Mentoring By Example Webinar
Again, as I said before, I’m Arlan Miller and Matt Kaufman is here with me. And, we are excited to do a mentoring webinar with you today on using the Power of Example in Mentoring. Matt, this is a topic as we talked about it and thought about mentoring and as we’ve been wrestling with mentoring for some time now, several years now, it was a little bit of an aha as we developed.
Why don’t you talk a little bit about that. Yeah, I’m real excited about this topic of exampling. I think it provides some hope in the mentoring process that we otherwise miss. But I also think it puts a few things on its head in really delightful ways. Okay. So how’s that for my setup? And I’m not gonna even tell you what that delightful way is until the very end.
I was just gonna ask. So now they all have to stick with us, but be ye followers of me even as I also am of Christ. That’s for 1 Corinthians 11:1 that’s Paul writing this and I have found that it has an arrogant tone to it. I don’t know, as I’ve read that first strong, right.
Yeah. It’s like, follow me, I’m following Christ. But there’s something really beautiful here in this concept of following example and Arlan, that’s really what we wanna try to get to here today is to really see this verse for what it is that this isn’t only Paul’s followers following Paul, but this concept of following others and exampling Christ has been a longstanding Christian tradition.
So we want to connect with that tradition here. Here’s our goals right in front of you. One, Why is exampling so powerful? So I’ve already put that teaser out there. Hopefully that will come clear here in a little bit. Number two, in what ways was exampling central to Christ’s discipleship? There’s something really fundamental to what Christ did and why he spent 33 years here. Why did Jesus come as flesh and blood? We have lots of answers for that, which are all good and right, but there’s an answer that has to do with him exampling, which is exciting. And then number three, what does it look like practicality? What’s it look like practically for your life, your mentoring, and mine. So that’s our objectives.
All right, so let’s jump into it. Let’s talk about exampling as a definition now. Okay. That’s a word that maybe we use the word example or we know that what does exampling mean? How do you use that in a definition? So yes, we are lifting this word and I’m not sure exampling is a bonafide term or I’m not sure. I looked it up in Webster, So it is, so there’s a grammatical, we’re using it grammatically correct here, but exampling we do mean something very specific with what we intend for that to mean.
So looking at here, your screen modeling a desired thought, feeling, or action. So that students can these three things understand, be motivated by, and also equipped then to do the same in the context of their life. That’s what exampling looks like Arlan, you’ve had experience in the classroom.
Sure, sure. Students like examples. Yeah. They stop and pause when you say, okay, give me an example. A lot of times they’ll ask that if you get too long winded about theory. I teach mathematics, and if I get too long, they start glassing. You know, as soon as I say, well, let’s look at an example, there’s a bit of revive like, oh, alright. Hey, I’m in all this. You know?
Cuz you can start to put, I mean, as you take that theory or that idea, we can talk about it all day long, right? But then you start to put some flesh and blood around it, or you can start to say, okay, well this is what it looks like. And then I think that’s exactly what we’re talking about here in the context of mentoring that as we maybe talk about ideas with our mentees or with those that we might be working with. There’s a point when and until that’s demonstrated or exampled for them, it just stays up there in the clouds a little bit. And so that’s really what the charge here from this particular teaching as we mentor we example, and that role of example is very Christ-like, but it’s very important in the learning process.
Look at these three bullets. Understand, motivated, and equipped. All of those three things come together in an example, and I’m doing a teaching, a math lesson, and they’re like, oh, give us an example. Okay. As soon as I provide an example, there’s this, oh, that makes sense. And understanding this like, oh, that makes sense.
There’s a motivational piece that says, oh, I can see why I should know this because of that example. Like I can see that in my life. And then there’s this equipping where you walk through the application and an example that a student is like, Oh, I’m empowered to do that. I can now I’m equipped to carry out this thing.
So, we’re gonna suggest that exampling as we are examples to our mentees, we bring those three things to bear. We bring understanding, motivation, and equipping. Whatever the topic is or whatever the issue is. And you know, we think we’re talking about this in the context of mentoring today, but I have, I mean, I think all of us, probably everybody on this webinar today has done this in their life.
Oh, sure. Maybe we haven’t thought about it, but this is, I mean, every parent tries to do this with their child, right? Or every grandpa with their grandchild or aunt and uncle with their niece or nephew. Yeah. I mean, that’s kinda how we try to, you know, we even say things like be a good example or follow my example, right?
