A central feature of our culture is that we are relentlessly talked at––rarely listened to. Consequently, we have an aching hunger to be heard and noticed. Among the men and women with whom we meet, do we recognize their thirst to be heard and known and loved personally?
Almost two decades after first planting the church that he continues to pastor, Jeff articulates his own discovery and then convictions for this more relational way of life and ministry.
When I became a Christian at 21, I didn’t have many people who would spend time talking WITH me about my faith. A lot of people were talking AT me. I made a decision that I wasn’t going to be that kind of minister or person. I was going to listen and encourage.
The longer I live the more convinced I am in this mentoring way. We live in a culture that confuses us. So we must unlearn some ways of being together so that we can learn afresh the Jesus way of walking alongside others.
Pastor Jeff underscores one of the most common pitfalls in our mentoring work. Consciously or unconsciously we begin doing a lot of talking at people instead of talking with people.
Some of us will find this a more persistent struggle than others. We may be more given to verbal processing and begin to subtly dominate the meeting time in an effort to help. We have to pay close attention to this.
Practically speaking, some have found it helpful to regularly ask themselves: Why am I talking? (W.A.I.T.). This acronym and the question it poses help focus our attention upon whether we are simply occupying space or opening up space in the relationship. A mentor’s over-talking or excessive wisdom-dispensing will frustrate others seeking to discover God’s activity in their lives.
This blog entry is taken from our upcoming book A Mentoring Guide: Christ. Conversation. Companionship (VantagePoint3, 2019). We have designed this to help you trust Jesus and yourself more, as well as help you navigate a mentoring role with greater confidence and discernment. PREVIEW AND ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY