Intentional Mentoring




   Intentionality is a missing ingredient in many leaders lives. It is not intentional (pun intended) but intenionality will not just accidentily happen because of the nature of how busy most of us are. There are fires to put out, too many irons in the fire, and we must admit thay it is very easy to become distracted. Jesus, the greatest leader ever, acted with intentionality. He intentionally choose the 12 men He would pour His life into. He intentionally went through Samaria so that He would have a meeting with the Samaritan woman. Over and over again you can see in the Gospels how Jesus acted out of intentioanlity. The fact is that intentionallity is needed in evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development.

     Without intentionality we will not make disciples! Without our making plans for it to happen it probably will not happen. Without a process in mind for how that occurs it probably will not occur. Look back to last weeks artice for a simple plan for intentionally building relationships with the unsaved and the first step is setting aside time, intentionally, to engage witht them. Leadership development will also require intentionality, just like Jesus, so that others can go where we go, see what we see, listen to how we handle certain situations, observe how we interact with others, and learn through on-the-job training.

     Bob Logan and Tara Miller have an excellent book on intentionally rasing up others entitled, From Followers to Leaders. They say, “For churches to accomplish their mission—their mission of bringing each person through the faith journey from discovering God to developing the fullest extent of their gifts and talents—some type of intentional resourcing system needs to be created…This resourcing system needs to be relational, flexible, and designed with the whole person in mind.” The book is an excellent tool (“path template”) to thinking through how you and your church can move an individual through the process of discipleship from before salvation to maturity in Christ.

     It is a call to how we not only need to be highly intentional but also highly relational. They remind us that “theories are linear; people are not.” The outcry of most leaders seems to be that they need more leaders, better leaders, and the right kind of leaders. Maybe we bear the responsibility for this shortage of leaders by not intentionally focusing enough effort on leadership development through disciple-making. If we have been focusing on leadership development then the end result would be the multiplication of leaders! Along our journey there should always be those going before us, those travelling along side of us, and those coming along behind us.

     Bob and Tara share the following Tips of Intentionality in From Followers to Leaders. “Many of us have the desire to develop others, but we don’t prioritize it. Below are a few ways to make sure we are focusing our time and energy in the most productive way possible.

  1. Ask God to lead you to people he wants you to invest in. Be sure to spend time in listening prayer. Recognize that sometimes the people he brings to mind are not the obvious choices. The twelve disciples are case in point.
  2. Be open to people in various stages of faith and ministry. Some of the people you choose to invest in may be current leaders, some may be emerging leaders, some may be brand new believers, and some not quite into the Kingdom yet.
  3. Decide on your priorities and commit to making sure you schedule will align with those priorities.
  4. Keep and use a calendar. Get out your calendar and schedule regular times to invest in those people God has brought to mind. Follow the principle of proactively investing in people, consistently each month, scheduling something intentional to make that happen rather than being random or spontaneous.
  5. Rather than just hanging out, have a clear purpose for meeting. Spending deliberate time really makes a difference, and the relational element will happen more naturally alongside a clear purpose.
  6. Recognize that leaders must be developed slowly over time. You cannot cram for this or do it all at once—regular deposits over time pay huge eternal dividends.
  7. Recognize that developing others is extremely important but rarely urgent—don’t be ruled by the tyranny of the urgent, and seek help if you are spending too much time putting out fires. If you are not proactive and intentional, meaningful investment in others is unlikely to happen.
  8. Prioritize your schedule. First list the highest priority meetings with potential leaders, then fit in other responsibilities around that.
  9. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Seek guidance from God about the number of people you can invest in and the level of frequency. Periodically reevaluate.

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