Boundaries Webinar

Setting boundaries with any type of relationship can be very difficult. We want to be available for all the needs around us and ‘successful’ as we engage with others. However, the reality is we are created with limits and there will be times these limits and the situations we find ourselves in can lead to discouragement. In this webinar, we talk through practical ways to address the discouragement that can come with mentoring relationships.

Further Information

Boundaries Podcast Series
In this podcast series, Arlan Miller and Matt Kaufmann walk through five principles for living with healthy boundaries.

Healthy Boundaries
This article walks you through the steps of setting healthy boundaries by looking at knowing yourself, responsibilities, respect, discernment, and being proactive.


Is the best audio that you’ll get by going that way. And then if you have a question and you wanna chat in the question, that’d be great. We’ll be glad to answer questions throughout the event. You have a chat screen on the right hand side, should. And if you send it to just the panelists, then myself and Matt will see it.

And you can choose that at the bottom part there. You can choose who you send your question to. So at any time throughout the evening, please share a question with us and we’ll try to answer it. We’re gonna spend about 20, 30 minutes talking through some material. We’ll take questions at the end. We really wanna center ourselves around this idea of boundaries.

And when we think about boundaries, it’s a huge topic. If you go to our website and just in the search bar put in boundaries, you’ll see three or four really good resources come up that speak to that. There’s a podcast where we’ve talked about it. There’s some summary papers and different things where we’ve really broken down boundaries.

But as Matt and I thought about this evening and tried to bring a purposeful kind of specific piece of content to the audience. The topic that we settled on was this idea of discouragement and protecting against discouragement in mentoring. Because one of the things I think that can happen very quickly as we engage in helping people is that suddenly the relationship maybe doesn’t go quite the way we think. Or, progress isn’t being made. Something just doesn’t quite clicking and discouragement seems to go hand in hand with mentoring relationships. And so tonight, we wanna just speak to that a little bit and Matt will make an introduction and then we’ll get into some more different principles after that.

So, go ahead Matt. To set the stage a little bit, I have a toolbox in my garage and it is full with carving tools. This toolbox actually is my grandfather’s. It was handed down and it came to me. He was a wood carver and quite a good one. And, his brother’s a good wood carver. My uncle’s a good wood carver and this box sits in my garage. I have not yet tried it because there’s some hope, I guess there’s some hope in the fact that I might be, but I might be sorely disappointed if I tried and found out that I’m not. And so it just sits there in my garage and I’d like to set this up here because I think sometimes this is the way we feel about stepping into a mentor, the type of situation we’re almost a bit hesitant because maybe I can help, but maybe I can’t help and I would rather hope that I could and not try than try and not help . And so we have this, how do I handle discouragement? What am I going to do if I pull these tools out and like nothing changes or I pull these tools out and I can’t do it, or the situation doesn’t improve in the way that I think at ought to improve.

And so tonight we would like to step into this space of discouragement because a lot of mentors shy away from that next appointment or shy away from that next assignment when a plea for a mentor goes out like, boy, I don’t know. I’m not sure the last one went that well. And so discouragementsshy people away from stepping into this.

So as we look at this, we’re gonna actually suggest that there are five areas, and I’m sure there are more, but Arlan and I are gonna step through five areas that we need to see things more clearly as it regards discouragement and difficult situations when we work with mentors. If we could see these things more clearly, this will help us be less discouraged. It will help us be encouraged. Okay, the first thing that we would like to encourage you to see more clearly is expectations. See expectations more clearly. You see, I don’t think I really have the right expectations for my wood carving set, and that’s why it sits on the shelf. I have this expectation that it should go, like really easy. Grandpa was good. My uncle was good, my great-uncle was good. It should just be easy and that expectation is setting me up for a disappointment with that wood carving set because my expectations are not correct.

