coach" I introduced the idea of two top leadership skills, equipping and developing, and the difference between the two. In part one, we focused on equipping. If you have not read it, it will be most helpful to read it before you read this article. This edition will cover developing - or at least take a running stab at it - it's quite a comprehensive topic. In review, I said that: + Equipping is preparing someone for a specific ministry task. + Developing is investing in someone for their personal growth. + Equipping is transactional - it's an exchange. + Developing is transformational - it's a gift. + Equipping is based largely on the church's agenda. + Developing is based largely on the person's agenda. Developing is truly an art, but you need not feel like you are the artist because God, the Master Artist, is in on the process. If you'll pick up the paint brushes, and ask Him to guide your hands, you'll be amazed at the masterpieces you'll be a part of creating. Of course, these masterpieces are not to be hung on the walls of your church. They are people who are set free (empowered) to do significant ministry. Developing is investing in someone for their personal growth. It is often best done in a small group setting, but many approaches can work. It's not just another super-charged twist on discipleship. It's a bigger idea than the discipleship we are commonly accustomed to in North American churches. You can complete a discipleship course, but you are never finished developing as a person. In general, Christendom has done a good job in the entry-level stuff - basics in the faith and even some deeper spiritual life material. But the majority of material seems to stop short of life skills - real life skills necessary to successfully negotiate life and integrate our biblical principles into that daily life. We on the INJOY team focus on one large area of development - leadership - which, of course, is a major bias in my work and writing. My passion and focus on leadership as a focal point of development is because it is the largest and most encompassing of the disciplines. Without leadership we don't have the influence needed to draw others into spiritual life and community. Developing is a gift - it's transformational in nature. The artist paints a picture without demanding performance. There is a huge metamorphosis that takes place between the paints on the pallet and the finished painting that communicates its own expression of beauty. The church leader who develops others does not do so with the sole and ultimate goal of a certain response in exchange. It carries with it more of an empowering process that sets the person free to live and lead as God directs. It's about life change. This is not a mystical, weird, "what the heck is he talking about?" process. For those of you who know me, you know I'm not a mystical guy - I'm practical and down to earth. What I want to communicate is that if you will make investments in someone's personal growth in the form of a gift, with no strings attached, then God has an opportunity to use them in a unique and powerful way. There is something about a gift that is powerful - the greater the gift, the greater the unleashing of power. Christ Himself is the ultimate gift and the ultimate power. Bottom line...if you have developed someone - they are a changed person. And they are not indebted to you, but to God. Developing is based largely on the person's agenda. (What's best for them - in relationship to the Kingdom of God.) Expediency, and sometimes panic, causes us to want to show people how to teach Sunday School and work in the parking lot. That is all well and good - gotta have both. That's equipping. It's good stuff! But developing delivers what people need - life skills such as managing healthy relationships, embracing wisdom, cultivating creativity, living out true priorities, and deepening personal integrity (all components of leadership!). We tend to want to jump ahead to classes like "how to survive your teenagers," or "how to get a raise in salary." These are great; but if detached from a larger developmental vantage point, they are just another class. There are a number of "don'ts" when it comes to developing people, such as: * Don't attempt to build on people's weaknesses. Schools do it far too often. They tend (sometimes of necessity) to focus on what kids can't do. Instead of saying "Sally seems to have a gift in writing, she should pursue it more," many educators say, "Sally is not doing well in math, she must do more math." Poor choice. The school doesn't know what Sally will be doing in twenty years, but we have an eternal perspective that serves as a guiding compass in our developmental endeavors. As I work with church leaders, it is interesting to me that they can all quickly recite what they are not good at, but struggle naming their dominant, developed and flourishing gifts. Hmmmm. * Don't crown the princes and princesses. In the past I have been guilty of touting my trophies, and have been convicted by the Lord. Have you ever done that? You know, lifting up the handsome and powerful people as the perfect model? Inferring that their personality type and leadership style is the preferred one. Inferring also that anything short of that is inadequate. This not only robs God of His due glory by implying that He isn't in on the process, but also potentially sets us up for sins such as envy, idolatry and covetousness. Be thankful for your princes; be grateful for your princesses - but don't hold regular coronation services. * Don't judge a book by its cover. This is a mirror idea to the prince/princess concept. When I think about Jesus' choices of people to develop, He surely didn't judge a book by its cover. Take, for example, Peter, Levi, and Thomas. You've got to be kidding; the church boss, the church treasurer and the church wet blanket all in the "core" group!? Think of what you'd hear them saying: "Do it my way," "We can't afford it," and "We've never done it that way before." What was Jesus thinking? He was thinking what the Father willed! He looked at the heart and saw the potential. (I wanted to include Judas as the church organist, but thought that might be pushing my luck.) * Don't try to develop everyone. Ok, time to add some balance to the last two points. You can't invest leadership development into everyone in your church. Some don't want it; some aren't ready; not everyone will connect and respond to you; and others cannot pass on what you invest. Jesus didn't invest in everyone. Jesus chose twelve, and of the twelve, three. (And didn't that cause a stink? Been there?) Choose wisely. So what are a few of the "do's" of developing? The following are several key guidelines to follow within the specific context of spiritual leadership. * The church leaders who desire to develop others must continue to develop as leaders themselves. You can't develop others in ways you haven't developed yourself. And even if you are "older and wiser" than those you are developing, you will lose the cutting edge of relevance and influence if you stop peddling and try to coast. We typically begin to coast at the top of our game, (at the top of a hill) but eventually you come to the bottom of the hill and it's time to go up again. Keep peddling. * It's essential to know what a leader looks like before you attempt to develop one. The great artists of the Renaissance saw the image before they began painting. The great developers do the same. However, when Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel he wasn't concerned about reproducing another. In contrast, when you and I develop someone, even though no two are exactly the same, we must have a reproducible blueprint to follow that includes both character traits and skill sets. In the context of leadership, I Timothy 3 is a good place to start. * Developers must be able to see people as they can become, not just as they are. I'm so glad my first church had eyes of faith. I served as an associate/youth pastor at Lakeside Wesleyan Church, a small and in many ways modest church, but the pastor, Richard Lauby, dared to develop me in my raw stages. Those poor people, they got it all. My first sermon in 1979, my first stupid idea (I'm not even telling ya what it was), my first conflict with a board member, my first attempt at a youth fund raiser selling light bulbs. Yes, light bulbs. The problem was the people we sold them to preferred the light bulbs not be broken upon delivery. Rich, thank you for launching the beginnings of my development as a leader! Thanks for taking a risk on me. * Developing people is a long-term process not a short-term project. Developing people is not an add water and stir process. It takes time. It's not a "I can name that tune in __ seconds" game. We don't sing just the first and third stanzas. We sing the whole song! * Include both formal structures and informal connections in your developmental processes. Without the formal structures, the time and priority pressures of life will soon crowd out the existence of your developmental process. Without the informal connections the process is potentially void of relational warmth and can become too mechanical and ridged. It is necessary to center your meetings around set times, objectives, and curriculum. But it is equally important to "do life" together. (See Jesus' model.) Share yourself, but be sure to enjoy the process and have some fun along the way. It's often in the informal times that the most learning takes place. * Personalize the process of development as much as possible. Structures, processes, curriculum, and measurable outcomes are all needed and important. But as much as possible, personalize each person's experience. Find out what's on their mind and heart. What makes them tick? What are their strengths and passions? What do they dream about? How do they envision their ministry partnership? What's their preferred style of learning and communication? Ask questions, follow-up, challenge and pray. If you don't equip people, your church won't get off the ground. If you equip your people, your church will fly. If you develop them as well, your church will soar!!

