It is no secret. I am an expressive and when I want an answer to a question, I want it now! So before I get into the greater mechanics of mentorship, I am going to get you “up and running” with some practical guidelines to apply in your life right now.
In the passage that follows, I will be going into more detail in each of these points. For now though, write down each point and apply it to your life. They will help you set your course straight for the journey ahead.
So imagine me sitting across the way from you, explaining how I train my own disciples. As we talk as friend to friend, there are some things that I need to tell you about...
Where to Begin
When I call someone to mentorship, I have a speech that I give them that is pretty much the same for each person. I have done quite a few of them, so I have shortened it a bit over the years.
I say to them, “I am calling you to this specific mentorship.”
That is something that a lot of people in the Church do not understand. They do not understand that the mentor calls the disciple.
Elisha did not run up to Elijah, grab him by the scruff of the neck and say, “You are my mentor.” No. Elijah came to Elisha and put his mantle upon him. It is always the mentor who calls the disciple.
When you get that order right, it brings rest. If you are going to call someone into that kind of relationship, you should know what you are going to mentor them in. Now, when you call them, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind.
1. Set the Stage
You need to let them know that you are calling them to mentorship in “this” specific area and that you are prepared to follow through with them. Let them know that they are going to get mad and spew at you. Tell them that there are going to be times when they will want to leave and that you will have some good fights.
However, let them know that you do not care how full of bitterness they are and how difficult it gets, you will not let go until God tells you to or unless they give up and go away.
You must let them know that you will be on their case. You will be there as a fire at their back to make sure that they do not give up. When they give up, you will not give up. When they do not want to get out of bed in the morning, you are going to be the fitness trainer that will not let it slide. You are going to follow through.
So Elisha took his oxen and slaughtered them and he broke his cart. He paid the same price that Elijah was prepared to pay. He let that life go and burned his bridges.
Once that has taken place, you now have a mentor- disciple relationship.
I am not afraid to be a little arrogant and bold because if I am going to mentor someone I am not going to give them one little piece here and there. I am going to give them everything and they better be willing to pay the price that I was willing to pay.
“I do not need you to pay a bigger price. I do not need you to do or be more. I just want you to meet me at the same level. If I am prepared to follow through with you, are you prepared to follow through with me?
When I tell you I expect submission from you that does not mean that you should not say anything. I want you to speak and say what you should and should not. I want you to be real with me. Then I know what is there and what we need to work on.
You are going to read my teachings and nothing else because I want you to know these principles so that when I come to you and tell you what you need to deal with, you know what I am talking about.”
3. Give Them a Goal
It is a bit harsh, eh? It may be, but it gives us a sense of security. I would rather have someone be direct and strict than to have someone that says, “Let’s see what
happens today. Let’s see where the wind carries us.”
I want to know when I am going to get to the goal. I do not want to hear, “We will see how it goes.” We have so many mentors that just tell people to hang out with them for a bit and come around when they have meetings and then they will see how the Lord leads.
Where does the Lord lead in times like this? It seems that He is leading you around in circles because nothing happens. God does not lead in circles. He has a clear goal for your life.
The Greatest Show of Love
If you are working with someone, you need to know what the goal is before you open your mouth and call them into a mentorship relationship. You need to first be prepared to follow through.
I think that following through with someone is the greatest love that we can ever show one another. That is why I love the Lord so much. It is not because He pats me on the back when I do well.
I love Him because when I am a complete mess and I have failed Him miserably, He still chooses in His grace, to pick me up, use me and pour His anointing through me.
Even if I have just disappointed Him and I feel that I have truly let Him down, this is when He shows up in my life the most.
A sign that you found the right mentor is that you found someone to follow through with you no matter what.
He follows through with me. He never lets go when I let go. Even when I ran away from Him and wanted nothing to do with Him, I looked back and I saw Him chasing me. He never let go.
That is why I adore Him and that is why I will pay any price for Him. It is not because I am so great. It is because He is so great and He was there when I did not deserve it. He followed through with me.
4. The Holy Spirit Trains
As a mentor, God calls you to represent Christ to His people. This means that you are going to have to follow through with people that He brings to you. It means that you are going to have to stand in His image.
The most exciting part of all in being a mentor is that you are not the person training and shaping them. You are just the trainer. You did not make the weights or set this up. The Holy Spirit is the person doing the work.
You are just there to help them recognize what the Holy Spirit is doing in their life. Some of the conversations will sound like this, “You are so silly. Can you not see that ‘this’ is happening right now? Can’t you see that the Lord is trying to get your attention?”
The Little Secret
That is what a mentor is there for. I started mentoring the prophets when we started our first prophetic school in 1999. I thought that I was going to be the best mentor and trainer in the world.
I worked so hard. I invested, poured out, ministered and I did not even stop on holidays. I was the person that was going to change and shape people’s lives. I was going to do so much that I forgot that it was God that was going to do the work and I was just along for the ride.
One day I got a revelation. It hit me that they are God’s children and not mine. It is for God to change them, not me. When that revelation hits you, it shakes your foundation.
You know it already in your head, but when it really sinks into your spirit it takes the pressure off you.
It is for the Holy Spirit to arrange the circumstances in their lives. There will be times when your disciples will not submit to you and you will think, “I have invested all of this time and they are never going to come right. Where did I fail? What could I have said or done?”
Then you will go before the Lord and He will say, “Have you forgotten that they are my child? Have you forgotten that they are in the palm of my hand, not yours? Put them into my hands and let me do the work.”
