My Mentor on Perspective

My mentor, Jim, poured far more into me than he realized. It has been over 24 years since we first met and his investment in me is still bearing fruit. Over the next few days I want to share several pieces of wisdom that really helped me and I believe would be beneficial for anyone involved in ministry.

Evangelicalism in the 1990’s was embracing a business model, speaking corporate language, and tauting the pastor as CEO. From my vantage point, Jim resisted that mentality and gave me a better perspective for ministry and a more healthy way of viewing my time at a church. Even though he was a gifted administrator and leader, I don’t remember him living out of that story. Instead he used imagery pulled deep from scripture to describe our role. We were watchmen and watchwomen on the wall. 

I remember hearing several variations of this statement in my five years on staff with him. 

“This is our watch. We aren’t responsible for what happened before we got here or what happens after we leave. We are simply to serve faithfully during our watch.” 

Jim made it clear that this was not our church. Nor was it our predecessor’s or successor’s…no matter how much it felt like it at times. It was Christ’s church and He would build it. 

Jim did not use “watch” in a passive form by any means. Being on watch in this sense is a big responsibility. But understanding I was ‘on watch’ released me from the burden that many in ministry carry to their graves, the heavy lonely idea: “It’s up to me.” 

It sounds admirable at first…but I assure you it is a plot line that will lead a pastor down a paradoxical path of guilt and pride. When, “It’s up to me,” becomes our mantra we can enter into an adulterous relationship with the congregation, a twisted relationship with time, and a perverted understanding of our calling. 

People, even good people, will take everything you want to give them. They will make unreasonable requests at times. If you think “It’s up to you,” you will say yes too often and then learn the art of rationalization to make sense of it all. Being needed can be very addicting. It will reinforce and fuel your hunger for self importance. You will become a slave to the urgent. Your life will not be peaceful, strategic, or intentional. You will be hurried and shallow. You will be inconsistent… miserable at times and thrilled at others. And you will measure the wrong things. 

Pastor, staff member, full-time, part-time, volunteer, woman, man, married, single, rookie or veteran please hear this: IT IS NOT UP TO YOU. You are on watch. You are not responsible for what happened before you arrived or after you leave. You are simply to serve faithfully during your watch.

A mentor can keep you grounded and help you with perspective.
Who is that in your life?

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My Mentor on Perspective

My mentor, Jim, poured far more into me than he realized. It has been over 24 years since we first met and his investment in me is still bearing fruit. Over the next few days I want to share several pieces of wisdom that really helped me and I believe would be beneficial for anyone involved in ministry.

Evangelicalism in the 1990’s was embracing a business model, speaking corporate language, and tauting the pastor as CEO. From my vantage point, Jim resisted that mentality and gave me a better perspective for ministry and a more healthy way of viewing my time at a church. Even though he was a gifted administrator and leader, I don’t remember him living out of that story. Instead he used imagery pulled deep from scripture to describe our role. We were watchmen and watchwomen on the wall. 

I remember hearing several variations of this statement in my five years on staff with him. 

“This is our watch. We aren’t responsible for what happened before we got here or what happens after we leave. We are simply to serve faithfully during our watch.” 

Jim made it clear that this was not our church. Nor was it our predecessor’s or successor’s…no matter how much it felt like it at times. It was Christ’s church and He would build it. 

Jim did not use “watch” in a passive form by any means. Being on watch in this sense is a big responsibility. But understanding I was ‘on watch’ released me from the burden that many in ministry carry to their graves, the heavy lonely idea: “It’s up to me.” 

It sounds admirable at first…but I assure you it is a plot line that will lead a pastor down a paradoxical path of guilt and pride. When, “It’s up to me,” becomes our mantra we can enter into an adulterous relationship with the congregation, a twisted relationship with time, and a perverted understanding of our calling. 

People, even good people, will take everything you want to give them. They will make unreasonable requests at times. If you think “It’s up to you,” you will say yes too often and then learn the art of rationalization to make sense of it all. Being needed can be very addicting. It will reinforce and fuel your hunger for self importance. You will become a slave to the urgent. Your life will not be peaceful, strategic, or intentional. You will be hurried and shallow. You will be inconsistent… miserable at times and thrilled at others. And you will measure the wrong things. 

Pastor, staff member, full-time, part-time, volunteer, woman, man, married, single, rookie or veteran please hear this: IT IS NOT UP TO YOU. You are on watch. You are not responsible for what happened before you arrived or after you leave. You are simply to serve faithfully during your watch.

A mentor can keep you grounded and help you with perspective.
Who is that in your life?

Last Post on darrelharvey.com

This will be my last entry on DarrelHarvey.com however it will still be live. You will continue to be able to access and search it and I will link back to it at times.

Why?
I’m shifting my focus to Everyday-Pilgrim.com which is one of the tools I will use to build my spiritual direction, retreat facilitation, and mentoring practice.

What are you up to?
While I have been blessed with a great job in Bentonville that provides a generous income and great benefits I still want to walk intentionally with people on their spiritual journey.

What does that look like?
There are more details at Everyday-Pilgrim.com but in general it involves 3 things:
1. Offering spiritual direction to people in person or via Skype.
2. Promoting and scheduling speaking engagements such as camps, retreats, and leadership events
3. Mentoring people in ministry whether individually or in small cohorts, grouped together by season of ministry or stage of life.

Will you still be writing?
Yes, I will continue to write and pledge to be more consistent. Topics will be a variety of observations, questions, and insights concerning Christian spirituality, leadership, followership, family, and relationships. I hope to carry on the trajectory of mindful steps of spiritual discovery and divine surprise established at DarrelHarvey.com. My goal is to post three times a week and include guest posts by other pilgrims, the first being my son Tyler.

How can I help? (I’m really glad you asked)
Subscribe/Like/Follow/Share – Please go to Everyday-Pilgrim.com and you will see floating social media icons on the right side of the page.
Like my facebook page
Follow me on twitter and pinterest, and connect with me on google+.
Share – If you read something that you find helpful, please share it by posting a link on your social media outlets. And if you know someone who you think might benefit from my ministry refer them.

Thank you for the encouragement you have given over the years. I am very excited abou this next season of life and ministry.

Mentoring 101

men·tor
noun \ˈmen-ˌtȯr, -tər\
: someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced and often younger person

The word ‘mentor’ comes from comes from Homer’s Odyssey. Odysseus, king of Ithaca, fights in the Trojan War and entrusts the care of his household to Mentor, who serves as teacher and overseer of Odysseus’ son, Telemachus. The word Mentor evolved to mean trusted advisor, friend, teacher and wise person. History offers many examples of helpful mentoring relationships: Socrates and Plato, Hayden and Beethoven, Freud and Jung. There are also many examples of mentoring in the Christian faith; Jethro and Moses, Moses and Joshua, Barnabus and Saul, Paul and Timothy. 

Mentoring is a proven tool of human development. It is a life on life investment of time, energy and personal know-how in assisting the growth and ability of another person.

1. Where in your life (marriage, parenting, professional, physical, etc) could you use some wisdom and guidance?
2. Who do you know and trust that has navigated those waters with integrity and courage? (chances are you’ll think of several so…)
3. Begin to pray that God would give clear direction through your conversations with the candidates and their sense of confirmation. 

Here is a link to a good resource from the University of Wisconsin – Madison on what the next steps are for both mentor and mentoree.

https://mentoringresources.ictr.wisc.edu/MentoringResources