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Spiritual Mentoring Tip #7

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#7  Evaluate Your Progress Regularly.

At the beginning of every year, I go away for a half day and pray about all the men I mentor. I also try to honestly evaluate the progress, (or lack of progress) we’ve made over the last year. Some men love to grow and stretch themselves. Others just like to “hang out”, which isn’t bad – in fact it may be their best learning style.

However, as I think of each person more deeply, and the quality of our conversation and shared experiences over the year, I get a sense of satisfaction with some and less so with others. So, I start asking questions like;

1. Do I believe “my men” are better husbands, fathers and followers of Jesus than they were a year ago?

2. What’s missing? What isn’t working? What have they failed to learn or I’ve failed to teach them?

3. Would I want this man to mentor my son, or sons-in-laws, or marry one of my daughters?

4. Have I taught each man how to study the Bible?

5. Can each articulate a biblical worldview?

6. Are there specific teachings of scripture, or practical Christian living subjects I ought to cover this next year?

7. Would each of my guys be able to articulate the gospel to someone, accurately and winsomely? Have they done that?

8. Are my men engaged in ministry in their local church?

As you ask yourself these questions, give time for the Holy Spirit to be your teacher. Don’t be in a rush. Write down your answers and how you feel the Holy Spirit wants you to address each. Use these notes in future years to continue evaluating your protégé.

Addressing these issues with your protégé.

Devote one whole meeting with your protégé to these issues. However, before that meeting, ask them to also do an evaluation of this past year themselves. You might give them selected copies of these Spiritual Mentoring Tips to jog their memory for ideas you might explore together. Raise their own expectations for this relationship.

When you come together, ask them for their evaluation first and listen. They may be fully aware of some of their own failures to grow and you won’t have to bring it up. Better yet, if they do mention it, praise them for their self-awareness.

Consider asking them these follow-up questions;

1. What do you think you need from me this year?

2. What relationships or in what situations do you feel most uncomfortable as a follower of Jesus?

3. Are there any habits I have that are distracting, or are their things you’ve heard about me that detract either from my witness or my credibility with you?

4. Have you considered having your own protégé? (Only if you think they’re ready.)

As you can tell, I love the word intentional. It draws a clear distinction between purposeful growth (discipleship) and what I call “free range personal development”, which has rarely worked to produce truly godly men and women.

“Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both this present life and the life to come.” I Tim. 4:7b, 8

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