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Spiritual Mentoring Tip #5
Posted by Clare

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#5  Be as transparent as you dare.

Believe it or not, your protégé will learn as much from your failures as from your successes. By being transparent, you’re also teaching them it’s okay to be transparent. This will help them immensely in their marriage and with their children. Also, it will deepen the relationships between the two of you as you begin “trusting each other” with your fears and failures. As your mentoring relationship deepens, here are some ideas to help you both become more transparent.

Share with them;

  • The things that wake you up in the night.
  • The doubts you’ve had about faith or the Bible.
  • The hurts as a child you received from a parent(s).
  • The times you’ve been depressed.
  • Your first sexual temptation.
  • The ways Satan might use to discourage or destroy you.
  • The last serious temptation you had (including your failures).
  • Your last fight with your spouse.
  • Things you’ve been addicted to in the past that you are super-vigilant about now.
  • How you’ve reacted both good and bad, to the enemies in your life.

Guidelines

  • Never share anything embarrassing or personal about your spouse without their permission.
  • Always talk about solutions. Give them hope that their fears, temptations or hurts can be overcome or significantly diminished.
  • Try to point them to biblical solutions. I’ll often spend 15 or 20 minutes asking God what I should talk about with the men I mentor and what scripture verses I ought to share that would be helpful to them.
  • Don’t gossip. When sharing a story, leave out names. I also have no qualms about changing minor facts to protect the identity of those involved.

Clare De Graaf

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Spiritual Mentoring Tip #4
Posted by Clare

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#4  Show your protégé you care about them.

Your protégé needs to know that you care about them personally. So, be creative. Do something special at least once every three-four months to show that you are thinking of them.

  • Write a short, handwritten note.
  • Just call occasionally to see how he/she is doing or to encourage them.
  • Share blogs, articles, or YouTube videos you find interesting and informative via email, Twitter, or Facebook.
  • Become a Facebook “friend”. It will tell you a lot about how they portray themselves to the world and what kind of “friends” they have.
  • Send a birthday card.
  • Send a note to his/her spouse telling them some encouraging things your protégé has shared about them.

Every year, at the beginning of the year, I put the names of the men I mentor in my calendar, every three-four months. Just seeing those names, triggers a reminder to communicate something personal to them. By the way, after a year or so of them receiving these kinds of encouraging call or notes, I share with them why I do it and my system for reminding me to do it. I’m hoping they will start doing the same with their spouse, children, parents or the people they are mentoring.

Clare De Graaf

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Spiritual Mentoring Tip #3
Posted by Clare

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#3  Ask your protégé questions that will help you, help them.

A great way to get to know your protégé is to ask questions. People love to talk about themselves. As they answer, watch their face and listen to the inflection in their voice. These “tells” will help you understand who, or what excites them as well as reveal disappointments and fears they have. Remember: how they answer is as important as what they say.

  • In what areas of life do you think you are most successful? What’s working for you?
  • What are some of the greatest challenges you’re facing right now?
  • Who else in your life gives you Christian advice or counsel?
  • How would you describe your relationship with Christ?
  • If you could change anything in your life right now, what would it be?
  • Is God asking you to grow or change in any area of your life that you’re reluctant to do?
  • If married: Describe your marriage relationship.
  • If a parent: Describe your relationship with each of your children.
  • What are you most passionate about?
  • Do you feel comfortable with your level of biblical knowledge? Are there specific questions about God or the Bible you want to discuss over the next few months?
  • Is there anyone in your life right now that you have strong negative feelings about? Why?
  • What frightens you in the middle of the night?
  • Do you know what your spiritual gifts are?
  • How are you serving your church or the Kingdom of God outside of your family?
  • If your spouse were here, what would she say she would like to see different in your life?
  • What is your comfort level in sharing your faith with non-Christians? What happened the last time you did?

I’m grateful to Paul Anthes, one of my protégés and a friend, for a number of these questions.

Clare De Graaf

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Spiritual Mentoring Tip #2
Posted by Clare

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#2  Ask your mentor lots of questions.

Your mentor is a wealth of knowledge and experience. But, sometimes you have to “unlock” the storehouse. Here are some great questions you might consider asking your mentor over the course of your relationship.

  • What are some of the most important decisions you’ve made in your life?
  • What are a few of the best decisions you’ve ever made?
  • What are some of the worst decisions you’ve made?
  • Do you have any suggestions or ideas for being a more godly husband or wife?
  • Do you have any suggestions or ideas for being a more godly father or mother?
  • How can I honor my parents better?
  • What are some of the dangers or temptations I should be on the lookout for in the coming years?
  • As you look back, is there anything you would do differently if you could return to my age?
  • What advice would you offer about being a better Christ-follower?
  • Is there anything you observe in my life that concerns you? Are there any blind spots in my life that you see?
  • Are you aware of helpful resources I could benefit from? (Books, websites, audio resources, etc.)
  • How do you handle temptation, stress, anger, or any other issues when you’ve failed?
  • What did you do, or wish you would have done, to help your children grow spiritually?
  • Do you pray or read the Bible with your wife?
  • How do you and your spouse resolve disagreements?

Clare De Graaf

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