As we engage with a mentor, it’s important that our expectations are correct and there’s some things to be thoughtful about. Number one, strongholds are overcome through battles won and loss. There is going to be setback. When people have vice in their life, have got difficult issues in their life, they’ve got long deep seated rooted battles, whether they be a relationship whether it be they be generational. As you can imagine, these issues are not just maybe won overnight. And I think sometimes we have an expectation that with a few well-placed words and everything’s gonna be solved. Growth is incremental. Our own bodies grow a little by a little slowly over time. And in fact, you don’t really see the day by day growth in your children, for example, or grandchildren, but you see them in yearly markers, for sure. Incremental. And so the first thing to see clearly is to see this expectation of working with an individual as this is gonna take a long time. There are gonna be some things that are not gonna be solved quickly. I’m gonna expect to have some bad reports. I’m gonna expect to have a mentee maybe have a relapse. We’re gonna press into that, okay? And by having my expectations now more clearly, that helps me stay encouraged when things appeared discouraging. Okay, Arlan.

The next one that we’re gonna talk about is the idea of brokenness. And it ties in pretty closely with this idea of expectations, but we wanna see this concept of brokenness clearly. Because by nature we are entering into relationships with someone and most likely there is going to be some type of brokenness within that individual just as there is a type of brokenness within all of us. And I think what’s really important, a couple of points to go along with this, I think what’s really important is to highlight what God does with brokenness and, be willing and able to continually keep that in the forefront of your mind as you work with someone. If you go ahead and click next, Matt.

God is not gonna stamp out the possibility of problems similar to what Matt just said there, but he’s going to redeem those. We see that concept. We see that principle in the gospel first, and foremost where in our brokenness, he enters into that and makes something beautiful out of ashes. And he is going to do that in all of our lives if we keep our hope and our focus on him. So what that does for us as the helper, is it really gives us the opportunity to be a hope giver. And to share hope with people who are in the midst of brokenness. What’s hard though is that as we are engaged in that process, we can begin to lose hope ourselves or we can, if we don’t keep that perspective right, we can begin to forget that very basic promise.

And so as we talk about getting our mind oriented here and our sight clear, there is a daily discipline almost as you work with someone or, maybe it’s a meeting discipline. I’ll put it that way. Before each meeting, you’re gonna have with someone to reorient yourself to the hope of the gospel and to the reality of what God does through both brokenness and how he redeems that, and that will give you the proper perspective and it will help you speak that hope then to the individual you’re working with.

Arlan, as you explained that it occurred to me too, God allowed the serpent, right? He allowed it to happen. In fact, all brokenness, all that we see in this world has been allowed by him. And I even think that in that way that whenever we see it, we see God’s stamp of allowance on it. And that stamp of allowance means that there’s hope for it. I think it’s like connecting the dots here and when our mentee or when the person we’re working with has brokenness in their life. That’s the perspective for seeing that clearly. For sure. It shows that he is engaged. And he is required.

The next one is to see yourself clearly. This one is humbling but yet so very critical. I think sometimes when we are in a relationship with people in difficult situations, it’s very easy for us to see them as the project and part of what seeing ourself more clearly is to see that we’re very much also the project.

Your mentee is not the only project. In fact, you are. God uses these relationships for us, for me. And sometimes discouragement keys that up. It comes to a head in a sense when I’m discouraged about something to say, ah, God wants to teach me in this moment of need, right when my hope is failing, or when I am becoming desperate, or when I am becoming to despair, for example. What does that mean? That means that my face is being challenged. I am starting to question whether God can step into such brokenness, right? And I think God’s so wonderfully, and this is, I think is so much the way he operates. God blesses everybody involved in the situation. It’s not just about the mentee. It’s about you as well, and it’s about the families and it’s about the church. God is interested in touching everybody involved. And so having this kind of thoughtfulness about myself and understanding that I too am a part of this project, God is working in this relationship that is very helpful. Arlan anything to add to that?

No, I appreciate that and I appreciate the fact that it really brings the focus back to ourselves as well. There can be a tendency with any relationship to begin to take a little bit too much credit for what happens in those relationships. And where that can be really dangerous is it starts to become part of your identity, that if things are going well, then you start to feel a little bit better, start to think that you’re doing something really good because, it’s you. And, I think this concept helps really ground us and level us this to remind us that we are beautifully, as the Scripture says, we are earthen vessels, but the glory comes from him and not from us. And that’s a constant reminder we have to keep in front of us. And this is a way to do that.