Yeah. Now we’re just trying to bring light to it and into this very important area of mentoring. I’m thinking of a family in Bloomington who just so wonderfully ministers and cares for people, and I can point to the generational effect. I can say this family has a long history of caring for people, and you can see three generations that have that same mindset, and I’m inspired by it to raise that up in my children, but you can tell that caring for people is understood. It’s motivated in those families and it’s equipped like they know how to do it, because that’s been modeled. And so to your point, absolutely we learn this way.
We learn by example. So I think that’s exciting. One Scripture reference I just stumbled upon there recently this idea that Paul says that we are to be spectacles to others, right? It’s in Corinthians actually, first Corinthians is a little bit earlier. He says, we are spectacles.
You talking there in this context that he is a spectacle to others, right? And you look up what that word spectacle means. Like, none of us really wanna be spectacles, right? I mean, but the reality is we are. To all those we come in contact with cuz we watch and we see what other people do. And that word spectacle actually means like theater.
It’s like the same word where you would see on stage. So we are on stage, parents are on stage for their kids as they watch ’em, teachers are on stage for their students in the classroom, right? All of us as we walk through life are a little bit on stage. And so some what I think we wanna normalize that into the sense that we’re doing this and we’re gonna be doing this in our lives. And at the same time, not be scary about this too. Because I think we all are like, oh my goodness, now I need to do this perfectly in order for this lesson to catch. And that’s not necessarily the message. We hope that’s not the message that’s caught from this hour, but it’s more of an inspiration to example, to have it on our radar, to see that it’s important to effect and that God has purpose.
Let’s go ahead and look at why example is so powerful. What you see is a picture here of Jesus healing a leper, which is something that he commonly did, but there’s something really fascinating here, about when this happens, Arlan. And I’m particularly thinking about the time in Matthew chapter eight. Sure. And it’s right on the tail end of the Sermon on the Mount. So Jesus does teaching. He teaches the beatitudes. Blessed are the poor, blessed are the hungry, blessed are the meek, blessed are the poor in spirit.
All of these things and all of its theoretical teaching. I’m sure the people were wowed by it. It like, me waxing eloquent about mathematics. Does that make sense? And then wowed by it. No, probably not the same way, but then they come down the mountain and this leper calls out to Jesus and Jesus puts into action all of the beatitudes. And I’d have to think that the beatitudes became crystal clear. They became actionable. They became desirable in that moment when they had a different reaction to the leper people scattered. And Jesus drew in. And they saw the poor, the meek, the persecuted blessed.
I really like that example, because again, like we said before, it’s what you’re doing is you’re taking this concept, this theory, and you’re demonstrating what that actually looks like, what it looks like. You’re putting fiction, you’re taking, fiction isn’t the right word, but you’re putting that idea, and you’re making it real. I was thinking about this. I was thinking, so what does supper time look like for you, Matt? What you know around the table with your family and stuff like that. What’s expected during supper time?
What commences supper time and what dismisses supper time? We all have our ways. And I bet if you sat down on my table and I said, now your table, we just have a little bit different way of doing it. I find not exactly, but I find that what we do was somewhat similar to what my parents did. Which I’m guessing was somewhat similar to what their parents did.
Even simple things like that get passed down from idea to reality through modeling or exampling. As we walk through that, so Jesus does it with a person does it, he love someone of leper, but Jesus does it. How did he answer the question? How do I love my neighbor? It was an example. It served as a story, the Good Samaritan, but he launches into this example, and you know what? We all got it. We all got it and we got it in a special way with an example because it was actionable. This is what you do to love your neighbor, but then there was an inspired desire to be like, oh man, the hero of this story is the Good Samaritan. I wanna be like that. So there on the left the reason why sampling is so powerful is it is actionable. Very applied, but it touches everything from the action all the way down to the desire it touches on the desire of a person, which is really powerful. Isn’t that where change really occurs? At the desire level.
So, one more point, and I think we should build on that desire piece just a little bit, but one more point just to think about is, I find myself sometimes if I’m working with someone or mentoring someone or just having a dialogue with someone, I’ll use terms or I’ll use examples or I’ll just say, what does a free night look to you? You need to have a free night. Well, what a free night looks like for you is what I’ve been modeled and expected and what you, we, it could be very different for them. I mean, a free night could be totally disappearing into entertainment of some type.
