In counseling and mentoring with men, I (Don) have seen tremendous need in their lives for authority. There is tremendous joy for men in church leadership. This is especially true in a church that regards elders ‘or other lay leaders’ roles as a real ministry. In fact, Paul called such ministry “a fine work.” (1 Timothy 3:1) Men mentoring men is a part of this fine work.
If your church doesn’t encourage personal ministry, volunteer to begin a lay program. Lead a men’s group, or as a couple, lead a marriage class. Become an elder or deacon if asked. God desires that you find His perspective on life. Growing spiritual leadership is vital to doing so. No matter what your gifts or abilities, seek counsel on a plan that helps you develop spiritual responsibilities.
Are you being mentored by someone? Are you in the process of mentoring another man? Remember the call: “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also“ (2 Timothy 2:2). Remember the axiom, “We only keep what we give away.”
ACCOUNTABILITY: Men Mentoring Men
As much as men like to be self-confident and independent, they have deep needs for counsel from others. Such counsel may include one or more people to whom a man is accountable and consults regularly. Men have a strong need in their lives for protection from wrong decisions. They have a need for wisdom in their marriage, in child rearing, and for encouragement in their jobs.
Several times in my life, I’ve had to make a significant decision that was difficult for me and my family. I found myself suddenly under considerable emotional and professional pressure. I needed firm, directional family leadership, and realized I could become vulnerable to Satan’s inevitable attack.
To protect myself and my family, Sally and I have always had an advisory group surrounding us to give wise counsel. We describe our situation to them and give a historical evaluation of Sally and myself. These men and women stand with us and always give honest feedback. More importantly, they rally to our support by helping us develop a future plan.
Usually I am totally re-motivated. My wife trusts and respects my openness, and I have deepened my relationship with these people. The body of Christ demands our accountability to mature believers. God says, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).
The most natural place for a man to find wise mentors should be his local church. Begin to observe older couples and church leaders. Gather information concerning each leader’s expertise and areas of wisdom. Then cross-check your observations with the pastoral staff.
After confirming your observations, decide which leader best fits your needs. Determine who seems most approachable. Ask him for a brief appointment. Most older people love to share their life experiences. If your wife and you seek joint counsel or mentoring, approach a couple. If you pray, God will lead you to the right person or couple.
In addition to looking in your church, you may find God’s choice at work. Perhaps you’ll find one in the neighborhood, or in a Bible study group. Bigger decisions many times require several counselors for better perspective and for confirmation.
This article comes from the book, 2 Becoming One by Don and Sally Meredith. It is published by Christian Family Life, Inc. In this book Don and Sally share time-tested principles. They also give practical insights that will help you build a Christ-centered marriage. Unfortunately, this book is no longer being published. We hope you can find it used somewhere.
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