Let’s go on to the next one where it talks about idea of seeing the mentee clearly. Okay, so how do we see this individual that we’re working with, this person that we’ve been asked to enter into life with and journey through life with? This becomes a little bit more of the classic definition of boundaries in some ways. If you’ve, seen, or heard or watched, Matt and I talk on mentoring. Usually we come into this kind of concept, this idea of to versus for. We are responsible to our mentee, but we’re not responsible for our mentee and that’s a very key difference in those two different words. There’s some verses in Galatians that speak to this. Where we are called to help one another with their burdens, and yet also everyone should carry their own burden. And sometimes if we enter into these relationships a little bit too tightly we can actually create an enabling type relationship where we are doing things for our mentee that they need to be doing for themselves.

And, it’s an important piece in this whole concept of discouragement because often when we get into that enabling type relationship and where we are doing more and more things for them, they will continue to respond as all of us would and not do as much and keep letting you do things for them. And, progress can be limited, so it’s always a good check to listen to the language that you use when you describe the relationship. Do you feel like you are responsible for how the mentee acts that it’s your job to make sure they don’t have any problems or they make the right choices and if they make a bad choice, do you take that upon yourself? Well, I must have messed up here and messed up there and done something wrong. Or are we able to separate ourselves from that and say, my opportunity is to teach and to encourage and to challenge and to show hope and show love and show truth to this individual. But I still need to hold them accountable to make the choices they can make for themselves.

That’s a great separation that needs to happen there where you have a proper sense separation of who’s responsible for the decision. Another way that’s been said that you’ve probably heard before is the idea that we are not to get into our mentee’s boat. You know, we all have a boat that’s filled with our own life and our own situations, own things that God is working on us with. We can come alongside and we can encourage and we can walk right alongside with that individual, but we gotta be careful not to get into their boat and to begin taking on those things ourselves. This is a key principle that helps against discouragement. When we just keep that proper check in place at the very beginning. We’re responsible to our mentee, but we are not responsible for our mentee. That’s between them and the Father.

You know, Arlan, I think too sometimes we need a person in our life close enough to help us discern that too. It could be a spouse, it could be your own mentor. It could be a good friend or whatnot to hear your language, to hear your heart. And sometimes, we’re too close to the situation. We don’t, but that to and that for is very helpful. And so sometimes just sharing that language with that person in your life, saying, okay, you need to help me to be responsible. To but not for. And then allow them to speak into that. Cuz sometimes they can detect even maybe more clearly than we can.

Yeah, that’s a great point, Matt. You almost always have a little bit blinded when we get close to a situation and so a mentor of ourselves can help us see the forest from the trees. The last item here concept to see clearly is see Christ himself clearly. This is a delightful one, really, when we see Christ more clearly and we see Christ in the forefront of our relationship as opposed to being in the background or not even existent. There’s a verse that I think is just wonderful and it says, whatsoever you do to the least of these you do to me, Jesus said. If we really consider that verse, and what that verse is suggesting is that we touch Christ. We touch Christ directly. We one on one, relate with Jesus and serve Jesus when we serve the least, right? Those that are broken. Those that have difficulties, those, just as we see patterns through the gospels that Jesus interacted with.

And, I think when we can see more clearly, sometimes by putting Christ’s face in front of our mentee, in fact, and I am serving Christ in these moments and I serve Christ most faithfully when things are difficult really, it requires the most faith in me to continue in a relationship with a difficult situation. And that is, I think, a loving act to Jesus himself who has declared that he is the recipient of all of our service. And so that’s helpful too, I think, in moments of discouragement to think about Christ and see him more on the forefront, and I’d like to tie that in a little bit with those expectations and we can see now why sometimes and brokenness, that’s all of these things We had mentioned that brokenness isn’t healed overnight.

And, Jesus did heal overnight. He healed in an instant in some cases of Scripture, and he does that sometimes still today, he’ll heal an addiction in an instant. He does sometimes, but often he doesn’t. And sometimes I wonder if he doesn’t for this very reason, because when he doesn’t, then we have to stay at the point of contact with Jesus day in and day out as opposed to the leper, for example, who is healed and went on his way or the blind who was healed and went on his way. Sometimes we’re never healed to the point of going on our way, and that’s a really loving act of Jesus who keeps us there in these relationships with him. And then that growth and that cleansing happens over time.

