5 Lessons from a Church Planter Mentee
This article is a follow up to yesterday’s article from Rosario Picardo, Jeremiah’s church planting mentor. Jeremiah is currently in a church planter mentoring program called Rooted with Dr. Rosario Picardo.
“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (James 1:19).
If I were missing any of these three qualities italicized in the verse above, much of what we have accomplished in the Rooted residency program in the past few months would have been impossible. To be a mentee who will benefit from a residency program, you must possess the get up and go to contribute to the team from the outset, as well as an insatiable appetite for learning and the necessary humility to listen. These are some of my takeaways and subsequent advice from the last few months working with my church planting mentor. Buckle up!
- Check your DNA/context. What residency program fits your cultural DNA, your relational context? I am completing this residency less than ten miles from the house I grew up in, and less than ten miles from where my wife and I have purchased our first home. In the community my church serves, there are people I’ve grown up with, some who are related to me, and with whom I’ve served for many years. Before there were any conversations about mentoring or residency, there was a search inside the church for people from the neighborhood who could impact the community and speak that language. Too many times organizations get caught hiring people that have all the resume requirements, but don’t fit the overall DNA. Does your mentoring program fit your DNA/context?
- Confirm the Leader’s Availability. My mentor is an individual who makes sure he meets the deadline, and he’s available for me whenever I need to talk, when I need help with something, or when I just want to hang out. I have met leaders who enjoy the tag of mentor but who aren’t willing to put in the time. Of course, ministerial leaders are focused and limited in time. One way to get more time is by intentional shadowing. If you want the mentoring process to be impactful, you need to be there for meetings, programs, ride-alongs and lunches.
- Evaluate the Potential Mentor’s Approach to Transparency: The days of the superhero leader are over; be honest with your mentee and allow them to be transparent with you. Church planting is not about being a superstar, but being appropriately authentic. A mentoring relationship is a great place for that to start.
- Be Flexible and Look for Flexibility: Things change in mentoring…get over it. Expect it. There are forks in the road, dead ends, and intersections all along the mentoring process. Beyond all of this, use it. We must be able to adapt to change and learn on the go. Learn flexibility from your mentor in real time. (This is another benefit of shadowing.) I have seen my mentor smack in the middle of some tough spots that have changed on a dime. He pulls me to the side or in the car and explains what is happening and the best way to handle it. Also, more importantly, if he doesn’t know what to do, he says that. I respect him for his vulnerability, and he also understands that I will not judge him. He then explains how he will get the needed information to make the best decision he can possibly make. Being flexible can provide teaching opportunities
- Exhibit Humility: I want to plant a church; I want to lead a congregation; I want to lead a team; and, most of all, I want to walk out the purpose God has for me. To do this, I want the most from my mentor. Mentors: If you are mentoring someone who doesn’t want it, cut the line now. As explained this is how phentermine works when buying phentermine online from Canada” and on “phentermine online from Canada. You are investing in someone who is draining valuable resources at an alarming rate. If they do not have the humility and drive to learn from you, then it is best for the relationship to be re-evaluated. Make sure that you are investing in people that “want it” and have demonstrated it in the way they live.