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Spiritual Mentoring Tip #1
Posted by Clare

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For the next month, instead of a blog, twice each week, I’ll be posting practical ideas for being a more effective and fruitful spiritual mentor. So, here’s the first tip;

#1  Give the men or women you’re mentoring, assignments.

Life is short and I only want to mentor men who are serious about growing spiritually, relationally and emotionally. So, a few months into the process I often give them some simple assignments, both to test their commitment and to stretch them. Generally, I don’t set up a time to meet again until they’ve completed their assignments and call me to report.

Some Sample Assignments

  • Meet with two people you know are Christians and ask them to share their faith journey and what they do to stay spiritually strong.
  • Write out your personal testimony of how you came to faith – your spiritual journey. Or, tell me your testimony, without reading it. (Then discuss how comfortable they felt and how and when to use it.)
  • Spend half a day in silence. (Pray, study the Bible, and ask God for direction.)
  • Write out your personal mission statement.
  • Write down two things you want to accomplish in the next year to grow in each of the following areas of your life:
    • Spiritually
    • Your Spouse
    • Your Children
    • Vocation and Finances
    • Friends and Extended Family
    • Physical and Emotional Health
  • Memorize some key verses from the Bible (which I give them).
  • If someone asked you how to become a Christian, what would you tell them?
  • Define faith. What are the characteristics of a church? What does it mean to be saved? Saved from what? For what? (This exercise forces to think more clearly about these topics.)

Please use some discretion. There’s a fine line between scaring your protégé and stretching them. But, mentoring is about personal growth and personal growth, like exercise, is rarely painless. Jesus sent out his disciples in pairs to stretch their faith, so don’t be afraid to do the same.

Clare De Graaf

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Finding the Right Spiritual Mentor and Getting Started on the Right Foot
Posted by Clare
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If you’ve ever thought about mentoring or getting a mentor, the toughest part is getting started. So, where do you begin? (By the way, this blog will make a lot more sense if you’ve read my July 22 blog, three days ago.)

The most difficult part of the entire mentoring process is choosing the right mentor and then making “THE CALL”. Hopefully, by the end of this blog you’ll feel less anxious about the process and more excited about how having a mentor or being a mentor, can shape your life.

Finding the right mentor for you.

First pray.  As God puts names on your mind, write them down immediately.  You may be tempted to dismiss some people as too busy or inaccessible, but if God is calling them to mentor you, you’ll only know that by asking them.  Then ask your pastor or spiritually mature friends for names of potential mentors, in or outside your church.  Ask God to guide you to the right mentor.

Finding a protégé who needs your wisdom.

If God has blessed you with a level of spiritual maturity and some years of experience, I’d urge you to pray about becoming a spiritual mentor yourself.  You don’t have to be a spiritual giant.  I have met men who could have been very good mentors, but who disqualified themselves because they’re not successful leaders or strong Bible teachers.  All you really need to be a mentor is to love God, care for people, know the Bible reasonably well, and be willing to be transparent and available to another person. But, how do you find people to mentor? (more…)

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My “Cliff’s Notes” on Spiritual Mentoring
Posted by Clare
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When I came to faith at age 31 I knew I needed a spiritual mentor – someone to disciple me. Up until then, I’d been a cultural Christian. So, I started going to a Bible study weekly and it was incredibly helpful, but I knew I needed something more – a coach, a teacher – a mentor.

I was clueless about how people who were serious about following Jesus went about doing that in real life.  What did they talk about on the golf course, when they went to lunch, or on the job?  How did they share the good news of Jesus with others in a way that was natural and winsome?  How did they treat their wives, make business and personal decisions?  How did they pray, when did they pray, and for how long?  I had a million questions.

It’s like this; when I decided to take up golf, I got a golf pro to teach me.  He not only demonstrated how to properly hold a club, hit a ball out of the sand, but how to keep from getting into the sand in the first place – and a hundred other things I needed to enjoy the game.  I learned because he played along with me.  I watched him and he watched me and gave me the confidence I needed to play the game better.  I knew I needed similar lessons about living out the Christian life.

But how do you go about finding a spiritual mentor? (more…)

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Questions
Posted by Clare

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Q:   Do you advise praying for 10 second rule impressions or just letting them happen? Julie

A:   The answer is both. I do pray for God to give me “spiritual radar” for people to bless. I also ask the Holy Spirit to warn me of sin.

Years ago, I noticed that when I was thinking about getting a new car, all of a sudden I’d notice all the people driving cars like the one I wanted. Just my thinking about something, increased my awareness. So, it is with God.

I’ve found myself sitting down in airports or coffee shops and asking, “God is there anyone you want me to bless here?” Just asking the question, causes me to look around the room, noticing people, rather than checking my iPhone or reading the newspaper. About a third of the time I’ll notice a cheerful worker, or a parent very engaged with their children, to whom I can give a compliment or word of encouragement. I might not have noticed them had I not prayed first.

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Please share your own 10 second rule questions by commenting here, or emailing me at claredegraaf@gmail.com

 

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