Free night for me is probably a quiet evening, maybe playing a game, reading a book, or doing some work outside. So it’s just interesting that we should be careful. We don’t assume that things that we say or actions that we are expecting someone to do are understood.
So that’s a perfect example, Arlan, on a teaching piece, you can teach free night and use that terminology, but the example really brings to life what free night means to you. So, take your term, whatever, respect. Sure. Respect is a great word, and we think we understand what we mean when we instruct people in respect or instruct people in submission.
These big staked words, example, wonderfully brings these out in some really powerful, where we see the action, but also touches on the desire, which is cool. Let’s talk a little bit more about that desire here on this next slide. So, Rene Girard is a philosopher and a professor. He’s passed on now, but really did a lot of work in this area of exampling, and I wanna capture a quote of his. This is a powerful quote, “man is the creature who does not know what to desire, and he turns to others in order to make up his mind. We desire what others desire because we imitate their desire.” So this is a powerful, perhaps a dogmatic statement. Which grabs our attention. But I wanna just try this on precise in a few things, right? I mean, isn’t fashion this way. We just painted these walls a beautiful gray and I’m sure in 20 years from now, a beautiful gray won’t make any sense.
Does that make sense? I don’t know what to like, but I sure like the color of these walls. Because., I don’t know, I couldn’t make up my mind to what I decided, so I turned to others to make up my mind and they made up my mind the gray.
I noticed you have a tie on statement. There you go. I mean it’s, look how thin this tie is. Is that in or not? I don’t know if that’s fashionable or not. We’re gonna assume it is, but I know that I used to laugh at wide ties and then I wore wide ties, right? Yeah. I never know when I decided those things we blend into that.
That’s a great example. You’ve got a picture here on this that has a story to it. Go ahead and tell it story. So this is a toy that’s in my toy box at home and it lies idle 99.999999% of its life. It just sits there. Nobody notices it, nobody sees it. And I’ll let you guess, Arlan, what happens when one person picks that up?
What you’re supposed to do is try to get all the disc to line up on top of it. It’s like one of these coordination patient games. So one of my children picked this up and start playing with it. What do you think happens? Probably the same thing that happens in my household. Right? Suddenly you’ve got a crisis.
We’ve got a crisis because everybody wants that toy now. Even though it’s been laying and it will continue. It’ll go back in there and lay the rest of its existence, idle. It’s always wanted at the same time. And we see this with children all the time, and this is just very, this is about, this is us, this is human, mankind.
We see that other people like that and have a desire for it. And so then we’re wooed by that desire as well. And so that’s a little bit of what’s being captured here by Rene’s observation. So what does that mean before we go on? What does that mean for mentoring? What’s the, well, let me just give you a personal example.
My brother, repented, he’s a year older than me. And he repented a year or a year and a half before me. And as I was going through those critical years of conviction, I saw my brother’s example as a saved person. Does that make sense? And my brother was very diligent when he became a Christian, it was an obvious change.
His loves changed, his passions changed, his direction changed, his enthusiasm changed. I mean, he threw himself into it. When I repented of my sin, that’s what I expected. Nobody had to tell me what needed to change. Sure. I already saw what changed.
And I would say that my passion for Jesus had very much to do with simply the example that I caught from my brother. Does that make sense? And don’t we see that in so many areas of life where we see parts of our society, for example, that can’t get out of certain ruts. They’ve never seen a father example certain things. Does that make sense? We do tend to mimic the desires of others. Sure. Which now I feel like there’s another fact that I’ve seen on surveys and just research, which really can be on this intimidating side.
But it says something to the effect of, that people will rise to the level of health or desire that they see in others. So if you’re in a position of influence, we’ll use that word, or whatnot, and people are watching your example, those watching will come up to your level, but rarely will they exceed that or go above that. So, now very intimidating, so my kids are gonna be a reflection of me. And yet I think the mental piece here is to just flip that a little bit into an opportunity. It’s intimidating but what an opportunity.
Cuz it’s the right thing to do anyway. It’s the right thing to lean into this. And then we have an opportunity to realize the impact that has on others as well. And this concept of flipping, I think this is a double edged sword, this concept of exampling, because we understand it most clearly in its drag.
