Protégé

A M I S S I O P L AY B O O K

by Steve Saccone

PLAYBOOK

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M I SS I O

Producer: Matt Smay Designer: Peter Schrock Editor: bloomcreativellc.com, Robert Neely and Hugh Halter

©2013 Missio Publishing published by Missio Publishing ISBN 978-0-9899578-0-9 All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ Scripture quotations from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © by Eugene H. Peterson 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

CONTENTS
Introduction Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Closing 5 13 39 73 101 129 149 175

POINT OF ORIGIN

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INTRODUCTION: Point of Origin

This playbook revolves around being a disciple and making disciples. I have been either afflicted with or blessed with, depending on which way you look at it, a deep and tenacious ambition to excel since I was very young. With this ambition comes a thirst to grow, develop and achieve in every realm of life­ –career, education, relationships, and ultimately my life and calling with God. My challenge has been to strain the unhealthy ambition through a “God-filter” and pray that the righteous ambition to grow remains. As I’ve explored what it looks like for me to excel in my hunger and ability to serve in the local church, I was curious about what people of great influence do to make an impact on others and in this world. I long to embody the qualities that are required for a life that counts – focus, momentum, clarity, dedication, hunger, and growing abilities and talents. All of this, thankfully, has been guided by God’s presence and faithfulness in my life, rather than mere human ambition. One critical discovery I’ve made is that it often isn’t what people of great influence do, but
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who they are, that drives their influence. And to take it one step further, it is who they allow to guide them on their life journey that makes the most invisible, yet most profound impact. That discovery was the point where everything changed for me. I no longer needed to try to blaze a new path of my own and be the smartest guy in the room. Now I was looking to others who had gone before me; people who were indeed much smarter than I. This was the missing piece of my disjointed ambition, right there in front of me: I needed someone to guide me in a personal and customized way. In fact, it was absolutely necessary in order for me to become the person I longed to become. I wanted to be discipled but had no one to help me become a disciple. I didn’t have someone who was willing to take the necessary time and offer the invaluable investment to guide, sharpen, encourage, and motivate me to be who God designed me to be and do what God designed me to do. I didn’t have someone to help me navigate through my insecurities and fears, to
INTRODUCTION