When those difficult times come, do not forget that God is able to get through to them. God is able to reach through to them. Get yourself out of the way. Some of the greatest chisels that I have ever given were by just backing off.
So let’s say you have a disciple and you give them a correction and they fly off the handle. They spew and tell you how dominating you are. In moments like this you just have to say, “Ok. I gave it to you the easy way.”
God’s Pattern for Correction
There is a specific way God corrects. He uses your mentor first, then He moves onto the people that are closest to you after that. That may be your family, spouse or the church you are in. The same thing that your mentor said will come back at you again through another vessel.
Then if you do not receive it from any of those avenues, pressures will start coming upon you from the world.
When they came to break the legs of the three on the cross, Jesus was already dead. He did not need His legs broken.
The Leg-Breaking Experience
However, the two thieves were still kicking up and trying to survive, so they got their legs broken. Jesus simply let go and said, “It is finished.” He surrendered. The others kicked up so that they could still breathe.
Therefore, the soldiers came to break their legs so that they could not kick up and continue to breathe. After having their legs broken they suffocated to death. That is what we call a leg breaking experience.
A leg breaking is when the Lord tells you to let something go through your mentor and you do not receive it. Then that same pressure will come at you again, but this time from the world. There will be sudden hard, natural pressures that will come at you.
You will get pressure at work and everywhere you are. They will continue to come again and again. When this happens, realize that the Lord is shouting at you and trying to get your attention. He is saying, “When are you going to listen?”
God is in Control
So when you are mentoring someone, do not forget that you are not the one that has to change them. Some of the most powerful prayers that I have ever prayed were, “Father, I put this person into your hands. Lord, I have done what I can. I am here and I am waiting.” \
Then I will see a vision of them needing to pass through a river and I am standing on the other side. I will say, “Holy Spirit, it is for you to bring them through.” I let them know that I am there for them and I am not budging. I am following through, but I let them do what they want until they come back to me.
After I pray, I sit back and wait. It does not take too long. When you have a mentor praying with spiritual authority, things happen quickly.
Your disciple will contact you and tell you all the things that have been happening and you will know that they hit the wall big time.
You can say, “Good. Can we now go back to what I addressed in you before? Can’t you see that this is what God is trying to accomplish in you?”
Now is the time to take them through the problem and follow through with them.
However, there are times when you will need to back off. Just because you do not succeed with someone does not always mean that you failed. It could just mean that they are not yet ready to deal with that specific thing yet.
Let the Holy Spirit do what He does best. It is just important for you to not let go unless God says so. As a mentor there are times when you want to walk away from a difficult disciple and you want to say, “God, are you kidding me? I am letting you know that I want to let go and run away from this!”
It gets difficult sometimes. It is really challenging. Remember that God will not let you down. You are going to be triggering everyone. There are going to be times when you will be working with someone when suddenly these emotions and other stuff come at you out of nowhere.
They will be making great progress and you will think that they are ready to take off and do great things. Then you will say something and a volcano will suddenly erupt out of them. You will think, “Where did this come from?” ]
Of course the volcano is going to erupt all over you because you are the closest and you are the one that stuck your nose in there. So you will get all the junk. That is a part and parcel of being a mentor.
5. Do Not Make Things Personal
You are meant to pull that stuff out of them. You will even need to do it on purpose sometimes, so that they can deal with it. Also, remember that you cannot let their bitterness or things that they are going through become personal.
You have to realize that when you are working with people, you are going to trigger them to their father, mother and experiences from the past. When they are spewing at you, they are not really spewing at you.
You just happen to be the last link in their chain. This has probably happened to them many times in their lives and you are probably the only one that has said something about it and told them to work through it.
You are going to have to go back through the links in that chain and undo what has been done. A real mentor will have the courage to recognize and say something when their disciple says, “This always happens in my life. This person did it and that person did that.”
That mentor will say, “Don’t you see a pattern here? Let us go back and deal with that.” However, if you have insecurities, a fear of man or failure, then you are going to take it personally when they spew at you.
Your own bitterness will even start coming up. After the first conflict you will want to give up. You need to be prepared to follow through. There is nothing more rewarding than working through those moments.
I tell my team to shout at me, to tell me to take a hike or tell me to jump off a cliff. I just want them to tell me something! Then I can see what lies inside. If you yell at me, I can see the junk that is there and then we can deal with it.
That is how we bring healing and change. After you are done reading this book, I would have left you with the responsibility of true leadership and mentorship. If you are not quite there yet, enjoy your time of discipleship.
The Chisel Has It Hard
If you are a disciple then enjoy being the one to receive. This is a restful time, even though there are deaths and challenges. My husband, Craig, shares a lovely illustration for this.
He says, “As a trainer, God uses us as a chisel on the diamond. No one ever thinks about the hammer that hits the chisel into the diamond.”
The chisel is getting it on both sides. You think that you have it tough being the diamond, but the chisel has a hard diamond in front and a hammer in the back.
It is not comfortable being a mentor. There is more pressure on you as a mentor than as a disciple because you are taking someone’s life into your hands and you better know what you are doing.
If you do not hit that diamond where you are meant to, you will make it useless. You better know where you are hitting and you better have been discipled correctly. You better have risen up correctly and not as a “Saul”.
How many lives were lost because of Saul’s arrogance? His own son was lost because of his arrogance. He would not take the time to submit and listen to God. Do not make the same mistake. So enjoy your time of listening in your discipleship season.