October 2003 Mentoring Newsletter

How To Mentor Character Into Others
by Dr. Waylon B. Moore

Teacher and Mentor, Dr. Howard Hendricks talked about the necessity for good mentors this way: “The greatest crisis today is the crisis in leadership. And the greatest crisis in leadership is the crisis of character. Character is the result of four things:
  1. The choices you make;
  2. The values you embrace;
  3. The crises you experience;
  4. The mentor you choose. 1
Do you have a mentor, a mentoree?


I can't forget the character impacting mentoring I've seen overseas. In an internet letter I read, “These are the times of tall men, and short character.” But not everywhere! I've seen tall character missionaries mentoring others. In Zambia, I traveled with a missionary driving to a village to witness; in the truck seat with him was a “new”" missionary.

What an experience I had, listening, watching, seeing the modeling of the veteran as he introduced the new guy to a village chief, and modeled how to visit and greet people in each mud house. Later he explained customs affecting cultural values and character assessments the tribe made about accepting a non-tribal person. All week I watched primal mentoring. The air was thickened those days in the bush by questions and discussions on ministry, prayer, and sharing. In the USA I've seen the lasting fruit of pastors with their mentored teams of changed men living holy lives of character.

What can influence positively and deeply a commitment to godly character in us and to encourage others to whom we minister? There are two things. First, we must get the Word of God into hearts, and secondly, we have to see it modeled, lived out in lives. John describes meeting the greatest mentor: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory. . . .” Then John hands us a five-word “Polaroid” photo of Jesus' character strengths: “. . . full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). The writer, John, vividly remembers in his old age the impact of seeing “Scripture with legs” — Jesus in action, teaching, caring, standing strong! Jesus tenting, dwelling among them. He writes with freshness and wonder: “From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in – we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we're telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly, this: The infinite Life of God himself took shape before us (1 John 1:1-2, The Message). Nothing teaches Christ's character faster than seeing it lived out. When the Bible we are learning is fleshed out by parents and other mentors in daily life, it marks us — unforgettable.

John summarizes two life qualities of Jesus that remained glued to his heart all those decades. Jesus was “full of grace and truth.” What a difficult combination! Jesus was wonderful to be with. He was always sensitive, loving, attentive, thoughtful, forgiving, focused on you. Full of grace. But Jesus was also full of truth. His “yes” was total. His “no” was resolute. His pronouncements were final and eternal. There was no blending error with truth. Truth is pure, demanding, convicting. Some people are gracious, but are flabby and too bending. Others are so legalistic, so iron-fisted and unbending, they hurt us. Grace and truth are hard to mix. “Speaking the truth, in love” is supernatural. These radically different character qualities John could not forget. They are living, combined, balanced perfectly in one man: Christ Jesus!

Character is the fruit of “abiding in Him,” allowing Christ Jesus to live His life in you, through you. There are key Bible passages that, as they soak into our hearts, the Holy Spirit uses to bring growth and change into Christlikeness. We get convicted about our attitudes, our reactions, and our words. And character solidifies. Consider using these in a sermon series, in your Bible study group, with your family, and in training those whom you mentor.

Seven Character-sharpening Tools

1. Proverbs. As a young couple with three children, Clemmie and I found Proverbs a fascinating book to use in child-rearing. Among the 50 different topical categories in Proverbs, we studied nine character areas with our kids. We discovered positive and negative qualities, and their consequences. Some of these contrasts are found in a single verse. We found other verses that give a thought which is double-complete — where the second line agrees or underscores the first line. There are many comparative proverbs in which “then” sometimes begins the second line. Using a large concordance, look up the references to each key word or topic, and then read these nuggets of gold cross references. Focus on one word-idea for a week. Discuss how to discover the “fool,” the “wise” in your life. Share ideas on how to apply a verse to our lives. Look up these words to start: “wise/wisdom” contrasted with the “fool;” the “heart;” the “tongue;” “honest/lying,” “friends/neighbors;” “give(ing)/wealth;” “home/parents;” “honor.”

2. The 10 Commandments — Exodus 20:1-17. The first five commands deal with our relationship with God; the other five emphasize essential earthly relationships. Nine of these ten are commanded in the New Testament, too. We need to memorize these in order and review them regularly. They strike at the heart of the Law, and under gird the stability of any nation, culture, and home.

3. The Sermon on the Mount — Matthew 5-7. One of the most humble millionaires I've met told about starting a company during the 1930's Depression. He had been encouraged to memorize the Sermon on the Mount. Quoting these verses daily changed his life and business. Mr. Taylor quoted the verses while seeking application to his life for over 30 years. Applying a single verse on dealing with an enemy (Luke 6:27, 28) revolutionized my life and application alertness. Verses on salt, light, and obedience that brought conviction to my life years ago are still alive and working in my heart today.

4. The Upper Room Discourse — John 14-17. One of the richest passages in the Bible, this section of chapters reveals Christ's invasion into the life and work of every believer. One core theology which is found here: Jesus introduces to us the Holy Spirit.

5. The Fruit of the Spirit Are Attitudes. Walk in the Spirit — Galatians 5:16-26. Attitude is everything with God, because our attitudes expose the real heart of us. Our works alone cannot reveal what our true motives and intentions are. Why you do what you do is more important than that you do it!