help me understand why it was so hard to forgive that person who betrayed me, to guide me in understanding why I felt this yearning for affirmation that never went away, to know what to do with all the anger and irritability that I felt inside, or to know how to rid myself of the pride, envy and lust that swirled around in my soul. Sure this was tough stuff, but if I was part of a movement that revolved around the idea spoken by Jesus Christ, “Go and make disciples...” then why was it so hard to find people who were striving to do that? I thought, “Aren’t we all called to be a disciple and make disciples?” “It is almost universally conceded today that you can be a Christian without being a disciple.” - Dallas Willard, Divine Conspiracy Discipleship cannot and must not be reduced to simply reading our Bible, praying and tithing, as important as those things are. Why? Because discipleship is relational in its very essence and we cannot do it in isolation. To truly become a disciple, we need others to guide us, sharpen us, and encourage us. It’s is why Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Discipleship is relational. To be a disciple and to make disciples
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cannot be accomplished without community, and I would argue, without a culture of mentoring. This is a significant challenge so many of us face in our longing to make our lives count—how to find a disciple-maker and then be a disciple-maker. How to find a mentor and then be a mentor. This is the great dilemma that the church of Jesus Christ faces if we want to continue to fuel the mission and movement we’re committed to embodying. As my own personal journey evolved, God led me to several significant mentors, or disciple-makers, who have shaped and altered the trajectory of my life. This wasn’t a path that I expected nor predicted but it has been transformational, developmental and personal. As a result, I’ve come to believe more deeply than ever in the power of being a mentor. And just as significantly, I’ve come to believe more deeply than ever in the power of being a protégé. The content and dialogue within this Protégé Playbook is built on two core intersecting ideas: 1) being a protégé or a disciple, and 2) being a mentor or a disciple-maker. A protégé and mentor relationship is a dynamic relationship of trust in which one person cultivates in another person the ever deepening capacity to grow in the grace of God and to maximize who God designed them to become. The pursuit of becoming an effective mentor begins by learning to embody what it
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means to be an effective protégé—someone who desires to master his or her craft and become the right kind of person, through the mentorship of another. I’ve thought long and hard about this reality and have come to believe that these two roles are inseparably linked. Once we become followers of Jesus Christ, we don’t have the luxury of choosing one or the other. It’s not either/or. It’s always both/and. Unfortunately within the body of Christ, there tends to be an imbalance. People want to be discipled (at best) but what has happened to our pursuit of Jesus’ vision to “Go and make disciples...”? Consequently, over the course of the coming weeks, we’re going to dialogue about what it means to be a protégé and a mentor. Our ultimate goal as protégés is to be disciples, and as mentors, to make disciples, and we’ll explore what that really means. We’ll peer into both to gain a more robust understanding of this dual calling of every follower of Christ. We’ll seek to understand how it is that we go about being a disciple and making disciples. What do the Scriptures really say about all this? And how do we allow the Spirit of God to flow in and through our lives in more substantial ways? Maybe when you think of mentoring or discipling, what comes to mind is something like, “What if I am really young or inexperienced? Should I really be mentoring someone? Wouldn’t it be dangerous for me to mentor someone since I often struggle with inadequacy and uncertainty?
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Shouldn’t mentoring be reserved for the experts? I’m not one of them!” Or maybe you’re thinking, “I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to mentoring. I’ve never even been mentored, so how could I be a good mentor before I’ve even received good mentoring?” Or perhaps you’re new or even exploring your faith, and you’re wondering, “Should I be trying to guide others in their spiritual journey when I am searching myself?” I’ve heard my share of these kinds of questions (and many more), but the answer to the question, “Should I be a mentor?” is still the same: “Yes!” Maybe that surprises you. Maybe it doesn’t. I’m convinced that everyone has something to offer that someone else can learn from. It may not be the same intensity level of mentoring or to the same degree, or have the same emphasis, but that simply points us to the different kinds of mentoring and different roles we can play in mentoring others. The Scriptures are our model. They teach every follower of Jesus Christ to open their life to be invested in, and also remind us that we are all called to invest in others. Jesus himself once invited those he selected to invest in, “ordinary, unschooled men”, to become “fishers of people” or investors in others. One of the things we’ll learn rather quickly in this journey is that there’s something that happens in the transformation process when we’re not just receiving but also
INTRODUCTION

