AFTER ALMOST 12 YEARS of non-paid yet deeply foundational church ministry in three different states, we landed in Texas (October/2007). We shopped around a bit until we found Gateway Church and discovered we shared the same values. Despite their size, Gateway is intimately accountable, anointed, and extremely healthy. After serving in unhealthy churches, I now readily detect the difference.
I TOOK a much-needed deep breath and became a wall-flower. I feasted on Pastor Robert’s intense messages, wept during worship as God mended broken parts of my heart, and basked in a state of receiving. After 12 years of constantly giving out, I had actually forgotten how wonderful it felt to receive.
AT THE END of my self-imposed, four-year sabbatical, I sensed my spirit going a bit stir crazy and realized it was because I wasn’t giving out, which is necessary to human health. Next thing I knew, I’d fallen into the women’s ministry—not my norm. Anyone who knows me well probably just fainted at this news.
I SAY “fell into” because it started with my request for a mentor—which I hadn’t had in 12 years (the woman in the picture)—and that request turned me into a mentor with a section leader who would mentor me. This perfect arrangement all happened within 2 days. During the two-hour interview, the head of Gateway’s Pink Mentoring asked me, “What does mentoring mean to you?”
HER QUESTION spiraled so deep into my heart that I almost couldn’t find a concise answer. Our first church had mentoring/discipling in its DNA. Kinda like paws on a dog, it’s just how we walked, and I didn’t know anything different. That DNA not only rubbed off on us but imparted a passion for mentoring. In fact, my husband takes all the life lessons we learned in church while in our twenties and applies them at work today. Consequently, he is GREAT at developing new leaders.
Why the emphasis on great?
IN MENTORING, the difference between a good mentor and a great mentor boils down to duty and devotion. Many people mentor successfully out of duty, which says: we do it because it’s right, or because we’re commanded to, as in Titus 2. Or perhaps, because that’s where the need is.
THERE’S NOTHING WRONG with being a good mentor. These “duties” are often part of our personal journey to discover what we’re truly called to do. Besides, someone will always have to function out of duty because the person who’s actually called to fill the need is being lazy, selfish, or is simply unaware.
DEVOTION, on the other hand, clicks in at a deeper level. Some are aware of this level called devotion but never connect it to their mentoring duty. They don’t allow it to motivate that relationship. Or they’re busy doing so many other tasks and spreading themselves thin that it’s impossible to serve with the type of motivation that runs deeper than duty mentality.
IN MY heart-of-hearts, I long to see people set free, healed, equipped, and advancing the Kingdom—Embattled Spirits. For me, these are more than just nice words and philosophical phrases. I weep over these realities. This stuff arouses so much righteous anger over oppression and avoidable sickness/disease and self-defeating attitudes, etc, that I have to do something.
HOW OFTEN do we jump on an opportunity because it looks and sounds glorious? Does our devotion to what’s great get trampled by our agreeing to do what’s good?
It’s not a placard over my head that invites applause;
it’s a heart-force, a passion that requires readiness and commitment.
WHO or what are you devoted to? Better yet, what good is standing between you and great?