6. Growth Steps to Fine-tune our Spiritual Life — 2 Peter 1:4-7. The essential building blocks for your spiritual house are unveiled in this text. Like swallowing a daily multi-vitamin to be healthy, use this passage in your devotions. Meditate on one word in this list each day for a week. Ask our Teacher, the Holy Spirit, to show you one truth to apply or one character deficiency. Pray the verse into your life and memorize it. Ask God to build that quality into your life and believe that He will! The power to apply Scripture comes through our surrender to be controlled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).

7. Character-building Booklets. For children at three different grade levels, Character Builders is a terrific set of booklets. 2 Their 48 character traits have priceless definitions followed by stories that illustrate each trait. My wife loves these samples:

   Attentiveness – Listening with the eyes, ears, and heart
   Meekness – Patience without anger


Character Revealed by Contrast

In light of the need to be specific and sensitive about our character growth, I've been encouraged and challenged to pray over a short list that reveals the character of Christ. Alongside each positive characteristic is a contrasting negative trait. 3 God Gives Us Models and Mentors

Sometimes good mentors and character models are rare in our lives. There are available, however, 2900 names of different people in the Bible. God recorded the struggles and strengths of multiple persons — these biographies are meant for our observation and meditation. These model walking in truth, running from evil, or the terrible, tragic consequences of sin. Our entertainment culture rarely teaches the sure, terrible judgment that comes to us and to others as well from breaking God's laws. It is essential that we teach and testify to the consequences of our words and actions, as we train our children and mentor others.

Some Bible biographies are summarized in a sentence. Others fill paragraphs or chapters. Begin your study with shorter biographies such as Hannah, Asa, Timothy and Barnabas. List any good you see that they did. Then list bad decisions they made. Meditate on “why.” Next relate their life actions and the consequences to God. What lessons did you specifically learn? Where will you change your life because of this study? Four Old Testament people flavor many verses in the New Testament: Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah. They are the most important to study, but require a lengthier analysis. The “clay” of each of these lives will lead us closer to the heart of God and His character.

Footnotes:
1 Message at Xenos Discipleship Conference, Columbus, Ohio, July 17, 2003.
2 Ron and Rebekah Coriell, Fleming H. Revel by Assoc. of Chr. Schools International, Box 4097, Whittier, CA 90607.
3 Notes from Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, Bill Gothard, Tampa, Florida, 1975.




FAMILY NEWS AND PRAYER NEEDS

Clemmie and Waylon are rejoicing in the Lord for His abounding grace.

Clemmie enjoys doing regular water aerobic exercises at the same gym where Waylon walks on the treadmill. Clemmie has a marvelous gift for recalling everything, so is perfect as our office manager, keeping up with address changes from all over the world for our newsletter. She was also an amazing assistant in preparations for our August 24-Hour Mentoring Workshop in Tampa. There we had attendees from six states and nations. Waylon, Dr. Bill Steeger, Bruce Moore, Charles Hartwig and others challenged the conferees with enthusiasm and the Lord worked wonderfully. It was a great joy to Waylon to teach doctoral students for a week on Mentoring at Midwestern Seminary in Kansas City. Pray for Bruce as he is pastor and church-planter of a new mission just north of the Tampa area. CrossPointe Church has some 50 pioneer attendees including his parents. This month we are offering leadership training workshops in our new rented facilities to prepare for further growth. Martha saw fruit as she and the staff took a mission team of German students to Hungary last month to begin a new campus ministry in Györ. Pray for staffers Julie B. and Anja G. who are ministering with her full-time now.




PARTNERS in the HARVEST: Missions Unlimited Update
by Waylon Moore

You have blessed us and we say thank-you! For years we have been sending our Mentoring Newsletter for your encouragement, challenge and prayer. Again and again we delight to hear from many about how the Lord “brought home” a teaching and how this person applied it in his life or ministry. The Lord has graced us! He has allowed us to minister to leadership all over the world. Last year we were in five different nations teaching missionaries or national leadership. It never gets old, and I've been privileged to share God's riches to missionaries or pastors in 100 nations. Early next year I'll be with hundreds of university students and teaching Masters' level seminary students on mentoring. We get letters and email from all over the world where the newsletter, one of my books, or something I've written is impacting lives, all to His glory (and my amazement.)

We covet your continued support! We haven't mentioned our financial needs for a long time. We need your help now, to stand with us in prayer, crying out to God that we equip laborers for His harvest, and for monthly support in these areas:
  1. Income for travel and ministry overseas in multiple nations.
  2. Income to produce video conferences where hundreds of pastors and laymen in multiple cities, without traveling outside their city, can learn, and ask questions too, to speakers in another location about mentoring and evangelism.
  3. With major drops in Seminary income, they can't afford to offer some needed courses (including Mentoring). We need income to fund these Mentoring classes for hungry Masters and Doctoral level Seminary students for three years.

New “laborers for the harvest” is our goal, through mentoring/discipling. Nothing works in third-world nations where the Gospel is forbidden like one-with-one mentoring. Partner with us these next months as we teach and travel. New invitations are coming in now for 2004.

Recently I spoke six times at a giant church conference where the multiple staff and all leaders are required to read and apply the principles in our Multiplying Disciples book! (Now on CD. Order now at 813-238-2303). Many email us about the impact of Living God's Word in their lives and groups across America! Would you pray about giving monthly, regularly to this worldwide ministry through 2004, beginning now? May He multiply your life (Deuteronomy 1:11)! Thank you for praying/partnering with us. — Waylon Moore

Here's an idea: why not ask your pastor to visit our website for encouragement. There are dozens of articles on leadership, spiritual growth and mentoring. www.mentoring-disciples.org

Home | Newsletter List | Site Map