giving our lives away simultaneously. Jesus was keenly aware of this, which is one of many reasons we have this dual calling. Redefining Mentorship For anyone who is uncertain or uneasy about this journey of becoming a mentor, I’m glad you’re reading. I think you’re going to discover a new vision for what mentoring can be in your life and how you can learn to do it more effectively. I think you’re also going to discover ways that you’ve actually been mentored by someone else that you may have not realized. We’re going to spend the next six weeks unpacking various complexities and misunderstandings about mentoring and discipleship. By the end of our dialogue, you’ll have an expanded vision and focused plan that will guide you in how to be more effective and intentional in the way you invest in others and in the way you allow others to invest in you. The Research Says... In my book Protégé: Developing the Next Generation of Church Leaders, I highlighted the critical task of developing the next generation of influencers in the church. Up to this point, we have been using language involving discipleship in terms of mentoring and investing. Another way we can describe discipleship, especially within the context of ministry workers, is leadership development. One of the discoveries in my research involves the gap between what church
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leaders believe and what they actually do. In the local church, research reveals that the challenges of leadership development start at the highest level of leadership. Among senior pastors, 93 percent declare that leadership development is critical to their organization’s effectiveness and future, yet less than 23 percent of them perceive themselves to be doing a “better than average” job at it. That’s an enormous gap in belief and action. Then, unfortunately, this lack of effectiveness and execution at the top trickles down through their organizations to create cultures that don’t do leadership development well either, despite believing in its critical importance. That’s the reality in the church. There’s no doubt that there are many complex and challenging reasons for this gap, which we’ll look at more closely, but the gap that stands between knowing what we need to do and actually doing it well is undeniably wide. This isn’t just at the senior leadership level. This is pervasive throughout the Christian movement. In this Protégé Playbook, we will learn practical methods that will help us close that gap no matter what level of an organization we live at, and no matter who we are, and no matter what church or faith community we’re a part of. We will build on and extend some of the key ideas from my previous book Protégé, and delve more deeply into what it looks like to mentor others most effectively in the backdrop of all the challenges we are facing against our movement.
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Deciding Who To Invest In One important question in the disciple-making conversation is “how do we know who to invest in?” For me, it starts with a personal commitment of my own to minimize my investment in people who are not willing to mentor others. It’s not necessarily a prerequisite before I consider a person to mentor. However, I do always challenge the person I consider mentoring, or discipling, to invest in others. Why? Because there’s something transformative not only in the receiving, but also in the giving away of what you’re receiving. I always try to intentionally invest my time in a way that cultivates a multiplying effect. I think it is biblical and it’s also practical. It’s the way of the kingdom. Jesus lives in the kingdom and applies that kingdom for the good of others, while also making it accessible for us to enter and live in that kingdom. Jesus, among many other examples of his followers in the Scriptures, was selective, purposeful and prayerful about the person in whom he chose to invest. He was strategic in how he chose to cultivate kingdom values within the existing cultural context. We ought to follow his example. One principle of the kingdom of God centers on small purposeful investments that make big, eternal impact. Jesus shares several parables throughout the Gospels that build on this idea. Life with Jesus is about giving our lives away in serving others. It’s about valuing other people even above ourselves. And it’s also about
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thinking intentionally about how we go about doing this so our small investment in even one person will have a multiplication effect. Living in the way of the kingdom is a counter-intuitive way of living that declares, “My life is not about me. My life is designed to serve and invest in others.” How I choose to go about this endeavor is a stewardship issue that directly overlaps my spiritual formation and discipleship process. The core motivation for relational influence is captured in Jesus’ declaration of his own life: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) “Again Jesus said, ‘Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.’” (John 20:21) No matter who you are, how young or how inexperienced you are, I’m convinced there is always someone whom you can influence and who will find extraordinary value in your relational investment. Remember, discipleship is relational. The kingdom of God is relational. Jesus is calling you and sending you to invest relationally in others. There is always someone toward whom you can choose to lay down your life for, serve, and extend extraordinary love. Mostly, they are ordinary people. And there are lots of ordinary people all around you who are looking for and in need of
INTRODUCTION

someone to invest in them. Start believing that. Start living that. Start calling other followers of Jesus to that. Are there certain things you shouldn’t mentor someone in because you’re too young or too inexperienced? Sure. But that doesn’t mean there’s not something you can and should be mentoring someone in. So much of relational influence comes back to something very simple: how well are we loving those around us? If we do this well, influence follows. How to Use This Book Although some of the core ideas in this playbook are elaborated on more extensively in my book Protégé: Developing the Next Generation of Church Leaders, this playbook is designed as a stand-alone resource. As we travel through these six weeks together, I want to encourage you not to read through this book alone. Rather, invite others to go through this experience with you. Here are two ways to do this:
1. One on one

