5 Steps to Finding a Mentor

Will Headshoot 2015Today’s guest blogger is Dr. Will Browning, Lead Pastor of Journey Church, a multi-site church ministering in the Charleston, SC, area. Dr. Browning is husband to Tarah, father to Piper, Ethan, and Jedidiah, a coach to church planters, and an avid South Carolina Gamecock fan. To learn more about Will’s ministry, go to www.willbrowning.com and/or www.journeychurchsc.org.

Will is also a contributor to a new book, Unite: Connecting Generations for Kingdom Expansion. I had the privilege of writing the foreword to this book, and I encourage you to read it.

I am about to finish my first decade as a Senior Pastor. It’s a position that I underestimated when I was an associate pastor. After bearing the burden of Senior Pastor alone for a while, I began to seek others who have walked this road. Men like Don, Marshall, Chuck, Curt, and Richard (all pastors with decades of experience) have mentored me and guided me in managing the load that pastoral ministry requires.

These men have helped me through family struggles, ministry transitions, staffing issues, and exhortation during various trials. Sounds great, right?

If you’re hungry for this type of mentorship, the challenge ahead of you is identifying someone to walk with you. Where do you find these types of relationships? I suggest five steps to finding a fellow pastor to mentor you.

  1. Pray – This may seem like “the Christian thing to say,” but this is a Holy Spirit thing. You need His guidance. I suggest praying about your mentor for two weeks before you make any direct ask.
  2. Seek – As you pray, consistently scan those God puts in your path via conversations, social media, and meetings. God will show you who is to be your mentor, but you must be cognizant of the search.
  3. Ask – Maybe you have known for some time who you would ask, but you just have not moved on that conviction. God has laid a person on your heart; don’t be a wimp. Make the ask.
  4. Listen – Do not be needy with your words and time. Your goal is to hear more than speak, learn more than debate, gather more than give. I would suggest you spend only 40% of your time together speaking; invest the rest of your time asking questions.
  5. Reinvest – Finally, the deposit your mentor will be investing in you should not be singularly kept for oneself; rather you should begin, even now, looking for someone to reinvest what has been invested in you. At the same time, be sure to give back to your mentor as well.

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