There are three levels of relationships that every person should have in our lives. These are: 1) Mentors, 2) Those we are discipling, and 3) Peers.
So who’s in your circle?
I will admit that at different times in my life I have had only two, or even one of these areas covered, and have managed to skate by. But I have learned that to truly thrive—especially as a leader—I must have healthy relationships in all three of these areas, because each of these groups provide very different, rich components to my life and walk with God.
Remember that in all of these areas we are looking for People of Peace: those who love us, want to spend time with us, affirm us, give us the benefit of the doubt, open doors for us. PoP’s do push back and ask hard questions, but they also forgive us our faults. (See my May 29, 2015 post that expounds on this more.)
Who is mentoring you?
Finding a mentor can be difficult, but rest assured that God wants someone to be leading you, looking out for you, and functioning as a big brother or sister to you. If you need tips on how to find and pursue a mentor, check out my previous blog titled “Ready, Set, ASK!” Remember that a mentor doesn’t have to be well-known, or have expertise in the area of ministry where you serve. He/she just needs to be someone who is further on the journey than you are, someone to whom you give the right to ask hard questions and encourage. We ALL need mentors.
Who are you discipling?
It is a fact of life that if we are receiving, we need to be pouring out as well. Sometimes leaders believe that when they are in a time of transition or don’t have a formal “ministry,” that there are no people in their lives who they could be pouring into. This is definitely not the case! If you look around, there are people around you who want to learn from you, whether you have a formal title to disciple them or not. Grab them up, and invest! It will not only be refreshing to have an outlet for everything God is teaching you, but these people will also be a rich source of support and prayer for you as well.
Who are your buddies?
For many years I underestimated how desperately I needed colleagues who are safe. We all need friends, people! Those folks who just get us, and who are going through similar things. We can talk openly about what we’re going through without filters because we feel don’t feel responsible for them in the same way we do that last category. Don’t underestimate the value of good peers in your life.
So who’s in your circle? If you have one or two of these covered, awesome! Get going to fill in the holes everywhere else, and you may just be amazed at how rested, challenged, and supported you feel.