action steps—to be a “doer” not just a “hearer.”
2. As a group

Another way you can enter this experience is with a small group. If you’re already in one, ask your group leader and/or group if they’d like to go through this playbook together. If you’re not in a group already, you can ask a few people to go through this playbook together, or simply start a new group. You can put a timeframe on it if you like—six weeks. Doing this in community will have an incredibly positive effect on your whole experience. Group members can inspire, encourage, challenge, and even hold each other accountable for application and developing an action-orientated faith. Our journey as disciples is all about our faith continuing to grow, and to optimize that, our discipleship must be rooted in relationships. As you move into this experience, notice the daily format. Each day there’s a little something different. Every day is designed with intention and specificity. There will be specific activities, reflections, and other ways to process and apply what you’re learning. The more seriously you take each day, the more you’ll gain from this communal experience. We suggest that you spend approximately 15-20 minutes per day in this playbook for the next six weeks. Carve out time each
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If you have a mentor, a protégé, or simply a friend who you think would be interested in walking through this experience, ask them to embark on this spiritual journey with you. This reading experience is designed for you to not only read and reflect individually, but to process what you’re learning in community. Along the way, you’ll be challenged and encouraged by each other to take
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day in a quiet place that minimizes or eliminates distractions (including turning off your computer and mobile devices). We suggest beginning with a few minutes of silence before God to still your soul. Invite God’s Spirit to work in you and speak to you clearly. Make a conscious choice internally to be attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. Express that to God out loud. As you read, try to absorb every word. Fight the urge to move forward too quickly. Every question is intended to serve you in your quest for God and spiritual growth. Every day is crafted with purpose. Every Scripture is the breath of God, intended to guide, correct, rebuke, and encourage you. By faith, anticipate that God will guide and direct your thoughts. He will come through. Don’t move so fast that you miss what God desires to do and say inside of you. Expect to be changed. Pray as you go. Center yourself in God every time you open this playbook because it will change the whole experience. The Structure Although we have put significant structure to this whole process, we’re also well aware that life doesn’t always work this way, so adapt as you need. We implemented the structure with hopes that it would serve you well in the rhythm of a seven day week. Here’s what it will look like each week. Remember that the structure is there to serve you, not constrain you.
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Day 1: Exploration Day 2: Meditation Day 3: Change Day 4: Action Day 5: Synergy Day 6: Calibration Day 7: ReCreate Days 1-4, as well as day 6 and 7 can be done alone throughout your week. Day 5 of the daily sequence is called Synergy. It is intended to be done in community, with one or more people. Plan on doing this day with the person or persons you’re going through this experience with. A fellow protégé, a mentor, a mentee, a group, or simply a friend who also desires growth in their quest to know and follow Christ. Are you ready? Personal transformation and God-honoring influence await you!

INTRODUCTION

ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ

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EXPLORATION // On Being A Protégé

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Living as a protégé is first and foremost God’s idea. It is his invention, and in fact, his way of changing the world one person at a time. That’s the life we’re invited into as followers of Jesus Christ—to be a protégé in heart, in spirit, and in essence—and we are also called to embrace our responsibility to invest in others. This is a way of life that so many followers of Christ don’t fully grasp or know quite how to embody—to not only be a disciple but to be a disciple-maker. This is the life that every one of us is called to live—to receive and to give, to learn from others and to give yourself away in serving others, to allow others to shape us and for us to take responsibility to shape the lives of others. Wonder when you get to stop being a protégé or a disciple? According to Jesus, never. It’s a lifelong journey. In the kingdom of God, every one of us is called to be a lifelong learner, apprentice, student, disciple, or protégé. Do we ever grow up and grow out of being a protégé? No, because being a protégé isn’t about age, life experience, or maturity levels. Being a protégé is learning to live in the way of Jesus, learning to live as if Jesus were living in your place. Being a protégé is about “hearing” and “doing,” being attentive and responsive to God. Being a protégé is about allowing ourselves to be shaped by others, and ultimately being shaped by God himself. That’s the pursuit all of us are called to as followers of Jesus Christ. Jesus pointed us to this reality.

Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.” He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” (Luke 8:19-21)

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Being attentive is the ability to recognize Jesus’ invitations and designs for our lives. Being responsive is choosing what Jesus is inviting us to be and to do.1

Protégés take action. They act on God’s Word. They act on God’s voice. Protégés live with an attentiveness and responsiveness to God. This is just the beginning of the many kingdom values that make up the essence of a protégé. They are values that ought to be embedded into our hearts, minds and souls. The Scriptures you’ll read over the next six weeks will serve as a guide for you to know how these values become a reality in our lives and then how they impact the lives of others.