Let’s move now to some practical. So this was a little bit more conceptual, seeing things more clearly, and I hope that these five things, you can taste them in your situations and put them to practice. But let’s look at some practical helps. Arlan, go ahead and we’ve got a couple of six of them that we’re gonna talk through. Arlan, why don’t you go ahead and take this first one of recharge.

Sure, so let’s talk about recharge. And, one of the things that you just shared there, Matt, which I think is a really important point, is that lots of times as we work with individuals, this is gonna be a long term. This is not gonna be two months and done. This is a long term type. We call the marathon type relationship. And that’s a beautiful opportunity and it can have a really impactful opportunity to engage with someone in journey through life with someone. But it can also be wearing over time and can be a discouragement if we let it.

And so, I think what’s really important is that we figure out ways to recharge ourselves and remember how to recharge ourselves. And that just a very simple question to ask yourself. Forget the mentoring piece. Just in general in life, what types of activities encourage you, strengthen you, give you energy so that you feel stronger or just more, settled, relaxed, less anxious after doing them as opposed to without doing them. Is it exercise? Is it walking out in nature? Is it just being outside? Is it just the hustle and bustle of a coffee shop. That, for some people, is a recharge place. To go to a coffee shop and to meet with people is a recharging thing.

And for some of us, that’s a little bit draining. Well, if it’s draining to you, don’t set up your mentoring relationship meetings at a coffee shop. Don’t enter into a place that’s by nature going to drain you. But if it’s a recharging thing, then do that. I mean, then build that into your system.

So figure out ways within the rhythm of your life to regularly have activities that are giving energy back to you. If we don’t do that, we are constantly giving and nothing is coming back to us. And that’s a very, you can’t do that for long. And so, just very practically speaking, it’s not being selfish. It’s not being inappropriate in any way. Just pattern yourself after what Jesus did when there was times when he took himself away from the crowds and the needs and recharged. And we are called to do the same thing. Now it’s a little bit different. Go ahead and do the next one, Matt, and I’ll jump into here too.

It’s a little bit different than we call out. Time with God is a separate one and I want to make a little bit of a distinction there. You know, recharge is just any type of activity that is good. What’s also extremely good and an extremely important is just that regular time with God. How do you have that as a daily discipline? We are not going to be able to encourage and strengthen and help others if we are not spending time with the Father ourselves and being filled with his daily grace every day.

This question actually came in as a question. Some of you submitted questions when you registered for the webinar, and one of the questions was tied around this area. How do we stay plugged in and close to Jesus in the midst of our engagement with others? And, that is a great point, and it’s that critical point that we’re bringing out here. And my encouragement is this, go ahead, Matt.

Well, I was just gonna insert, it’s something that I thought of as you were talking about that too in that particular question. I think sometimes our minds are racing about issues. And, to be able to deliberately set aside a situation with your time with God, I think is important. And that might mean writing down, okay, I know that I need to pray for so-and-so and these issues or whatever. I know that needs to be heavy on my heart and it is, but it’s not going to be now. I’ll pick that up later. And, it could be as physical as writing it down and putting it someplace and then going to the Scriptures. Or it doesn’t have to be that physical in a sense because I think that activity in that practice needs to be there.

That’s a great point. It actually ties in exactly with what I was gonna bring up there, how this idea, when we are anxious about things and we are worried about situations and relationships, sometimes that can just stir in the back of our mind and our devotions can be robbed. Because we’re always fixated on the other things that are in the corners. So what I have learned to do, what I’ve heard it called, it’s called clearing your cache. I don’t know if you have a phone, sometimes in the back of your phone you’ll have all these apps running. And, those apps will strain your battery and there’s times when you’re supposed to just go through and just close ’em all down.

If you’re not using them, close ’em all down. And so I’ve found times when it’s really important for me before I wanna focus on my time with God. I literally, when I take my phone action in the notes section, I’ll write down or I’ll type in everything that’s on my mind and clean it out. And then I can focus in on recharging in this case with God. And, then I can get to those things later. I’m not forgetting them. They’re captured. They’re there somewhere and I can commit them to prayer and get to them later. Whatever works for you. Figure out a way for both of these, to have recharge time and to have healthy devotion time with God where you are his child again learning from the Father.

