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8 Simple Ways to Pour Into Leaders

Windshield TimeIn the American church, we tend to think of leadership development as a classroom and curriculum-based process, but Jesus had a better idea: spend time with people. Jesus allowed His life to rub off on His chosen leaders and to pour His wisdom into them, and we can do the same. Sometimes it’s a matter of spotting the natural opportunities that come along while at other times, its an intentionally-planned conversation.

Here are some simple ways to make leadership development a part of your life…

  1. Schedule three to five informal meetings per week – coffee, lunch, etc. – with people into whom you want to invest.
  2. Take potential leaders on trips with you. I’ve heard great leaders talk about the mentoring power of never traveling alone. My Worship Pastor calls it “windshield time.”
  3. If you’re a Pastor, take a partner as you do pastoral care – hospital visits, etc. Just the time in the car on the way is a great opportunity.
  4. Buy and send books to leaders. I’ve received and given books that have shaped who I am.
  5. Check in with a phone call. Have a list of potential leaders into whom you’re pouring, and randomly call them once a month or so.
  6. Convene conversations. Gather leaders who aspire to be involved in the things you’ve spent your life doing and let them connect with each other.
  7. Listen. Pouring into leaders doesn’t mean doing all the talking. It often means lending an ear in a tough moment.
  8. Connect leaders to other leaders. It’s powerful when we say, “here’s a friend of mine you need to connect with.”

I can’t begin to thank God enough for the leaders He has placed in my life as mentors, friends, and coaches. I’m sometimes blown away by the graciousness of those who will pour into me.

We recently ran an article on Pastors.com by Pastor Rick Warren on how every Pastor needs a mentor. I was surprised at the feedback when Pastors said they had a hard time finding someone who would make time available to another leader. Never get caught up in getting your own business done that you fail to pour into other leaders. It’s the Jesus way, the apostolic communion, and the future hope of the church.

What are you doing to pour into other leaders?


By the way, have you "liked" Grace Hills Church on Facebook yet?


5 Ways to Encourage Another Leader

Linking HandsEveryone needs a Paul and a Timothy (or several of each). That is, we all need to be learning from mentors and mentoring learners. There is always someone ahead of us and always someone just behind us. It is the role and responsibility of a leader to give another leader a lift.

So how can we, in a practical way, give another leader a lift?

1. Call a fellow leader on the phone and mentor them without even telling them you’re doing it. Just ask them a ton of questions about how things are going in their soul, their family, and their realm of leadership. Then offer encouragement and perhaps a little bit of advice. And pray with them.

2. Connect a fellow leader into a valuable relationship. I’m forever saying, “Oh, you need to know so-and-so.” It’s my way of putting people together when I think they need to learn from one another. How many connections is too many? I’ve been connecting with leaders and connecting leaders to other leaders for years now and my capacity to learn and be led by others has yet to fill up.

3. Send a book. A friend and mentor recently sent me a book on prayers for leaders. It’s become a great devotional resource. I passed a little book about connecting on to Bentonville, Arkansas’ Mayor, feeling it was a good fit for his business-political niche. Next to the connections we make, resources are everything, so pass them along.

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4. Ask a leader for help. Asking for a favor is empowering to people. I love helping others, and so do you. So allow others the blessing of helping you from time to time. A friend called me yesterday for advice about an opportunity before him. The opportunity was out of my league, but he wanted to know what I thought. I’m not sure if my advice was worth much in the end, but it meant a lot that he would ask me.

5. Produce something for others. I get so frustrated with the number of great leaders I know whose heads are filled with wisdom but who won’t write, won’t blog, and won’t speak anywhere. It’s free, quick, and simple to start sharing your knowledge with the world. And it’s only going to get easier. It’s a matter of being a good steward of the wisdom God has given us.

Don’t become so task-oriented today that you fail to turn away from the to-do list to challenge and encourage another leader.

Mentor the Next Generation or Risk Irrelevance

Mentoring young people has been a consistent part of my business model since I started my company 14 years ago. It has guaranteed that my skills stay sharp, my slang stays current, my tweets fly across mobile phones, and that the market of tomorrow will know, like, and trust me. If nothing else, another way to look at the value of mentoring is that they will be caring for you when you are no longer willing or able to work. Heed my warning: Ignore the next generation at your own peril. If you mentor the next generation, you can ensure that you have a future market.

Read the full article at openforum.com

These ten tips were written for business leaders, but as I read the article, I could not help but feel they are extremely relevant to ministry leaders as well.

Always Be Investing In Someone

Bread

Call it discipleship. Call it mentoring. Call it whatever you want, but one of our kingdom assignments is to gather people around us and invest in them. Jesus did it with the twelve, and even more with the inner circle of three. Paul did it with Barnabas, then Silas, then Timothy. Barnabas did it with Paul, then John Mark. John did it with Polycarp and Batman did it with Robin.

I read an amazing story over at Danny Brown’s blog today about the boy with the bread. He tells the story of a young boy who made an investment in others that came back around to his ultimate advantage. You should read Danny’s post.

We never waste time investing in others. You and I can probably remember conversations we had with mentors that changed our lives. Sometimes one of those conversations is worth a semester in college when it comes to hardening our wills to press on in the right direction. You need mentors like that, and somebody needs a mentor like you.

The challenge is simple. Provide bread for somebody else today.

photo credit: Emily Carlin

Recommended Reading: John Maxwell’s The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization is a great resource on this topic.

Chuck Swindoll on the Marks of a Mentor: Trust

The mentors we admire are like
the bosses we love to work for: they are not controlling people. They trust
you
when they’re not around. They give you
an assignment and they rely on you to follow through. They’re not peeking in
your window. They don’t squint through your keyhole. They’re not checking up on
you through a friend or putting spies on your tail. They trust you.

read the whole article at insightforliving.typepad.com