Kingdom Values of a Protégé ffTeachable ffDriven to excel for God’s glory ffTenacious learner ffHungry for God ffMissional ffDevoted ffWisdom seeker ffMaster of their craft(s) ffReceptive of others input ffGenerative ffServant-hearted ffDiligent ffCompelled by a call ffCommunity-oriented ffIntentionally striving to live like Jesus

The quest for every protégé begins with a heart posture of humility toward God (and toward others). Protégés strive to learn everything they can to be all God has designed them to be. They’re driven to excel to the best of their ability in all aspects of life and faith, and they work diligently toward that end. They embody a teachable spirit and tenaciously seek wisdom, realizing that the beginning of wisdom starts with the fear of the Lord. At their core, a protégé is hungry to know and follow God as they strive to discover the good life that he offers. Somewhere along the way, they decide they will learn from others, and ultimately from God. When it comes to their talents and abilities, protégés desire to master their craft(s) and harness who they are to serve God and others as they live on mission. They live in vibrant, healthy community with a cause to live for, and worth dying for. Protégés know at a deep level that they can’t do life as God intended it on their

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own…and they don’t even want to do it on their own. Community is an essential way of living and being in this world. In that context, they willingly submit themselves to the care and guidance of someone else who is interested in their overall wellbeing. They know how critical mentorship can be both in the giving and the receiving, so they not only receive investment, but they’re always investing in others. Ultimately, protégés are convinced that this way of living and being can help them to live as Jesus would live if he were living in their place. Human beings are created to learn and keep learning from others how to live and be in this world, how to seek and know what the good life is really all about. This Protégé Playbook intends to be a “virtual mentor” to you as we explore together what living as a protégé as well as a mentor really entails. Learning how we can both give and receive the kind of mentorship that the Scriptures call us to is essential for every one of us on this journey as followers of Jesus.

Solomon speaks also to the sharpening and mastery of talent and skill: If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill [and wisdom] will bring success. (Ecclesiastes 10:10) The Apostle Paul said: In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people. (Colossians 3:23 NCV) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom... (Proverbs 9:10) Without counsel, plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Proverbs 15:22 ESV)

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MEDITATION // On Being A Protégé

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers. (2 Timothy 2:2 NLT) For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. (1 Corinthians 4:17)

One of the great mentor/protégé relationships in the Scriptures involves Paul and Timothy. They initially met in Lystra, Turkey, during Paul’s first missionary journey (around 47-48 AD; see Acts 16:1-5). Timothy had a Greek, non-believing father, but he heard of the coming Messiah from the teaching of his godly Jewish mother and grandmother. When Paul came to Lystra with the message of the gospel, Timothy listened intently. In time, he devoted his life to Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 4:17). For the next 15 years, Paul and Timothy spent time doing ministry together. That’s where this mentor/protégé relationship was established. Paul shaped Timothy’s life in many significant ways. We have two of his letters written to Timothy in the Scriptures where we discover the essence of what Paul sought to impart to one of his many protégés. Paul’s words reveal the substance, wisdom and truth that he wanted to pass on through his mentorship of Timothy. But nothing that Paul passed on to Timothy was only for Timothy’s benefit. As you read through 1 and 2 Timothy, it’s both implicitly observed and explicitly stated that Paul is passing on to Timothy what he assumes and even challenges Timothy to pass on to others (namely, the people of the church in Ephesus that Timothy was pastoring, as well as us). Through the words of these two letters, we are given the building blocks of both Paul and Timothy’s life and ministry. Perhaps it will move us to open our hearts to receive and apply these same truths and wisdom. What Paul passes on to Timothy is what Holy Spirit desires to pass on to us, ultimately, as his protégés. These are core truths on which we can build our kingdom-focused