I think something really important too, Arlan, it’s just to realize that the best way to love people, is to do that to spend that time with God. The best way to love your spouse, the best way to love your neighbor. The best way to love is to do that because certainly that’s where you’re drinking from the wellspring of love itself. So to prioritize that is completely the right thing to do.

Let’s look at the next one. Celebrate. Here’s something that, when you’re with your mentee, is there something to celebrate about? It’s probably likely, especially on this, we’re talking about discouragement, right? So in this bucket of discouragement, we’re talking about difficult situations and probably when you meet or you engage with them, there’s something disappointing to talk about and that’s all they can think about. And so, sometimes you have to be pretty creative and pretty thoughtful to uncover things to celebrate, but there is something to celebrate.

Whether it’s that they’re still willing to be in a relationship with you and to be challenged and so on and so forth. But it might be something that you need to be thoughtful and creative about. What questions can I ask to uncover things to celebrate? Because many times the mentee can only see failure. They can only see failure and they can’t see anything worth celebrating. But I think if you were to pry and to question, you’ll find some overcoming areas. Maybe a time where they turned away from temptation. Maybe a time where they applied something that you had talked about before something came to mind.

Maybe a time where a Scripture came to their mind and it changed their course in some moments on one particular day of the week. To put your finger on these things and to celebrate them is incredibly important, especially if they are not, because if they are not, then those moments are being lost and not being capitalized on. And so think about celebration when you’re with your mentee. It’s something that’s, whenever I’m talking to it at least once we’re gonna celebrate something. And sometimes it’s silence while the mentee is thinking about their week, but they will come up with something God honoring to celebrate.

Another thing that kind of goes along with that celebration is small talk. I find small talk to be delightful. In fact, if you’re having a hard time liking your mentee, and sometimes that happens. It’s like, oh my goodness, I’m so frustrated right now. Small talk is a great way to remember, again, the qualities that you really are drawn to, and you really appreciate. Do you know the interest that your mentee has? Do you know the gifts that your mentee has? Those areas that they really excel in, those things that they really enjoy. Talk about those things. Bring them up. I think it’s important when we do small talk, and I think small talk should be a part of probably every counseling session in some level where they see that you see them beyond their issues. In fact, that you see their person and not their issues. You see their many wonderful attributes apart from their issues because they can get overly cloaked in their issues, especially if that’s all that you talk about. And so, I like to laugh. I try to laugh with my mentee. Something, right? It becomes a challenge, but try to find something that you could talk about, that you can raise and that you can enjoy together a conversation. So small talk, celebrate, and small talk. Anything to add to those, Arlan, before I move on?

Just one quick point with that, and you mentioned it, but just to call it out, this idea that sometimes if the only reason you get together with an individual is to talk about their problem, there’s already probably a very strong identification in that person’s mind of their problem that they have of the shame that they feel because of that, and your relationship can become defined by that problem. And, it just can be hampered by that. And so it’s very important, in my mind, at least, at the very beginning, as much as possible, to see your mentee as a person, as a whole person, to spend time, as you said, Matt, just to engage and just laugh and have fun together. And not to avoid, I mean, that’s the tendency, right? You can avoid the problem and just always just have fun together. So there’s times when you have to go out of the comfort zone and actually engage the situation, speak the truth in love, but don’t make the relationship only about the problem. We’re in a relationship here. And, you wanna view it in the whole, all the facets thereof.

I think one way I like to do this is I like to ask advice from my mentees. If they have an expertise in some area then whenever my life intersects with that area, I like their opinion. Hey, so what do you think about this? Or What’s going on with my car? Or if you were to have done it this way, how would’ve you done it? In that moment too, I think you placed them over yourself. Whenever you ask anybody’s opinion, you place them above yourself, which is a very endearing thing to do to anyone. And I think especially helpful, both for you and for the person that’s mentee, especially at times of discouragement.