My neighbor gets a new car and guess what? I want a new car. We understand how this works. We understand very much this mindset, but what hope there is to say, hey, this works in a positive direction also. When we have a desire for God, that’s contagious. When we have a desire for holiness, that’s contagious. When we have a desire for loving our spouse and our children, that’s contagious. And that’s awesome. What a beautiful opportunity. In fact, this is a great, this next slide shows this fascinating concept just to think through. Just think about the role that example has played in the church. He had Paul’s statement there. In Corinthians, again, be followers of me as I am also of Christ. Think about his desire. You read in the Scripture of Paul’s, I press towards the mark, and I count all other things as loss for Christ, and just the life he lived.
That had an impact on the church. And he really lays his experiences out there. I’ve been whipped this many times and I was ship wrecked and all of these things, which at some level you’re like, okay, Paul, are you, but really he’s sharing his experience and that we mimic, we find that compelling as it’s open example for us.
Arlan, looking at this slide though, I want people to catch the really profound good news here. That every one of us who’s listening here, we are believers. Somebody impacted us positively for Christ. We might have a half a dozen people really impacted.
I just mentioned my brother, for example, and there’s others, grandpas and there’s ministers, and there’s aunts and uncles and cousins that all impact us. Okay? Now, if we were to go back and say, who impacted them and there would be those people. And then to say, alright, and who impacted those impacters.
And there would be a person, there is a named person. Now we’re back generations and we could continue this exercise and it would lead us all the way to Jesus. Isn’t that amazing? It’s like a link all the way back. It is an absolutely unbreakable link of examples from you to Jesus.
And now your mentee is right underneath you, which is, I think, exciting. It’s extremely exciting. I’m into ancestry.com a little bit right now. You got a subscription and you’re just starting to trace that family tree back. And it’s set up in a way that you put in what you know.
And then they go through their database and say, we think this is your great great great grandfather. And this would be his spouse. And then this is their parents, and it’s fun. I haven’t gone very far back yet, but it’s interesting to start tracing that back. Thinking about the heritage. Or just the history that has translated down. This package that I am today, you know, type thing today. Now what about, so let’s play a little bit of the devil’s advocate here. So maybe you have the opportunity to work with someone that hasn’t been blessed to be in this linkage. Maybe they’re not a believer, maybe they’re wrestling through, or have come from maybe not a very strong example themselves. This actually in some ways though, can be a great vision piece and a great hope piece. I think, at least how I read this, again, flipping that into an opportunity, you have an opportunity to begin to change the trajectory of your family or your kids or your future.
And you could view evangelism as really bringing people into this lineage. And then discipleship as being that example of Christ. I think it’s incredibly hopeful and this is what’s central. So that was our goal. Number two, how is Jesus’ becoming flesh and central to his calling, he became flesh and blood to die, to be resurrected, to teach, but he also became flesh and blood to example for us and for his disciples in particular to catch the desire of Jesus. And that desire now has been passed on and on and on.
I like to think, Arlan, when I go to church, I like to think I am getting as close to Jesus, like this group of people are really close to Jesus because they are descendants of followers. Does that make sense? And that’s a unique place. That’s not necessarily the supermarket, it’s not necessarily my schooling or that type of thing.
But in the church, there’s this wonderful link of folks. And I feel like I come close to Christ’s example by being with his. I mean, Christ says that, right? I mean, at least Peter says that, right? Peter says, Christ came so that we can follow in his steps is basically what he’s saying there.
We need to follow in the steps of Christ and continue this link, so to speak. So let’s get practical here for the next 10 minutes or so that we have. What does this mean for mentoring? So practically speaking, how do we take this concept and apply it?
So, here’s the moment where everything turns on its head. Okay. So this is what I promised at the beginning, Arlan. So there you can see on the right hand side of your screen, this aspect of mentoring reverses the subject under inspection. I think this is a critical paradigm shift. The mentor becomes inspected instead of the mentee. Does that make sense? So a lot of what we talk about with mentor training, the mentee is under inspection, that is, what are they struggling with? How are they doing, how are we evaluating it? How can I speak into their life? How can I help them in this jam? They are under inspection.
But this paradigm shifts that inspection now to us, which can be intimidating. But there is, I think, a paradigm shift that might not happen right away. It might not be the paradigm that some of our mentor mentee relationships are working under at the moment, but to grow into that, I think will be a healthy place. It can be intimidating, but it also, I think, like we said before is, asking us to simply live our lives. But doesn’t necessarily mean perfect. I mean, we’re not talking, we have to be perfect. Actually, sometimes the best example you can give is an example of what to do when you don’t do it right.
