Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
    • Do you have someone you can really be open with? Someone you can share your hopes, dreams, and struggles with?
    • Who in your life has permission to ask you the tough questions?
    • Do you see the wisdom of having close, same‐sex friends who can hold you accountable? Do you have friends like that? What’s one step you can take to start building those kinds of safeguards?
    • Do you keep short accounts with your spouse by confessing freely when you are wrong and forgiving quickly when you are wronged?
    • Do you attend a local church? How involved are you there?
    • Can you tell me about a time in your life when you experienced significant spiritual growth? What was happening then?
    • What would you say are the biggest obstacles to your spiritual growth during this season of your life? Who in your life can you turn to for help in those areas?
    • Is there anyone in your life who you know is praying for you?
    • How can I be an encouragement to you and help you move in the right direction?
Deeper Questions
    • Who in your life knows you well enough and has permission to ask you tough questions about your integrity?
    • Do you have godly friends or just those who condone your lifestyle?
    • Do you have a mentor or a minister in your personal life who knows you well?
    • Do you understand how Satan preys on people who are isolated and weak? (1 Peter 5:8)
    • Do you admonish others to godliness? Are you willing and able to be admonished? (Proverbs 27:17)
    • Are you taking temptation lightly or forgetting that every Christian is engaged in a spiritual battle? (Ephesians 6:11‐13)
    • What has prevented you from developing close relationships with same‐sex friends who can hold you accountable?
    • Are you afraid to build close friendships because it feels too vulnerable or you might be judged?
    • Have you been hurt in the past by people you trusted? Are you open to God’s healing hand in that part of your life and heart? Can I pray for that?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
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Other Ministry Links
  • - Stephen Arterburn and Sam Gallucci, Road Warrior, p. 140‐141

    “Give your friends permission to ask you hard questions about anything. And offer information to them as well. We must learn to bring into the light the private conversations, fleeting thoughts, personal struggles, and personal interactions that occur while traveling for work. Once something is discussed and brought into the light, it loses its power to control you.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Growing a Spiritually Strong Family, p. 16

    “Spiritual growth usually occurs in the context of relationships. We all need people close to us—not just to enjoy friendship and fellowship, but also to reap the benefits of mutual accountability.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Staying Close, p. 97

    “Accountability is a scriptural principle that tells us to ‘submit to one another out of reverence to Christ’ (Ephesians 5:21). This means I choose to submit my life to the scrutiny of another person to gain spiritual strength, growth, and balance. Marriage is a perfect arena for this to happen as husbands become accountable to wives and wives to husbands.”

  • - C.J. Mahaney, How Can I Change?, p. 48

    “Character cannot be developed or refined in isolation. To cultivate a righteous and fruitful life, we need the context of a local church.”

  • - Stephen and Alex Kendrick, The Love Dare, p. 112

    “Not everyone has the material to be a good friend. Not every man you hunt and fish with speaks wisely when it comes to matters of marriage. Not every woman in your lunch group has a good perspective on commitment and priorities. In fact, anyone who undermines your marriage does not deserve to be given the title of ‘friend.’”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 126

    “It might seem that life will be easier if we take the timid path of avoiding certain uncomfortable truths or winking at selected sins, but we always reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7‐9). If we sow loving honesty and courageous care, we will reap growth in godliness. If we avoid confrontation, we will just get confrontation anyway, because sin unaddressed is sin unconfined.”

  • - Crawford Loritts, Never Walk Away, p. 157

    “For our own protection, we must run to accountability and not from it. The quickest road to character demise and moral catastrophe is withdrawal from accountability and isolation from those who love us and are concerned about our development.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p. 129

    “I don’t want my words to make a spouse feel ‘caught’ in sin, because I don’t want to create a temptation to be more concerned with fixing a problem than encountering God. Confrontation is not a ‘gotcha’ event. I want my spouse to encounter the Holy Spirit, sent to convict the world of sin (John 16:8), and thus to experience the cleansing and faith‐inspiring work of godly sorrow over sin.”

  • - Stormie Omartian, The Power of a Praying Wife, p. 131

    “We all need the influence of good people to keep us on the right path. Every married couple should have at least two strong believing couples with whom they can share encouragement, strength, and the richness of their lives. Being around such people is edifying, enriching, balancing, and fulfilling, and it helps us keep perspective when things seem to grow out of proportion. Having the positive qualities of other people rub off on us is the best thing for a marriage.”

  • - Ed Welch, Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave, p. 9

    “God uses other people to help us see. As we have undoubtedly witnessed in others or ourselves, we might be blind to our own hearts, but other people can often see our problems very clearly. Other people can sometimes spot our self‐deception and real beliefs better than we can ourselves … This is one reason why it is so critical for each one of us to be accountable to others, and to have people in our lives who are willing to say hard things to us.”

  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, Starting Your Marriage Right, p. 115

    “Most of us live more responsibly when we know another person who cares about us … will mentor us, check up on us, monitor us, in other words, hold us accountable. If you want your relationship to deepen and go the distance, I strongly encourage you to welcome loving accountability from your spouse and others. For many newly married couples, developing accountability relationships may be one of the most important steps they take.”

  • - Joshua Harris, Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is), p. 133

    “Our enemy goes after people who isolate themselves from other Christians. Stragglers make easy victims. Without other people to encourage them, watch out for them, and confront small compromise in their lives, they often end up drifting into serious sin … If you want to experience long‐term victory over lust, you must lock arms with other believers.”

  • - Dave Harvey, When Sinners Say I Do, p.116

    “When someone close to you is running from the truth, love demands that you speak. Sometimes love must risk peace for the sake of truth.”

  • - Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control, p. 103

    “The key to integrity is that who you are in public aligns with who you are in private, and that both public and private life align with God’s standards. True integrity allows a few chosen individuals deep enough into one’s private life so that they can compare the two life‐styles and see they’re equal. That’s the kind of accountability that makes integrity pure.”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 195

    “We definitely urge you to be purposeful about surrounding yourself with godly sisters who are navigating the same waters. … You don’t want to blab your husband’s problems all over town, but being able to vent and pray with someone who cares for you can do wonders for your sanity.”

Next Steps
    • Are there areas of your life where you may be making small compromises that could eventually lead to serious sin?  Are you open to someone holding you
      accountable in those areas?
    • Spend some time comparing your private life with your public life.  Do they match up?
    • How can you be intentional about accountability in your life? Take the risk to start somewhere!
    • Be open and honest before God, asking Him to bring a caring friend or two into your life who can speak truth in love.  Or thank Him for the good friends you have who are willing to do that.
    • If married, seek to build a relationship with at least one other couple who can get to know you well and care about your marriage.
    • Develop a few same‐sex friendships to build you up, encourage you and challenge you.
    • Regularly attend a local church and get involved in a small group for accountability and spiritual growth.
    • How has your life changed since you began investing in your spiritual growth by seeking accountability?  Or how would it if you did?
    • Do not overestimate your own ability to overcome temptation. God may give you a way out through a friend’s help. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
    • Find a wise mentor with whom you can be open and honest, seeking their input.
    • Consider starting or joining a HomeBuilders small group study.
    • Pray with your spouse every day—this makes you both mutually accountable
      before God.
    • Men, you can connect with other men in a Men’s Fraternity group for accountability and growth.