What Matters Most

Good morning! Today is my last official day in the office at Life Action Ministries. A bittersweet day – leaving a people I love and an organization I respect and care for deeply, yet headed to a great organization that will stretch and grow me.

What matters most to you in your job? Where are you investing your time?

I have come to understand that what matters most in what I do in my job is investing in other people. Sure, we have our tasks to do and projects to complete and they are important, but what really matters the most in the long-term, what has the most lasting impact is what we invest into the lives of those around us.

Are you really speaking into the lives of others? Are you helping them to grow? Are giving them grace when they are having a bad day? Are you making a difference in their lives?

Do what matters most. Make a difference in he lives of those you serve with on a daily basis.

For the glory of Christ,

Make a Difference This Week

Good morning – it is a cold wet morning here in southwest Michigan.

Last night, I had a great experience. We had something that needed to be fixed at our house that was beyond my very limited handyman capabilities, so we asked a young man to come over and fix the problem.  It was a great time of talking with this young man as I fetched things or held things for him as he made the repair. When he was finished, I asked him about paying him and he said he wanted to trade out his work.  What he wanted in exchange was some of my time once a month to be able to ask me questions and to just talk.  I was humbled and then felt very old!

I was also impressed by this young man’s wisdom.  He realized that he could not walk through this life on his own and was seeking several men to input into his life. For years, I have done the same and have recommended the same to others.

The question I have for you, is WHO are YOU investing into right now?  What young man or woman are you influencing?  Are you seeking and building relationships with younger people to help build this next generation of leaders?

While we continually need people investing into our lives, we also need to be very intentional about investing into others as well.

Be intentional this week and make a difference in a young person’s life.


Dealing with Mentoring Myths

Mentoring, Coaching, Accountability Partners, personal Advisory Councils / Board, and so on are all ways of intentionally seeking out wise people and inviting them to invest into our lives.  Scripture admonishes us to seek out wise and godly counsel.  I have a Leadership Coach (Pastor Dave Kraft) as well as five men that are on my personal “Advisory Council” and they have all impacted my life deeply.

Mentoring is a powerful means to bring the influence and counsel of others into your life in a deeply meaningful manner.

The online version of Harvard Business Review has a good blog post dealing with some of the “myths” surrounding mentoring entitled Demystifying Mentoring. Following are the Four Myths:

Myth #1: You have to find one perfect mentor: It’s actually quite rare these days that people get through their career with only one mentor. In fact, many people have several advisors they turn to.

Myth #2: Mentoring is a formal long-term relationship: Because the world moves fast and people change jobs and careers more often, a long-term advising relationship may be unrealistic and unnecessary. “Mentoring can be a one-hour mentoring session. We don’t have to escalate it to a six-month or year-long event.

Myth #3: Mentoring is for junior people
Many people assume that they only need a mentor when they are first starting out in their careers. “We used to think it was people at early stages of their career who needed mentoring . . . Now we understand that people at every stage benefit from this kind of assistance . . .”

Myth #4: Mentoring is something more experienced people do out of the goodness of their hearts: “It can be an honor to ask someone to be a mentor,” says Willyerd. But the respect isn’t the only reason people agree to help. Mentoring should be useful to both parties involved. Before seeking out a mentor, think about what you have to offer him.

This is a good article and it goes on to articulate some basic mentoring “Do’s” and “Don’t’s’ as well as giving three case studies.

The key point is that we all need others to grow in all aspects of our lives and we need to be intentional about building that into the daily fabric of our lives.

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.” Proverbs 19:20


Mentoring & Building a Sustainable Culture

“The most effective way to succeed at servanthood is to mentor people, improving their capacity to contribute in a meaningful manner.  When leaders are actively mentoring and modeling our culture, they are assuring its sustainability and building communities connected by an emotional bond that will prevail for generations.” – Dan J. Sanders in Built to Serve.

So – are you actively mentoring your people in order to build a sustainable culture?  It is hard work, but well worth the effort.