Simple Leadership Statements I Want My Mentees to Know

This past weekend, I read again Michael Card’s book, The Walk. In this autobiographical look at Michael’s relationship with his mentor, Bill Lane, Card reminds us of some of Lane’s pithy, relevant, memorable statements that he has never forgotten (e.g., “When God gives a gift, He wraps it in a person”). This reading led me to wonder what kinds of things I’d want my mentees to remember. Here are several of them, some that I learned from others who invested in me:  

  • “Pray first, decide second.”
  • “Most of the time, the few people who are loud make it seem like a lot more people are upset than really are.”
  • “Don’t get bothered if somebody gets mad at you for putting your family before your ministry.”
  • “Your paycheck is God’s money. Earn it before you take it.”
  • “Much of the time, it’s not as bad as it seems.”
  • “In the end of your ministry, it’ll be just you and your wife sitting on the couch. If you want to hold hands then, hold hands now.”
  • “Secrets destroy.”
  • “Plan for retirement at age 20, and you’ll be glad you did when you get there.”
  • “If the Lord blesses you with money, giving it away is an option.”
  • “If you’re called to ministry, don’t worry about marrying a woman who feels called to be a minister’s wife. Marry someone who feels called to be your wife.”
  • “Delegate what others can do better than you can. And, that means admitting that some people can do stuff better than you.”
  • “Pave the way for somebody else to be a leader after you.”
  • “Quit worrying about tomorrow. God’s will today is present tense.”
  • “If you’re going to tell jokes in the pulpit, make sure you’re good at it. More importantly,  make sure the joke contributes to the message.”
  • “You won’t end well if you wait until later to make that commitment.”
  •  “False humility is still arrogance. It’s patting yourself on the back behind everybody else’s back.”
  • “It’s really easy to do ministry in your own power.”
  • “We won’t learn from your preaching if you’re speaking so fast we can’t keep up with you.”
  • “A man is never as good as he thinks he is.” 
  • “Southern Baptists aren’t the only Christians around.”
  • “Don’t try to change a church you don’t love.”
  • “Preaching’s not rocket science. Just teach God’s Word.”
  • “The problem with being boring is that nobody who’s boring realizes it.”
  • “Your job as a preacher or a writer is not to impress; it’s to communicate.”
  • “Get on your knees when talking to children.”
  • “If you say you’ll pray for somebody, you’re a liar if you don’t.”
  • “The greatest generals in a time of war aren’t always the best generals in peace time. Wartime generals always need an enemy.”
  • “Somebody’s always watching and listening.” 
  • “Take a breath, say a prayer, and read your words again before hitting the ‘send’ button.”
  • “People are never projects.”
  • “As one of my mentors taught me, ‘Love Jesus with a sweetheart love.’” 
  • “Proofread. And then proof it again.”
  • “By far, most of the people in the world have never heard of you. So get over yourself.” 

What would you want your mentees to know?


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