My Uncle Mike is amazing. He’s probably the most brilliant mentor ever. He has forgotten more about Worship Arts Ministry than I know. Several times I have asked him for advice about a certain situation, wanting to tap into his seemingly infinite knowledge. Each time I fully expected him to say, “Adam, the solution is simple. You need to _____.”
But he never has done that. He’ll start by saying something like, “What do you think?” or “What do your instincts tell you to do?” I hate it when he asked that! It would be so much easier if he just told me how to think. But he never did that. He continued to ask question after question until I solved my own problem.
As time went on, I found myself contacting my Uncle Mike for advice less and less. Every time I encountered a potential problem I started to intuitively ask MYSELF, “Adam, what do your instincts tell you to do in this situation?” If my Uncle Mike told me how to think, then I would be an Uncle Mike Junior (not that that would be all bad, I mean he’s pretty cool). But instead, my Uncle Mike helped develop me into my own person with my own leadership “guts.” Would it have been faster and easier for him to just tell me what to do? Sure, but not better.
I wrote this down on paper last February (I don’t remember why):
“A disciple-maker/mentor must regularly check his motives. The disciple-maker’s goal is to develop his proteges into devoted followers of Christ, in the context of their giftings, Calling (with a capital C), and personal vision.”
By the way, if you consider yourself a devoted follower of Christ and you’re not mentoring someone else, well, Jesus told us to go and make disciples… so get going. You don’t have to be a super-Christian. You just need to be honest. I wrote about that in 2006 right here.