360 Degree Mentoring

Everyone needs to be a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy at some point in their lives.

Look Around – Peer Mentoring: Barnabas spoke up for Paul when everyone else only saw the old Saul.

  1. He believed in Paul before anyone else did
  2. He endorsed Paul’s leadership to other leaders
  3. He empowered Paul to reach his potential

Who will you be a Barnabas to today?

Look Ahead – Classical Mentoring: Paul loved the church at Thessalonica like a parent loves a child. As Paul mentored his “children,” he developed a parental, coaching relationship with them. In 1 Thessalonians 2:7-12 he describes this relationship in these words:

  1. A gentle, nurturing mother
  2. Shared good news and his very life
  3. Worked hard not to be a burden
  4. Strove to be an example
  5. Dealt with them as a father deals with his children
  6. Encouraged them to live up to their potential as God’s children

Is there a “Paul” that you looking up to today?

Look Behind – Reverse Mentoring: Young leaders have a powerful message for older leaders – but are we willing to listen? One pastor was heard to say “every day I get a little more disconnected unless I intentionally work at staying connected. We live in a plug and play world, which poses a problem for many of my peers who are hard-wired. They need what only the next generation can give: connectedness.” Here’s the world that younger generation lives in:

  1. I love media, but I trust my friends
  2. I am aware of broadcasting, but I trust narrowcasting
  3. I spend money, but I trust art
  4. I respect excellence, but I trust authenticity
  5. I resist church, but I trust Jesus

Who is someone “reverse mentoring” you today?

(from a previous series on Mentoring, while I am away on vacation)


The Future is Always Now

Leaders create their own future.

That’s not an original thought, I just can’t recall who first said it.

I’m learning that families create their own future, too. One slice of that took place yesterday when my wife and I took our oldest son, his partner, their three-year old son, and my 18-year old son to Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville for an afternoon’s fun – and learning. We thought that a ratio of five adults to one three-year old would be about right.

DPK is an interactive museum designed specifically for younger children. My grandson was won over the minute he walked in the door and saw a real fire truck just waiting for him to climb on board. From there it was a trip through the drive-through at the bank, the grocery store, a farm (tractor included), a rock-climbing wall, restaurant, brick factory, race car, auto shop, and on and on…

Two hours later but still going strong, he reluctantly left with Nina and GrandBob (with the promise we could come back). After our meal, it was back to full speed again, running and playing in our yard, then running down to the end of our cul-de-sac, racing his dad and kicking a ball. He got to meet a few neighbors, and a dog named Sam.

Back inside for cupcakes and ice cream (celebrating his dad’s 30th birthday) then he was ready to go again. By that time the long day was winding down, and they had a two-hour drive back home.

Reflecting on the day’s events, I thought about Jack, his mom and dad, his uncle, and at my wife and me. We weren’t looking at the future…

…the future is now.

The same thing is true in ChurchWorld. We aren’t preparing future leaders – they are among us now – and they are all ages: 18 years, 30 years, and yes, even three-year olds. My family outing at DPK was a perfect illustration of the tremendous opportunity we have at this moment for the church.

James Emery White, pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church, has a great post here. It speaks of the disconnect between 30 somethings in the church and their parents. That’s me, and that makes it personal.

The title of this blog – 27gen – comes from the 27 years separating the four generations of Adams males: my father, me, my son, and his son. That’s the lens through which I am constantly viewing the world, and one that I hope you enjoy dropping in on.

Today’s assignment: Take a look around you right now. Who is younger than you, and what can you learn from them? Who is older than you, and what can you learn from them? Now flip it: what can you do to help someone younger, and older, learn from you today?

The future is NOW!

(From a prior post on Mentoring while I’m on vacation)