permalink source: Dan Reiland
tags: Ministry, Mentoring

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Equipping and Developing, Part 1 By Dr. Dan Reiland ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: In my travels to churches I continuously look for specific skills in the leaders that have a direct impact on the church's strength and health - resulting in stable growth. It's a great study, and sometime I'll share with you the top things that I believe hinder or even prevent churches from health and growth. But let's focus on the positive this time! The skills I look for are separate from personality and leadership style. They are skills that any church leader must master. In previous editions of "The Pastor's Coach" I wrote about two such skills, using the topics of gathering and recruiting. If we were to draw an imaginary line in the sand that separates churches with modest potential and churches with significant potential (as subjective as that may sound), two leadership skills jump to the top of the list - they are equipping and developing people. At first glance they may appear to be similar, but they aren't. The two skills are related and can overlap, but they are not the same. You may also be tempted to think that it's semantics...but it's far more than mere word choice when it comes to measurable outcomes. The two particular words I've chosen aren't as important themselves as the difference between the two concepts. After you're confident your staff and key leaders know the difference, and practice both, then feel free to change the words to anything you wish! One more opening thought...equipping and developing often overlap in practice, but it's wise to know the difference between the two before you combine the efforts in order to ensure you accomplish both. These are the core differences between equipping and developing within the context of the local church: + Equipping is preparing someone for a specific ministry task. + Developing is investing in someone for their personal growth. + Equipping is transactional - it's an exchange. + Developing is transformational - it's a gift. + Equipping is based largely on the church's agenda. + Developing is based largely on the person's agenda. This edition will focus on equipping; the next edition of "The Pastor's Coach" will cover developing. Equipping is preparing someone for a specific ministry task. The equipping skill is as clear-cut as preparing a Sunday School teacher, for example, to leading a child to Christ, to training the teacher to tell stories in a captivating way, to teaching how to communicate love to each child. These equipping skills are especially important when you have a room full of wide-eyed, squirmy little kids with short attention spans! Equipping is transactional - it's an exchange. When my kids go to their favorite fast food restaurant, they give the cashier a few dollars and in exchange they get chicken fingers (that resemble and taste like particle board covered with fried brown spackle), fries and a soft drink. It's an exchange. There is nothing wrong with the exchange system; most of life is based upon it. In the next edition of "The Pastor's Coach" we'll see that though transaction is good, development is still needed and is extremely important. For now, we'll focus on the value of exchange. It looks like this. I'll train you to be a great Sunday School teacher, if you'll teach Sunday School. It's a productive win-win. Equipping is based largely on the church's agenda. That's Ok! If it's a Great Commission Church - it's God's agenda too! But we must be careful not to allow equipping to become so inward focused that the church becomes institutionalized and concentrates on protecting its turf, rather than taking new territory for Christ. Equipping is non-negotiable for any church to be healthy, biblical, and realize solid growth. Ephesians 4:11-12 is clear. God never intended the pastor(s) and a few key leaders to do all the work. The following guidelines will assist you in becoming better at equipping your people. They are written with the assumption that you understand the important pre-requisite of getting the right people in the right ministries, according to their gifts and passions. Before we go through the guidelines, I want to acknowledge that the well known Ephesians 4:11-16 passage communicates a larger idea than merely training for ministry. I believe that it deals with the wholeness of the person, their maturity as a believer, and how they connect within a unified body of Christ. This deeper level is part of the developing process. But for the sake of practicality, and to avoid writing an online book, let's just hit the practical aspects. * Determine the specific ministry objectives for each ministry. Effective equipping begins by having the end results in mind. Let's continue to use our illustration of the Sunday School teacher. It's important to know what values you want the children to embrace in order to properly equip the teacher. If you just want the kids to behave, to not destroy the room or wound each other until church is over, that would shape the training one way. But if you want the kids to embrace specific biblical principles that result in life change, that would head the equipping process in a completely different direction. Every ministry works the same way. Let's look at one more - small group leaders, for example. If you want them to host a light Bible study with the emphasis on a "cozy community," that process