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Lessons from my mentors

You might not know their names, but I do. Names like John Bryson, James Arnold, Mel Sumrall, Kern White. Wes Crawford, Grant Edwards, Dave Furman, Jason Ford, Brian Albrecht. Even really old guys like Jonathan Edwards. They are men that have mentored me and given to me in some form or fashion, sharing their lives, wisdom, prayer, resources, insights, failures, support and connections. Sometimes they went out on a limb for me, and sometimes they just hung in there with me. But through good and bad they taught me more than I could ever relay.

Here are a few lessons (ok, a huge list) I've learned along the way through these men:

- Don’t be afraid of a good fight; healthy conflict can have good results

- Tell the truth no matter how much it hurts

- Live life sacrificially for others; if it doesn’t hurt it’s not a sacrifice

- Busy can be good at times

- Be tenacious and diligent

- Even small mentoring deposits can have long-lasting rewards and dividends

- Sleep when you’re dead

- You’re not done until God calls you home

- Make disciples wherever you are

- Give away whatever you have and have learned

- Go, go, go

- Model for others a life worth living

- Use your platform of influence to challenge others towards Christ-like living

- Love you wife openly and affectionately; talk highly about her

- Move people into your home so that you can disciple them more and better

- Never judge a person by one sermon.

- Leaders can have a lasting influence for generations

- Love God with your mind – think hard and long about God

- You can be intelligent and passionate about Christ

- Write – it is a great way to leave a legacy that lasts for generations

- Be a friend

- Listen well

- Encourage when you can

- Be passionate about the Scriptures

- Dig deep into God’s word for guidance, insight, direction, and inspiration

- Quantity time equals quality time; the more time you spend with a mentoree the better

- Challenge mentorees to use their God-given talents for the Kingdom and they will

- Ask for help, you never know how it might empower a young leader

- Model a missional life and others will follow

- Seek to empower, not to control

- Release young leaders into ministry

- Give away responsibilities in a way that empowers

- Strive to get loyalty first and you will neither get loyalty nor empower others; strive to empower others first and you will both get loyalty and empower others

- Be authentic and transparent about struggles

- Bring people into the mess with you and they will help you

- Build teams, not structure first; structure follows team

- Believe in younger leaders

- Look for the faithful, available and teachable

- Share your life with your mentorees

- Try new things

- Don’t get caught up in the details, unless you need to get caught up in the details

- Challenge the status quo

- Equip and develop, don’t just do events

- Make big asks of high-potential leaders

- Be patient with young leaders – they might actually do some good some day

- Keep your cool under pressure

- Leadership is more like ju-jitsu than karate – better to redirect current motion than try to stop it altogether

- You can take current motion and use it to your advantage

- In developing others, you can’t steer a parked car

- Balance ministry and family – err on the side of spending time with your family

- Equip and resource, in that order

- Submit to authority

- Every organization has a culture. Know it and use it to your advantage.

- Choose your battles carefully – you don’t have 9 lives in ministry.

- Don’t take ministry too seriously sometimes

- Strategic planning is just that – strategic

- Give credit to others where credit is due

- Just listen. That alone can be therapeutic for the other person.

- Give timely advice when necessary

- Have friends that you trust when you’re in a high-octane and performance-oriented environment

- If you spot an emerging leader, do something about it. Give them something to do. Invite them into your circle. Increase their platform.

- Give yourself to an emerging leader and they will give themselves to you.

- A little enthusiasm goes a long way.

- Encourage a vision and you will reap a dream

- Use your platform to give others a platform of leadership

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  • Anonymous James Arnold says so:
    5:20 PM, May 07, 2008  

    That's great Stew! Thanks for not including the negative lessons I modeled for you as well! James Arnold top