Parents again, have you ever had that situation, I’m guessing? We don’t live our life perfectly in front of our kids. And sometimes the most powerful example we can give to our children or to those, our mentees or whatever, is the power of repentance. Yeah. The example of asking for forgiveness and those kinda things. Or, not being completely sure that you’re making the right decision, but for the mentee to understand how you were making that decision. Going through the process and being open about that in a way that they can catch the, maybe we’ve got over there on the top left, eternal mindset that what I could see how my mentor had an eternal mindset along with this decision that they were making.
That’s powerful stuff. That again doesn’t mean you have to get the decision exactly right. Doesn’t mean you’re not without mistakes or without faults, but they see a believer living out his or her faith, right?
So let’s walk through these. Let’s walk around these and just think through. So the idea is exampling ideas. Here are different things you might come across or might need to teach your mentee or example for your mentee at some point. So loving others, what comes to your mind, Matt, when you think about this idea of exampling loving others?
Let me say a little bit of some of this has come into view for me, in particular the reversing of inspection. As I have sought mentors, I realize that I am inspecting them more than I’m asking them to inspect me. Does that make sense? So I’ve got a brother that I’ve been attempting to meet with. Don’t tell him he’s my mentor cuz he doesn’t know. But I specifically ask him, how are you loving your wife? Because I can tell that they have a vibrant, healthy marriage and I just know that there are things for me to learn about loving a wife, or how he loved his children going through various stages and teasing that out and I really want to catch his desire. I want to catch his example. How do you love your neighbor? What does that look like?
I’m guessing that answer to our question is based upon some modeling that we’ve seen in others and that type thing. I don’t know. I mean, we could wax eloquent and teach about loving others but until you do it, but doing it is to your point of Jesus and the good Samaritan. Who is my neighbor? Well, let me give you a story or an example of what that looks like. Handling doubt, yielding your rights. I’m guessing they’re a little bit similar type ideas there. I mean, these are really requiring us to be kind of raw too and struggling with doubts and for a mentee to see how doubt is handled. Sometimes we can, I think, have this goal that we protect our children and our mentee from the scathing that the world will give them. Don’t do this and don’t do that. Be sure to don’t do this. But when we have to yield our rights personally, when I have to handle my own doubt, I’m teaching that child or mentee how to handle the scathing that you’re gonna get.
Because there are some questions that are just too hard to crack that I am struggling with spiritually and I am struggling with the reality of God’s faithfulness. And guess what? That’s why I’m reading Psalms 13 so much, or that’s why I’m reading Psalm 73 all the time because, and they can see then that faith in action really through those unfavorable. I’m mindful that I mean, again, if you like surveys and such things. If you walk those through, you’ll find that sometimes people have a hard time believing the Christian faith or being part of a church or whatnot, because the impression can be that you have to be perfect to be part of that. And we can show up and wanna put on our Sunday best. We use that phrase, or just put this sheer of perfection in front of us, which, I think in many ways can actually be counterproductive. It actually keeps us from the realness of the grace of God working through our broken lives. What does Paul, again, in Corinthians, I think it’s second Corinthians, what he says that we are broken vessels or jars of clay. He says that the excellency of the power could be through him and not through us. We’re not gonna be perfect, but we point back to Christ and see that his come outta that, right?
And you catch it applying God’s Word. I’m gonna something, an example that I’ve seen in my father-in-law, that I have caught that desire. He has a very, when he reads God’s Word, he assumes that it’s gonna be applied today. There is almost like this assumption, like when he engages a day or a situation, say, well, what does this have to do with Romans 2, that I read today? And not that he consciously goes there, but it’s not even an effort that he like does, it’s just a mindset that he has. I can tell when he reads the Word that it’s like, God is speaking to me right now through this particular passage, I’m sure. What should I be hearing? And he doesn’t obsess over it, but that’s a lens that he sees life through and so when he has an interaction or something, he’s like, oh, I think God must be directing me through it, where for me, reading the Word can be a very theoretical exercise.