would look very different from equipping that is designed for a small group to reach their community, develop an apprentice, and multiply in 18 months. Far too many churches use generic equipping processes. Generic equipping is better than no equipping, but beginning with the end in mind is light years ahead of the generic approach. * Identify the required skills and basic competencies. Back to the Sunday School teacher. You've determined, for example, that you want the kids to trust Jesus as their Savior. The next question is: What skills and core competencies are needed so a teacher can lead a child to Christ? Child evangelism then becomes part of the training. Or, for example, you want the kids to fall in love with the Word of God. Engaging and captivating storytelling then becomes part of the equipping process. In contrast, in the earlier example of keeping the kids quiet until church is over, you would equip the teachers for crowd control and guerilla warfare. * Recognize the cultural and philosophical biases. Let's change the example from children's Sunday School to evangelism. The cultural and philosophical biases of your community or church make a significant difference in your equipping approach. There are some churches and communities where a more direct approach is positive, acceptable, and productive - such as Evangelism Explosion (and new variations). In other environments it would be a complete turn off to both the church members and those you witness to. In contrast, the softer, more indirect and relational approach of "Contagious Christianity" would be powerful in some churches and too watered down in others. Don't just jump on the newest training program available. The differences between a Charismatic church in New York and a Baptist church in Alabama are substantial. Know your cultural and philosophical biases and design your training accordingly. * Provide the appropriate training material. The training material should be selected according to what we have covered so far. Your end objectives, the skills and competencies, and the cultural and philosophical biases will determine your training material. Let me be blunt and to the point here. Buy the best material available - don't cheap out! Don't focus on saving money - invest in world class training. * Use only the most qualified personnel to do the training. In taking guitar lessons I've learned that there are gifted musicians and gifted teachers, and rarely are they the same person. The gifted musician loves to show you how good he is. The gifted teacher loves to show you how good you are. Be careful of this syndrome in the church. We often "promote" our best children's teachers to be a department leader. They were incredible teachers but terrible directors. Let the teachers teach! We promote our best small group leaders to be small group coaches and directors, and they struggle and lose motivation. Let the small group leaders lead small groups. We promote the best usher in the church (and I mean can he/she ever ush!) to be the usher captain and they soon burn out from the organizational responsibilities and quit. Let 'em ush! There are people in your church who are gifted teachers and trainers. Find them and let them do what God has designed them to do! As long as they have a passion for that ministry - you're good to go. * Include on the job training. Classroom training is important and necessary, but insufficient on its own. Be sure to include some "O.J.T." under the mentorship of someone experienced and gifted in the ministry area they are preparing for. A small group leader, for example, needs to apprentice under a good small group leader and "practice" leading the group while the mentor leader is present to guide and coach. * Provide the necessary tools and resources for each person to accomplish their particular ministry. Some things are obvious and taken for granted, such as the worship team needing microphones and sound equipment - stuff that actually works and doesn't squeal and squawk with a sound that's a cross between a wounded pig and an angry sea lion. But other ministries are less obvious and suffer because of the lack of needed tools, equipment, and resources. It's one thing to "make due" in a pinch; we've all have to do that. It's quite another to adopt substandard as a way of ministry. One church tried to save money by reusing old crafts and sharing curriculum. Over 70% of the teachers quit every year! Some of your best volunteers will quit too if you don't get them the stuff they need. * Give generous amounts of communication, praise and appreciation. One pastor asked me what appreciation had to do with the equipping process! Everything! From how long they'll stay in that ministry (which affects the depth of your key leaders) to morale and ultimate measurable outcomes. As I travel to churches one of the common complaints I hear is one of lack of communication. And church leader, you may feel like you communicate 'til you're blue in the face, but if your team perceives that you don't - you don't. If they feel out of the loop, that is often translated as you don't really care about them and you only care about getting "your" ministry done. This is lethal and poisons the process. Make things such as expectations, dates, new programs, changes, etc., simple and clear. Let the people know how much you appreciate them. And like our Moms taught us when we were about 3 years old...say "thank you." Say it often and say it with an enthusiastic heart.

