The funny thing about working with college students is that while I keep getting older, they are always the same age, 18-22. There are always students graduating and students who are just getting started. Therefore, it is important to developing the next set of leaders. I want to focus on one way to that I use to develop leaders, 5 minute mentoring.
There are two main principles I use in developing leaders. The first is that I try to never do ministry alone. I learned this when, Rich Lamb, a veteran InterVarsity staff came to observe me in ministry. In our conversation, it became clear that Sandi and I did a lot of ministry, but we were not multiplying our efforts. His advice, “never do anything by yourself.”
The second part learned primarily through my involvement in Toastmasters. Toastmasters is an organization dedicated to helping people become better communicators and leaders. In toastmasters each part of the meeting is evaluated by someone. The evaluation is brief and includes some feedback about what was done well and one or more ways to improve.
Putting these two ideas together, I always take someone with me when I am leading a meeting, a small group or teaching. After the meeting is done, I spend five minutes discussing what went well and some ways that we could improve the meeting. I get great feedback in my own teaching and leading and they are learning by observing me and thinking critically about the event.
After a few times, we reverse roles. They lead the meeting, I watch and after the meeting we spend five minutes talking about it.
Small group ministry is where this has paid off the most. When Sandi and I first started working together, we lead four small groups all by ourselves. The small groups were great, but we were exhausted. Now we won’t lead small group by ourselves, we take apprentices and teach them to lead. Now the work is fun and our work is multiplying so that more people are experiencing God in scripture.