Let me give you an example for that one. There’s one that comes to my mind with that. When I was a new believer, I was at university as a freshman, and there was a senior and you know you’re supposed to study the Word, right? I mean, and we’ll say that probably, perhaps, maybe you’ve said that to your mentee or whatnot, we hear that, but what does it actually mean? And so this senior actually sat down with me and walked through a Bible study with me for a whole semester. Every, I think it was Tuesday night or whatever, late at night, we would get together and we’d have a Bible study.
And he modeled for me, he exampled for me, what it means to study the Word, to walk through a passage, to ask good questions, to wrestle with, I don’t quite know what this means, and how do we pray through and try to figure out what this passage means and that kinda thing. And at the end, he said, you know, I’ve done this because someone did this to me when I was a believer, and I’m asking that you do this to somebody else. And, I did. And that to me was a, maybe that is an opportunity that you might have in your mentor relationship with someone to just actually show them what it means to faithfully pray or apply God’s Word or study God’s Word.
Because we can toss those ideas out there and say, oh yeah, you gotta do that. And I don’t think that’s a question for anybody that, oh yeah, I should do that, but what’s that mean? What does that look like in daily life? I think that example there of that older college student, my mind exploded when you said that with names. That came up and I’m sure we could go around the horn and a lot of you listening would be able to do that as well where it was never an official mentor mentee relationship. But you caught what it looks like to love God’s Word, or you caught what it looks like to love to worship and sing. You caught what it looks like to love people. That makes sense. And that’s powerful stuff. That’s really what we’re talking about here as an example, and the beauty of it is it means that we can do this. We are basically called to live our lives as a spectacle on stage for others doing things we should be doing anyway. And then allowing that example to be a powerful opportunity for others.
There’s a couple more on this list. Let’s just walk those through. Lamenting loss, having an eternal mindset. What comes to your mind, Matt, when we think about those examples there. I would group maybe lamenting loss, similar to the handling of doubt, a very similar type of thing. This is gonna come in brokenness when you’re in sorrow and to see a Christian grieve. I think of Job as a classic example of an example for lamenting loss. He’s been on stage for thousands of years, haven’t we all gone to him for an example on what that looks like? We have. And David writes and a lot of his psalms are laments in our crying out and we’re just catching from his example and it’s so instructive.
So you know that eternal mindset, we referenced it before, but I think, there’s a very, in my mind at least, simple concept, I think is really powerful.
And I see it pop up all over the place in different contexts, but I think it just has a lot of weight. It’s just that simple idea that when things aren’t exactly how we wish they would be, do we turn towards God or do we turn away from God? And I think modeling that for a mentee and encouraging that and talking about what that has looked like in your life or maybe what that is looking like in your life currently can be a really powerful thing.
Draw near to God and he’ll draw near to you. Scripture says just the idea of, okay, no matter what, I want to have the discipline of turning towards God. Now here’s the part where I get a little bit uncomfortable or I get a little bit, just, it gives pause, right, for that to happen in my own life personally means I usually have to be in a situation where that’s different things are not good.
And, but again, I think that speaks to Paul and his example and saying, hey, we are called to be on stage. Be on stage for others. And show them what this looks like physically. That’s exactly right. Any other thoughts as we wrap this piece up and turn towards questions?
Well, let’s go ahead and put a question, there are questions out there and open that up. You can either chat them in, easy to chat them in there on the chat bar. If you send it to everyone, everyone will see it. If you send it to the presenters or organizers, it’ll come to just Matt and I. Or if you want to, feel free to unmute your mic and ask us live. We’d love to take questions.
While you’re thinking about that, there was one question. We asked for questions when you registered. And we appreciate that and that helps time drive our dialogue, our discussion. One of the questions I think that came up that was, two questions that came up that were really interesting. The one was on this idea of imperfection.
How do I do this when I’m so imperfect? And I feel like we’ve talked through that. That’s a little bit of a key aspect of this whole concept. The other one was this idea of how do I mentor when life is so busy and there is so many things going on, how do I find time to have the perfect answer or to be able to give all of the right instruction to someone. And I guess as I thought about that, I just looked at that, it really does speak to this concept of, we’ve used a phrase “in the way” mentoring. You maybe have heard us talk about that phrase, mentoring as you go through life. It’s a little bit what we’re talking about here, Matt, isn’t it? I mean this idea that this is something that just happens as we walk through life.
