I recently finished reading Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell. It was one of five books that I’m reading over the next 6 months with a group of fellow pastors I’m meeting with each month. Another book I reviewed a few weeks back, Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code, was extremely beneficial, and I came into Campbell’s book very expectant that I would learn a lot about mentoring.
I wasn’t disappointed. After studying the subject of mentoring both formally and informally over the last decade, Campbell’s model was unique and intriguing. He advocates a “group mentoring” approach, and parallels his philosophy with the way Jesus taught His disciples. His thesis is a statement he heard from a friend years ago: “More time with fewer people equals greater kingdom impact” (p. 4). He applies this by taking a different group of 8 men through his formal mentoring program each year. They meet together as a group once a month for 3 hours (over 12 months), and they memorize Scripture, read books, and get into each others lives.
As he sought to build his mentoring lifestyle after the pattern of Jesus, here are Campbell’s key ingredients to what he calls “next-generation mentoring:”
1) It’s on purpose.
2) It’s a selfless endeavor.
3) It starts in a group context, not one-on-one.
4) Jesus handpicked those he mentored after prayer.
5) It was for a short, defined period of time.
6) At the core of Jesus’ teaching was Scripture.
7) Public and private prayer was huge, public, and private.
8 ) Jesus modeled His faith in a transparent way.
9) Jesus taught along the way of life.
10) There was a mutual commitment, and it was a huge commitment.
11) It had a required multiplication element.
To begin his program, he has each mentoree sign a covenant that he will see the program through, make it a major commitment (show up on time and not miss any sessions), and reproduce it at least once (mentoring 8 others for 12 months) sometime in his life. The book was written in 2008, after 8 years of this type of mentorship, and Campbell tells of his amazing results with the 64 guys he mentored during that period.
Personally, this was a timely read. I believe that building and equipping leaders is one of my major personal callings as the pastor of a local church body. It is also a core part of the vision of the church I have the privilege of leading. As a result, I have mentored dozens of interns over the years (and continue to), but the next-generation model really got me thinking. Group mentoring seems like it would produce much better results, and provide the ability for greater exponential kingdom impact. I can see a community of mature Christians who implement this kind of program in their church making a phenomenal impact for the kingdom. Food for thought…