3 reasons you need a mentor


     So you make new mistakes. 
We do some of our best growing and learning from failure. Although none of us would ever seek it, we recognise that it is one of our greatest teachers. That being said, someone else’s failure is far less painful for you and yet the benefit can be just as great.

A mentor who is willing to expose their own mistakes and short falls and who has done the work of processing where things went wrong gives you the chance to get all the upsides of failure without the personal consequence.

It is the height of foolishness to repeat the avoidable mistakes of others and yet it happens often because we don’t lean into the wisdom and experience of others who’ve been there and done that.

     So you don’t walk alone. 

Whether a leader in business or ministry, a parent, a student, a full time worker – we are all prone to feeling isolated in our roles. We can fall to the belief that we are the only one doing or experiencing what we are doing or experiencing and bare an unnecessary weight in that.

When we reach out to mentors we ensure that we are not left to those feelings very long – if at all. The investment of encouragement and support from a relationship that is articulated and reliable gives us a sense of partnership that sustains and empowers us.

     So you give yourself every chance of success.

A well chosen mentor is a source of great wisdom and insight. Because of their own experience, qualification or status in their specific field they are situated to give great advice and direction. You tap into a breadth of knowledge and awareness that is well beyond your own abilities thus building your capacity at a rate you couldn’t achieve alone.
In a relationship of trust, correction and redirection can happen. Guidance can be given. Problems can be solved. Difficult conversations can be prepared for. Courage to do the hard things can be fortified.

What would you add from your own experience? What are the benefits you’ve reaped from a mentoring relationship?

Next in series 

/3 things to look for in a mentor
// 3 reasons you should be a mentor

trump, leadership & the language of abuse


When I was 13 years old, there was a boy in my Year 8 classes at school who would often grab me in my crotch. 

I would get to class quickly and try to position myself between two occupied seats but he was that guy with enough social clout to tap the person next to me on the shoulder and tell them to move or even get that done with just the flick of his head. 

I would sit my school books or pencil case on my lap as a deterrent. 

I remember him laughing. I remember feeling so unsafe. I remember not understanding why – what was he trying to communicate, how was I supposed to feel or respond?

Maybe he didn’t really know either? Where had he got the idea? What goal was he trying to achieve? What did his actions reflect of his understanding of sexuality or intimacy or respect for women? 

And then, then you hear the recording of Donald Trump – a 59 year old man (at the time), successful in business, of high social profile, educated, and relationally and sexually experienced. He is clearly heard to say about women, “when you’re a star …you can do anything. You can grab them in the p—y. You can do anything.” 

So, it’s just because you can? It’s just because no one tells you not to? 

Why is HE doing it? Does he think it’s sexy? Has it worked as a pick up measure in the past? Does he think women like it? Does he consider it foreplay? Does it feel like a conquest?

Whatever the motive and whatever the personal justification, he has ultimately given voice to the misguided behaviour of a 13 year old boy – and males of all ages – that ‘because you can’ supersedes all other filters for choosing a behaviour or action. The lack of respect for others (particularly women), the obscene level of narcissism, the depraved distortion of sexual intimacy and honour of another’s sexuality, the right of another to feel safe in their person – free from the expectation that someone might just grope their genitals at any time …all that and more just falls away. 

This is the fertile soil that nurtures abuse and entitlement and this man has just put language to it. 

This IS leadership. It is terrible leadership – but it is leadership. It is a person of influence using language of permissiveness and dishonour to shape the culture they are leading. 

This really is not okay. 

Our young men need to hear a different narrative and be called to champion a higher standard. Our women need men who will esteem and protect them – for everything they are – including their sexuality and physicality but extending deeper to their mind, their soul; their hearts. Our countries need leadership that embodies respect for every human and renders unacceptable anything that demeans or diminishes. 

Trump’s profoundly inappropriate attitude and words (including his lame charade of an apology) and the response they’ve received ought to be a wake up call for us all. A call to check our language, check our privilege, and check our leadership. 

We can do so much better than this. We must. 

stop saying “they” when you talk about the church

I LOVE the Church! 

Jesus committed to building it and He intends to come back for it and until then it’s the hope of the world! It’s the means by which Christians are built up in faith, pointed to Jesus and mobilised for His mission. It’s a community that can reveal and represent the love of Father God to those yet to encounter Him. It’s a mechanism to mobilise those who’ve experienced the greatest of love, mercy and grace to extend it to the least and the last to bring transformation to the world. I love the Church – even in all her brokenness and dysfunction. 

I am grieved anytime the Church falls short of all it can be and do. I hate when the Church does a bad job of showing Jesus to others and advancing His gospel. I am disappointed when people are let down by the Church. I am eternally frustrated by those within who have such negative and critical things to say about her. 

But then I remember why. 

Because the Church is me. It’s you. It’s not an entity or organisation beyond the people who are in it. You are the Church. You are the “they”. 

Of course, each church will have its leadership and many will have paid staff of varying sizes and makeup, but these roles aren’t the Church. They exist to help you and I to be the Church. 

God calls us to connect to a faith community and invest ourselves in it. He gifts us to serve one another so we might experience and express the fullness of that and so together we might be a force for His Kingdom in our local area and beyond. To see the broken restored, the wounded healed, and the bound set free in Jesus’ name. 

So if “they” are not doing something right, enough or at all. If “they” don’t have suitable programs for specific demographics, sufficient leadership or quality of volunteers. If “they” haven’t got the budget for further facilities or to staff opportunities. If “they” aren’t active enough in the community. If “they” aren’t welcoming of new people. If “they” aren’t providing mentors or developing leaders. If “they” aren’t employing new technologies or advocating for justice or … or mowing the lawns frequently enough! 

Let’s remember who “they” are. 

God gives vision and authority to leadership to guide us. But He gives each of US to our churches to partner with Him in His ministry and mission. When you speak of ‘the Church’, you’re talking about me, you’re talking about you!