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Love one another...Mentoring in groups

John 13, "By this all men will know you are my disciples, by how you love one another." [emphasis added]

If you think back to the Jewish culture of Jesus' time on earth, there were many disciples around.  Some were disciples of Jewish teachers and leaders, some were disciples of the Roman culture, and then there was this small band of men that  were the disciples of Jesus Christ.

What was to be the distinguishing factor of these followers?  Their love for one another.  It was this love as we have shown earlier that was shown by Christ and was to now be evident in their lives.

Tony Dungy, in his book The Mentor Leader shares about how mentors are called to be models of things they are known by.  He notes how our society is filled with people that often say one thing but do another.  This is not being a true mentor.  A mentor talks the talk and walks the walk.  They live out what they believe.  Just as Christ showed us sacrificial love when He died on the cross for our sins.  We also are to have this same attitude in us as humble servants that show sacrificial love to others.

How does this move into the culture of our groups in churches?

Pulling from Dungy's "known by" statements in his book, let's learn the characteristics of being mentor leaders and mentor groups.

A group should be known by:

1. Their words and actions.  Groups can show their true colors when they think no one is watching.  A mentor group seeks to be an example to other groups of how to minister to others.  They will reach, not because of a program or because a minister or director asks them to; they do it because they love to do it!  They see the value in reaching to others, in teaching God's Word, in ministering to their group members.

A group that has mentors in place, does not have just one person doing the work of Life Groups, but rather you will see teams of people that are all participating and learning how to serve!

2. Their faith.  Dungy writes, "Faith is the essence and energy that empowers and encourages leaders to go on when they're not sure they can."  Trust me, I have been in the rooms before when it wasn't a "good Sunday."  Maybe you had a low attendance or that person you were expecting to be there didn't show up.  Mentor groups do not get discouraged in these moments, rather they trust in God for the provision and they seek to build up those that are present and contributing to the group.

How you demonstrate your faith as mentor leaders in mentor groups, will either draw people in or push them away.  Hw do we demonstrate our faith as a group: we pray for one another.  Taking prayer requests and truly lifting others up is a great encouragement to its members.  Are you spending time in prayer together?  Have you ever met in a home as a group with no other agenda except to pray for your members, your group, and the church?

3. Their legacy.  My assistant has been going back through attendance reports for the past five years and creating a report.  There are times when she will come and ask about when groups started or stopped.  It has been a joy to see how many groups even in the last two years of being here that have started from groups.  I think back to our young adult division and how there average attendance was in the 30's and now  we have an average attendance of 120 and we are still working on starting new groups in this division.

A mentor group always reveals itself by the legacy that is leaves and creates.  How leaders lead today makes a difference for the future of the church.  We cannot rest on the laurels of the past to be successful for the future.  Mentor groups have mentor leaders that are consistently building up other leaders to go and start their own legacies.

When you look at your Life Group, how is your group doing in mentoring?

Are you mentoring new leaders, are you mentoring new groups?

Are these characteristics evident in your group?

What are you willing to do to change this in your group?


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