A FEW GOOD MEN:
Releasing Mentoring Power In Your Church
by Dr. Waylon B. Moore
Thomas Edison's light bulb, using direct current, was king
in America at the turn of the century. During that time, however, the
Eickemeyer and Osterheld Manufacturing Company of New York employed an
immigrant electrical engineer from Germany named Charles P. Steinmetz. In their
small laboratory this brilliant, hunchbacked man accomplished some of his
breakthrough research in magnetism and alternating current.
General Electric sought to change the balance of power and
make alternating current the American standard. They desperately needed
Steinmetz's genius. The company sent one of their best men to hire Steinmetz,
but he turned down GE's offer. Steinmetz was loyal to the small company that
had hired him. Another offer from a GE vice-president, promising a giant
laboratory and plenty of research funds, was refused.
GE decided it had only one option. They called a meeting of
their board. GE bought Eickemeyer and Osterheld to get one good
Buy a company to get one man? Absolutely! How much do you value the
potential in one person? (see
Mentoring is a hot term. This concept has excited thousands
at Promise Keepers rallies. Fortune 500 corporations use mentoring to raise up
new executives. Industry knows what most church leaders, unfortunately, have
yet to discover: every problem, every advance in a church has its solution in
the right kind of spiritual believer.
It doesn't take pews and pews of the right kind of people to
change a church or ministry around just one or two, a few. Ministers
pray that laborers will join their churches, but they rarely
do. You've got to build them, from scratch!
Mentoring is a relational experience through which
one person empowers another by sharing God-given resources.
Through mentoring, God will dramatically use you to train a few in your
church to reach the multitudes for Christ!
Who Is Your Model?
With the pressures of family, career, ministry and Bible
study preparation, and occasional crises, it's no wonder that many of us are
hazy about how to balance our time. God commanded Moses, with a choking 2
million in his congregation, to broaden his leadership potential by narrowing
his focus. God made Moses take a time out from his crushing
schedule to prepare for the future. The future's name was Joshua. (See God's
leadership strategy for Moses to build a good man in
.) Got too many irons in the fire?
Train a Joshua!
Many pastors major on pulpit-to-pew impact; teachers
concentrate on lectern-to-class contact; Jesus focused on person-to-person
investment. His most important ministry was not His public one with the
crowds. He fed the 5,000, but He did not pastor them. He didn't try to pastor
the 70, though he commissioned them. He only pastor-mentored 12 men, and
through them changed the world (See
Jesus ordained twelve, that they should be with Him; and that he
might send them forth to preach
Mark 3:14. Note the priority, first to share His life through
mentoring, and then to share the ministry He modeled. These are locked
together in the example of Jesus. We dare not do one without the other if
our ministry is to be eternal.
The Lord Jesus spent 14-16 hours a day, for three years,
mentoring 12 men. He also encouraged the women who helped the team. Jesus
modeled four private areas of ministry: intercession, witnessing, nurturing and
discipling. Jesus left behind a few good men because He invested
personal time with them. Is Christ your model?
Kinds of Mentors
Mentoring is an umbrella term representing
various methods of marking individuals. In the book
authors Stanley and Clinton divide mentoring into two main groups
occasional mentors and intensive mentors.
I also discuss these in my booklet,
The Power of a Mentor.
To order your own copy of this booklet, go to my
Materials page, by clicking
To their list of intensive mentors I would also add parent.
Interestingly, Charles Steinmetz was a superb mentor. As consulting engineer at
GE, he invited young engineers to his house for food and lively discussions. He
had no biological children. Steinmetz eventually adopted one of these young
engineers and his family, and they lived in his home.
Choosing a Protégé
As mentors we need to carefully choose our protégés,
particularly because our Day Timer agendas are already so packed. A church
leader can drown giving personal time only to the masses of sick, sore, and
sour. It takes vision and faith to trade public time for the quality time
needed to mark a few good men.
At first, Charlie didn't look like one of the few good
men. He came to our church in Tampa with much education and many doubts.
He was a believer, but had never been involved much. His fabulous Sunday School
teacher did our
John studies with Charlie one-on-one. Then I began to meet with him and we
witnessed together. Charlie saw me lead couples to Christ, and got excited.
Charlie's growing spiritual hunger impacted those around
him. Charlie copied what I did and began to mentor guys in a class, which he
now taught. He and his wife, Patsy, opened their home to others. From Charlie's
class God called eight married guys into ministry who left for seminary! Others
were elected deacons. Because I was open to mentor Charlie, he flavored our
whole church with his life. Like a fishing line with a bobbing cork, people
could tell that Charlie had swallowed God's call on His life hook, line,
This same process of mentoring was repeated again and again.
We developed church-changers, the point men for spreading a
vision. I discovered a key insight: when a person learns how to spend regular
time in the Bible on his own, it practically guarantees he will say
yes if the Holy Spirit calls him into lay or vocational ministry.
People are attracted to models. You don't have to be
spectacular in the world's eyes. Just stay on the cutting edge of personal
devotions, vision, character, and skills. Walk ahead. See people with Jesus'
eyes. You'll discover gold, and you'll find more than a few
1 Floyd Miller,
The Electrical Genius of Liberty Hall
(New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1962), 38-41, and Compton's Reference
Collection 1996, (Compton's NewMedia, Inc., 1995).
2 Paul D. Stanley & J. Robert Clinton,
Connecting: The Mentoring
Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life
(Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress,
1992), 12, italics mine.
3 Ibid., p. 42.