So, one more here is unplug. And what we mean by unplugged, unplugged can be varied but I think it’s important for you, and we talked about this with time with God, but to be able to set the situation aside, it is okay. It is okay to laugh after you go back to your family setting and something’s happening and you can enjoy that family setting. I think sometimes we take people’s problems onto us and feel like we can’t enjoy the gifts that God has given us because so-and-so doesn’t have those gifts, and so-and-so is working through this and what, so-and-so is facing this issue and how can I, if I know that, how can I even find something to be pleasurable or funny or anything?

And I think that’s not very healthy, right? We need to be able to unplug and separate those things. And I think what the deeper, I think realization when you can unplug from a mentee is that you realize that God is on it and that God is very near to that individual. See, God can shoulder the burden that individual has, you cannot, we cannot shoulder the burden. It will smother us. So by unplugging and letting that go and returning back to my family or whatever, and laughing, we are saying, God, you need to shoulder that burden. And I can’t. And it’s a wonderful freeing thing to realize that he can and that he is doing that. He is with that mentee. And, so another element of unplugging might be by setting some sort of time restriction on the time that you engage with a mentee on a certain issue. You might say, you know what? We’re gonna meet for an hour, and then after the hour, it’s time now to stop to allow yourself the freedom to have those time chunks that I’m gonna engage and when I’m engaged, I’m all there. That you cannot distract me away from the situation, but it’s not gonna be forever and we have some sort of time and you need to work that out and that needs to be made clear, preferably at the beginning when you engage with somebody. But that’s important and that’s reasonable. And again, that’s all very healthy behavior for you. So something to think about. Unplug, Arlan.

Let me, I’ll go into the last one there. But just to make one point with that, one counselor told me once he said that nothing rarely happens very well after an hour session, usually if it hasn’t been accomplished in the hour, it’s not gonna be accomplished in 2, 3, 4, whatever hours it is. And I think our relationships as mentor mentees can be very similar. Is that it’s okay to have a little bit of a time-bound element to them, and communicate ahead of time and then stick to that. Cuz what can begin to happen as Matt just shared, is we can begin to take a little bit too much credit for success or failure in a relationship. And, think through what we did or didn’t do and how that led to this or didn’t lead to this. And, what’s healthy here is to take what I call the spiritual view of boundaries, where we realize that this is the Lord’s work. And you look at the whole story of Scripture. The whole story of Scripture is about the Lord’s work from the very beginning to the end, and the Lord rested on the seventh day after making the whole world. He knows and understands boundaries. He has all situations under his control. And, sometimes I think we can frankly kid ourselves and think it’s a little bit too much about us.

And, by all means, we are to rejoice with them that rejoice we are to rejoice in victories. We are to thank God for good things. And he will use us prayerfully sometimes as vessels to share his message. But it’s God’s work and he’s got it and he will continue to have it. And, that to me is an extremely encouraging thought that I have to keep in front of me at all times or else the work can become discouraging. I think it’s a little bit why he said some of that to Ezekiel when he said, you’re a watchman on the wall. You share the message and if they hear they’ll hear it. If they don’t, they don’t, but then that’s not your concern. Your concern is to share the message I give you. And in the same way we are given an opportunity to enter into a relationship with someone to love them, to speak the truth and love with them and let the Lord work within their hearts and be available and open to that.

One last point and then we can go on to any questions. If you have any, you can chat them. Or we’ll go off a couple of these other ones that were submitted. One of the questions that was submitted ahead of time was on this very idea we were talking about how do you set boundaries while showing love to those that you are setting the boundaries with. To some extent it can seem if you are putting boundaries around a relationship, that person can read that as not caring or a little bit too strong. And, I guess as I think about that question, my answer would tie very closely with what we just shared. The idea that if you proactively and ahead of time communicate. I’ve got so much time to meet with you. Let’s meet in this place for one hour, for half an hour or something like that. It comes off much better if it’s done ahead of time as a proactive thing as a almost nonchalant type piece of the meeting point. It comes off much harsher if in the midst of a meeting you have to cut it short or if you are there regretting you were there for so long because you did not proactively set those boundaries. Don’t be afraid to be proactive in that. And I think that will go a long way. Matt, any thoughts to share?

