Mentoring New Leaders Part 3: Test

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The second biggest mistake mentors make, after not mentoring new leaders at all, is failing to test them. We tend to be too quick turning things over to the newbie before we are certain the are prepared. Offering them a short period of time to shadow you & then giving them only a bit of teaching before handing over the reins is worse than no mentoring at all.

When we drop everything into the newbie’s lap too soon, they may become frustrated when things fail to go well. Even worse, they may become embarrassed, believe THEY are to blame for their lack of success when the mentor is the one responsible.

Rather than quickly giving them the responsibility of their new assignment, take time to make certain they are ready. And the best way to do this is to test them. No, not a written exam! Instead, give them responsibility for an assignment while you are still there to offer guidance & advice.

Early in their training, Jesus sent the disciples out into neighboring towns to do ministry. He sent them out in pairs so they could support & encourage one another & to hold each other accountable. When they returned, Jesus talked to the disciples about their experience. What worked? What didn’t? Where did they have problems?

These mission journeys gave the disciples to practical experience, like an internship. They were able to fail on a small scale while Jesus was still available to offer them guidance & advice.

Nothing discourages a new leader faster than failure. It takes less time & effort to retrain them to overcome their mistakes & weaknesses than it does to start all over with a new person when your current new leader quits in frustration.

Take the time to do the job right!

Mentoring Leaders Part 2: Teach

The disciples first had the opportunity to watch Jesus talk to large crowds & smaller groups, seeing Him share His message. These moments gave the disciples the chance to see Jesus model the behavior He wanted them to imitate & to hear the lessons He was sharing as He spoke to the public. This, however, was not enough. Jesus needed to be sure the disciples understood the lessons so they would be able to teach them later.

For this reason, Jesus always sat down with the disciples after these events & asked them if they understood the lesson He had taught. He would go over His message in detail, answering their questions until He was sure they not only understood but would also be able to share the message later.

It’s important for the new leaders you mentor to watch you perform the work they will need to continue when you turn it over to them. It is also very important that they understand the work they are supposed to do. For example, they may think an aspect of the work is minor without realizing how vital that small step is to the whole process.

A woman once spoke to me after I finished teaching a Bible study to a large group of women. She lamented her inability to do what I did, minimizing the gift of hospitality she had been given. Every week, she & her sister stood at the door, greeting every woman that came in & giving them a hug to make them feel welcome & at home. They performed this same task every year during our huge women’s conference. I told her I would probably be speaking to an empty room if not for the warm welcome she & her sister offered women every week.

If a new women’s ministry director had taken over without know the importance of this seemingly small task, she might overlook inviting the sisters to greet during Bible study & the conference. This task might seem small but it set the tone for every event the women hosted during my time working with the ministry.

New leaders must not only see the process in action, they must have it explained to them so nothing, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is overlooked!

To Find Peace, Look

Answer Your Call

I have a confession to make. If my phone rings & I don’t recognize the number, I don’t answer. I listen to the message right away if one is left & I return calls quickly. And I do answer the phone if I know the person calling. I don’t feel compelled to answer the phone when I don’t know the caller.

Let me tell you though. If caller ID told me God was calling, I would answer right away! Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t you be curious to know why God was calling, what He wanted? Wouldn’t you answer right away?

Now I know how silly this sounds! God doesn’t use cell phones to call us. I just want you to consider for a moment how quickly you would respond if there was a chance,even a slim one, that God might use a cell phone to contact you. I think most people would quickly answer even just to satisfy their curiosity.

Yet many of us hit “Decline” button when God calls us. And believe me, He does call each & every one of us that believes!

The quote on the graphic above is taken from the story of Samuel being called by God. Samuel lived with Eli, the high priest. Samuel’s mother, Hannah gave her son to Eli to be trained in service to the Lord. Hannah had promised her son to the Lord if the Lord would only bless the childless woman with a son. When the Lord blessed her with a son, Hannah kept her end of the bargain, taking Samuel to Eli to stay once Samuel was old enough.

Eli had 2 sons that were also priests. Scripture tells us the sons were “scoundrels.” The Lord was not willing to let scoundrels take over the ministry of Eli. Plus, the Lord was very upset with Eli because he did not correct his sons. So, the Lord called Samuel.

One night, Samuel heard a voice call his name. Naturally, he assumed Eli was calling him. Yet when he went to Eli, the old man said he had not called. This happened a few more times. Finally, Eli told Samuel it must be the Lord calling his name. When it happens again,say, “Here I am,Lord!” And that’s just what Samuel did! What a difference that made in the life of Samuel! And in the lives of Eli & his sons!

How do you respond when God calls you? I know,you’re looking at the screen & telling me, “God never called or calls me! Why would He call ME?”

If you go to the passage in 1 Samuel, you’ll notice Samuel did not stand in Eli’s room arguing aboutwhether or to the Lord would call HIM! He simply accepted what Eli said & went back to his room to await the Lord’s next call. Samuel didn’t even doubt the fact the Lord would contact him again. What faith!