And it does. And really having, I would say too, good quality conversations. Because we do, depending on your arrangement and who you are working with, we have a lot of opportunity within a Sunday to connect with a person. Whether it’s sitting there at the stool at the table there, at lunch, and have back and forth, with this on your thinker. You might share an example for this week. This week I was so annoyed with my neighbor because this is what happened. And here’s how my wife and I worked it out and the love that has been generated in my heart. It’s just a story. I’m just sharing a story with you. And I don’t know that we’ve seen that as a mentoring moment. It’s a mentoring moment and it can happen right off the start as you share, as you engage in those conversations.
And I think one caveat, as you said, that brought to mind a caveat, right? I think a trap we can fall into is to say, this is how you have to walk through such a situation because this is what I did. This is what you need to do now, I think that goes to our tenure. How we approach this. I don’t think that’s what we’re saying here necessarily. We’re not dictating the exact course of action in anybody’s life. And we’re not even saying, do just like I did it perfect. No. Learn from my mistakes. And that kinda thing. Or interpret this in your own sphere that’s going on there. Sometimes there’s wrong ways and there’s right ways, but often it’s like, okay, that’s food for thought. So he or she, they went through it and this is what they did. Oh, I can do this too. And I can maybe walk through that as well.
Any other questions that are out there? Any other thoughts that have been stirred by our conversation here today? You know, Arlan, one I think really hopeful piece out of this is that I think people can get really discouraged because their desire is not in the right place. They know they’re way too infatuated with something. I’m just gonna pick something. It could be benign or it could be serious.
An infatuation with sports, for example. I know that I’m way too consumed by this, but maybe that’s just knit into who I am and that’s just whatever. But I think the incredibly good news here is that our desire can change. And that desire for change is often done by example. We see that example. And so for somebody to be able to see that, yeah, I know really like narrow ties, but it doesn’t always have to be. And it’s really gonna change based on an outside experience. Which we struggle with a lot of desire problems, whether it be in an addiction, whether it be on and on and on it goes. We’ve got a lot of desire problems. And I think at the root of it, a lot of people are wondering if they can ever really change that desire. And I’m not gonna paint this altruistic picture as like, okay, and you’re never gonna struggle with things again. But, a shift in desire is possible.
It is, and I think, frankly, one of the most frustrating things that can be about mentoring is you can be walking with someone and they don’t seem to change or even want to change. And that can be an ongoing kind of frustrating place we can find ourselves in.
I think what this has done for me at least, it’s maybe given me a little bit of a breath of fresh air and say, okay, that is a reality of what’s going on right here, possibly but, I can look at myself and I can change myself. We do have control over our own actions and desires and that kind of thing, and I can move myself into a spot of greater health and see where that leads, and sometimes that can bear fruit and sometimes it might not. But, regardless, it’s the right thing to do. I mean, this is bringing ourselves more in line to that lineage or that linkage to Christ.
Any other questions or any thoughts anybody has? I’m not seeing anybody unmute their mike or chat anything in which is fine. But just wanna give opportunity.
They either understood everything or they all slept. We don’t know but well, we are always thankful for the opportunity. Okay, here’s the questions came through. Okay, so it just a confirmation of what we had just had shared. I was gonna ask how to motivate the desire, but you basically just answered it. This idea that we try to keep modeling ourselves, modeling the desire for God, turning towards God, encouraging in that direction. And lemme just say this, I mean, we’ve all had experience under a teacher.
Which teacher was more compelling, the teacher who just hears how to do it or that teacher who was excited to show you how to do it? We would all say that your love for history was probably caught by inspirational teacher. A person who modeled it.
If you had a bad mathematics educator, then you’re very likely not to care for mathematics. And a lot of that had to do with that desire. And so really the question, how do you motivate desire? It’s not as hard as we think it is.
That’s a great point and I think it’s a critical aspect there. Well, thanks again for joining us. We’ll wrap this to a close. We did record it. We plan to share out that recording on our website. We’ll send it out with an email and always open for feedback, ideas. Our emails are available there on the website. And, love hearing from you and really appreciate you taking time today and wanna wish you God’s blessings and wishing you the best as you continue on serving others and loving others and modeling Christ each day.
Exciting. Thanks so much. See you.
Mentoring by Example
In this webinar, we discuss the role which our example can play within our mentoring. We find in life that we often learn from and model the behavior and desires we see in others. Leaning into this important, yet intimidating, concept can have a wonderful impact as we work with others. How should we think about this opportunity? Learn more as you watch our webinar recording.