permalink source: Dan Reiland
tags: Ministry, Mentoring

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. Worthy books are like mentors -- available as companions and as solitude for refreshment.

permalink source: Francis Bacon
tags: Books, Mentoring

"The essence of coaching is the attention to details and the monitoring of results -- these are what help leaders realize visions and accomplish goals."

permalink source: Ken Blanchard
tags: Vision, Mentoring, Accountability

The way to grow in holiness is to be around people more holy than ourselves. We hear their stray comments and absorb their judgment of what’s important. We listen to their prayers and find that God is bigger than we’d thought. -- Oswald Chambers

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Holiness, Discipleship, Mentoring, Spiritual Formation

Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can. -- Emmerson, The Conduct of Life, 1860

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipleship, Mentoring

A single conversation across the table with a wise man is worth a month’s study of books.

permalink source: Chinese Proverb
tags: Wisdom, Mentoring, Experts, Advice

The true mentor defends his pupil against his own personal influence. He inspires self-trust. He guides their eyes from himself to the spirit that quickens him. He will have no disciples. -- Amos Bronson Alcott, 1799-1888

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Mentoring

I think of Dwight D. Eisenhower, who many believe was a mediocre line officer and whose career was going no place. He requested to go to Panama, I think, to work under a certain general. That general had a transforming impact on his life as an officer; he taught Eisenhower how to become a competent leader.

permalink source: J. Richard Chase, p. 29, Leaders, 1987
tags: Leadership, Mentoring

If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay that way, but if you treat him as if he were what he could be, he will become what he could be. -- Goethe

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Affirmation, Perspective, Mentoring, Personal Growth

Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.

permalink source: Basho Source: Little Zen Companion, Schiller.
tags: Tradition, Mentoring, Personal Growth

H. M. Blamires describes C.S. Lewis as someone who knew both how to 'nourish a pupil with encouragement and how to press criticism when it was needed without causing resentment'... Luke Rigby further describes Lewis; 'What stands out in my memory is the warmth of the man. He was always welcoming and showed interest and concern. The startling contrast between his achievement and my mediocre promise did not open a gulf; he was a true master, the true teacher. He shared his appreciation and enthusiasm and thereby instilled confidence.' (Quoted in Edward Sellner, Mentoring: The Ministry of Spiritual Kinship, Ave Maria Press, 1990, pg. 40

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Mentoring, Teaching

There are two ways of exerting one’s strength: One is pushing down, the other is pulling up. -- Booker T. Washington

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Success, Mentoring

I will function as a whetstone, which can make steel sharp, though itself not capable of cutting.

permalink source: Horace, Art of Poetry, 304-305
tags: Mentoring, Consultants, Advice