Mentoring Lessons: Part 5 of 5

This post is an excerpt from a previous post titled Mentoring: The Top Ten Things I Learned From Bill Ferrell. Each day this week i will repost two of the top ten mentoring lessons I learned. Enjoy!

Mentoring doesn’t generally happen within the context of official programmed ministries, but rather through relationships. An example of this is the 10+ years that I spent loitering around the office (and family room) of Pastor Bill Ferrell. At the time neither of us realized it, but as I look back there is no one person more responsible for my Christian maturity, real life experience in the local church, and where I am as a leader, husband, and dad than this man Bill in all his perfectly tanned golf obsessed glory. So without further ado, I give you:

The Top 10 Things I learned From Bill Ferrell: 9-10

9. “Figure It Out.” It is easy to micromanage people, make them feel like rookies, and cut right to the chase to save time. It is better to help people in the evaluation and decision making process, and turn them loose on the world with a few skills. Letting people make decisions and stick with their decisions is a huge part of mentoring and investing in others.

10. You have to take care of your family. Bill never answered his phone during dinner, no matter how many times I called him at 6:00pm over the last 11 years. He budgeted his money wisely, to invest well for the care of his family, including seasonal vacations and other stuff. He valued his lovely wife (and great friend of mine) Chris Ferrell in front of others and held her up with the highest level of respect and dignity. He attended every children’s ministry event with his daughter Kimberly, and invested in her life outside of church everywhere he could. There is nobody who would suggest Bill could do more for his family, and many who would look to him as the example. For a young single guy, then a married guy, then an ordained seminary grad, and now a father of small children, God truly favored me among many by letting me be able to know Bill as well as I do.

There is a collection of things I have learned spending time with Bill Ferrell. We didn’t have an official mentoring program or a weekly meeting. It was my desire to be around someone who was at a place I wanted to get to, and he was willing to allow me to trespass in his office and home. Where are you loitering these days to gain wisdom? And who are you putting up with and investing in to catapult their own life somewhere?

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