We all need to be open to God’s call on our lives. As Jesus said, the harvest is great & the labo

Goals, Not Resolutions

I really don’t like resolutions. Well, it’s not that I don’t LIKE them. I just don’t think they work. They remind me of my college days. As soon as I told myself that I needed to pull an all-nighter, I became incredibly tired & needed to go to bed. I found those words worked wonders those few times I couldn’t sleep! Anyway, there’s something about resolutions that make them almost impossible to keep. Perhaps it has to do with they open timeframe. A resolution implies an ongoing process with absolutely NO END! It just stretches on forever & ever! Sigh!

Rather than making a resolution, I like to set goals. Goals usually have a specific destination built in. So, rather than creating a resolution to eat healthier, I would rather set a goal to give up soda for a week. Or set a goal to include more fruits & vegetables in my diet, naming a specific number for each day. Goals seem more user friendly.

Throughout January, I plan to take about setting goal for the new year. However, this week, I want to talk to you about making a few resolutions. I know, I just went on & on about my dislike resolutions & now I want you to make a few. Hmmm. Ok, let me explain.

Sometime there are goals we set that are ongoing & somewhat vague. The 3 resolutions I am suggesting this week are not necessarily vague but they are questions you need to consider over time. These questions are:

  1. Am I called by God;
  2. How can I serve God;
  3. Am I called to by God to lead.

Let’s set these resolutions & then we c

FREE this Week: Moms of Teens Devotions to Go

There are many phases in parenting but none compare to that of parenting teenagers in this day and time. This phase can be filled with joy while at the same time present a unique set of challenges.

In Moms of Teens Devotions to Go, Robin shares from her heart some of her own experiences with humor and transparency. She illustrates spiritual truths through short stories.

These truths help moms survive the long days by reminding them that our heavenly Father is able to keep that which we have committed to Him (2 Timothy 1:12).

Available for FREE download Monday-Friday this week only!

 

FREE This Week: Divas in Disguise

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Have you ever thought you’re alone in dealing with peer pressure, feeling overlooked or trying to round up the courage to do the right thing? You’re not!

The Bible is full of stories about women and girls just like you and the ones around you — the ones who are flashy and seem to get all the attention (even if it might not be for the right reasons), and the ones who try to stay on track but feel like they’re being run over in the process. The good news is, we can still learn a lot from those women in the Bible, even thousands of years later. Sure, they wore different clothes and didn’t have all the electronic gadgets we love so much. But they were real — they made mistakes — and they can help make our lives a lot easier if we just pay attention.

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Give Teach Train: 3 Steps to Help Women Grow

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Step 1: Give

They say if you give a woman a fish, you feed her for a day. If you teach her to fish, you feed her for a lifetime. At Simple Joy, we go a step farther. If you train to teach others how to fish, you feed the world. However, you must often give her a fish before you proceed.

I agree. Feeding a woman day after day does nothing to help her grow in the long run. Unfortunately, some women (myself included at times in my life) are in such a weakened condition that we must be fed first. We must regain our strength before we are in any shape to be taught anything.

Scripture tells us that we must feed new believers mother’s milk before they can move on to solid food. Like babies, they must begin with simple food, then move on to something more substantial. Babies need to grow, they need to become stronger & what they are fed helps move this process along.

The Scripture verse is telling us that we need to begin slowly with someone who is just beginning the process. We need to feed them simple information, rather than overwhelming them right off. We also must see to their immediate needs before we begin teaching them anything.

Soup kitchens & other organizations that feed the homeless & hungry often share a faith-based message with those that come to eat. I think it’s interesting that they wait to begin preaching until people have eaten. They know people can’t focus on your message when they are hungry. So many women are starving today. Many feel overwhelmed. They feel hopeless. They think they have no value. Too many are literally starving. Before we can teach them to fish, we must understand what emotional, physical or spiritual hunger is starving them & see to those needs first. Once we have moved them from “mother’s milk” to “solid food” once we have strengthened them enough, THEN we can begin teaching them to fish. However, as long as they are hungry, we are simply wasting everyone’s time & possibly doing even more damage.

Our first step must be helping women regain their strength emotionally & spiritually. We must help them recognize their worth, build their confidence, boost their self esteem. We must strengthen them deep within their core so there is a solid foundation on which to build. Only then can we move on to teaching them ways to sustain themselves for life!

Offer women the food they need & watch them grow in ways you never thought possible!

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Busy Moms’ DTG offers insights into God’s wisdom and faithfulness gleaned during practical experience in the trenches. Features a month’s worth of daily devotions with Scripture verse & activity.

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A Prayer for our Nation

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O God, you made us in your own image

and redeemed us through Jesus your Son.

Look with compassion on the whole human family,

take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts,

break down the walls that separate us,

unite us in bonds of love,

and, through our struggle and confusion,

work to accomplish your purposes on earth;

that, in your good time,

all nations and races may serve you in harmony

through Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen

Book of Common Worship