Well the thought that was generated as you talked about that, Arlan, was that I think sometimes educating our mentee on boundaries is totally fine. I think they get that, they understand they want you to be healthy and you want to be healthy. Why do you want to be healthy? Because you wanna offer the very, very best help that you can to them. And so, to simply acknowledge that to your mentee and say, you know what? When I give you time, I want you to have my very best time. I want to be fully present. I’m going to be fully thoughtful. And this is the best way for that to happen. And I’ve learned this from experience I can only talk about this for this long or whatnot. And then you can talk about boundaries. You can talk about these so this is the way I would like it to operate so that I can give you the very best. And that’s completely true. And people like to be given the very best. And people feel loved when their people give their very best and that’s what you’re doing. And so I think some of it just comes with some education.

One more question and then unless someone else wants to share something through chat, the other question that came up, Matt, which I’d like you to take a stab at this first. How do we practice? We’ve used the term sometimes and we discuss mentoring in the way or as as you are going from place to place. And so, Matt, I’d like you to define that term just a little bit cuz I know you know what that is and how do we use that as a skill or as a practice so that we don’t end up over-committing ourselves because we wanna help people and we wanna be available for people. And yet, we also have to live in the world of boundaries. So why don’t you speak to that if you would.

Yeah. And if we live in a world of expectations, we live in a world of deadlines. We live in a world of finite time, right? Your 24 hours a day and all of that. In the way mentoring means that you mentor between points A and B on your schedule. And you allow that in between time. And Jesus did this so much, so many of his lessons, so many of his discourses, so many of his sermons, so many of his teachings was while he was on the road going someplace between objective A and objective B. He did so much mentoring in between those. And so that’s really what that looks like. I have found it, and again, everybody’s different and so this looks different for different people, but when I work with young men, I find that sometimes it’s difficult to stare across the table at ’em and look them in the eye and have ’em open up.

But if it’s getting a little bit dark, the sun is going down and we’re stacking wood, they don’t have to look me in the eye and things can be said in those moments. And there’s almost a better environment actually than the very structured environment of an appointment in some place. And I get some firewood stacked too, which is a great bonus. So that’s an example. And I know that there are errands I run, the same type of thing. And I was running a load and needed to get some, pick up, some wood and was trying to schedule this in. And I’m like, why not? Why not he jump seat with me And we had the conversation. Well, we went up and what was great about it is we were having able to have a ton of small talk and some of these other things that were so good and yeah, we got to the brass tack and I got my load picked up and unloaded and that was fine. That works for some people. I think it does require a little bit of thoughtfulness. But whether that’s shopping for groceries or cleaning and those types of things. Anyway, some ideas.

That’s a great thought. I know my wife loves to take the kids to the library, but she also loves to take someone with her when she goes to the library and it’s the kids are over there reading books and looking at things and she usually has some really nice time with the individual that she’s taken with. I think it becomes a mindset and a mentality to just think through what you’re doing about the day and could you invite someone into those activities in a way to engage. I think the caution is, I can be guilty of it looks like I’m trying to get free labor out of someone as I said, for them labor that’s not what we’re trying to do here. It’s the idea that we’re trying to have time together and be realistic about the finite world that we live in. And, prayerfully enter into that and I think God will open up opportunities.

I think one way to, Arlan, I know having conversations, not all conversations could be had at the dinner table, at church lunch, but we do have a pattern. If the individual goes to your same church, we do have a pattern and sometimes a person has reached out to me and I said, Hey, you know, what, can we make a point to sit next to each other at church, it could be for a service, it could be at lunch and those could be some wonderful moments as well. Again, not all conversations can be had there, but there’s a lot that we could interweave right into our normal patterns.

Well, that was the last of the questions I had. Really appreciate everyone joining us tonight and the opportunity to share. And did you have any kind of closing thoughts, Matt, that you wanted to share before we sign off? Nope. Thanks. Okay. Thanks everyone for being here. Yeah, thanks for joining us. We hope it was helpful and can be an encouragement. It was recorded. We’ll get it out on our website. If you have not noticed already, we have several past webinars on our website under the mentor skills section of the community portion of our website. You’ll find them all there and please share them out. Please view them and use them as a resource. That’s what our hope is. So thank you again for joining us and thank you for what you do each day as you encourage others. We really appreciate it. May God bless.