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lives and learn how to make a greater impact on the people’s lives around us. In his letters to Timothy, Paul challenges Timothy toward action, recalibrates his priorities and imparts words of wisdom. Here are a few snapshots that give us a biblical foundation of mentorship as well as reveal what Paul and Timothy’s relationship was like. In the coming pages, we’ll delve deeper into this relationship, and look closer at other biblical and modern day examples of mentors and protégés. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ. (2 Timothy 4:14-15) Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. (2 Timothy 1:14) Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12) As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. (2 Timothy 4:5 ESV) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17) And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. (2 Timothy 2:2 TNIV)
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The biblical foundation for mentorship Pursue deep relationship Learn from others ffBe rooted in scripture ffBe Spirit-empowered ffBe an example ffBe a coach ffTrust ffInvest in others
ff ff

A Spiritual Guide: Paul’s Influence on Timothy One of the important things we can deduce from the verses that record the conversation between the apostle Paul and his protégé Timothy is that he essentially coached him on what mattered most. Paul gave Timothy perspective, challenged him and offered guidance as to what should remain top priorities according to life in the kingdom of God. He led him in the way he could and should live in light of God’s kingdom values as well as charged him to call others to that same way of kingdom living. Mentorship is always rooted in relationship. As 1 Timothy opens, Paul addresses Timothy as “my true son in the faith…” (1 Timothy 1:2). This gives us a snapshot into a relationship in the spirit of a loving, gracious, faithful Father who intentionally and compassionately sought to guide his humble, moldable, and devoted son—a protégé. Some of us may feel we need a spiritual father or spiritual mother. And although we can’t always force that to happen, perhaps we need to begin praying for it. Or…maybe we can become a spiritual father or mother to someone else. The Words of a Sage As you read the following verses from 1 and 2 Timothy, what else do you notice about the relational dynamic that exists between Paul and Timothy? Take time to meditate on what you observe. Timothy, my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. (1 Timothy 1:18-19)
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Timothy was opening himself to Paul’s influence and then giving away what was being given to him.

This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time. And I have been chosen as a preacher and apostle to teach the Gentiles this message about faith and truth. I’m not exaggerating—just telling the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4-7) Never be in a hurry about appointing a church leader. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. (1 Timothy 5:22) Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.... Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life. (1 Timothy 6:6, 17-19) This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. [2 Timothy 1:6-7] A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. (2 Timothy 2:24) Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching .... But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and
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fully carry out the ministry God has given you. (2 Timothy 4:2, 5) But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. (2 Timothy 4:17)

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CHANGE // On Being A Protégé

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I’ve read, meditated on, studied, and analyzed the two letters of 1 and 2 Timothy. There have been key themes that I’ve noticed Paul going back to repeatedly. I’ve sought to make these themes core values in my life as well as in my approach to investing in others. And although these core values don’t form an exhaustive list of everything Paul says, nor do they address everything the Bible says about mentoring, these values have taken deep root in my life as a mentor, and are well worth aspiring to for every follower of Jesus Christ. In addition, as a lifelong protégé myself, I’ve been shaped in these areas by others and through God’s Spirit. I’m convinced that these kingdom values are critical to absorbing, embracing and applying the protégé journey individually, and then passing it to others. So let’s learn from Paul’s protégés for the next few days by looking more closely at and reflecting on our own core values—what they are, and perhaps what they ought to be when it comes to aligning our lives with the values of the kingdom of God. What Are Your Core Values? This question is essential to be able to answer as a follower of Jesus Christ. This question is critical to keep in mind when seeking to impact others. Why? Because the answers to this question can and should guide you in how you mentor and invest in others. As Paul challenged Timothy, I challenge you to think deeply about your core values, including what you want them to be. This always informs the areas in which you pursue growth.

As protégés, these are core growth areas that we can strive to grow in ourselves, learning from God and others. As mentors, these are core growth areas where we can provide guidance, encouragement and challenge as we become instrumental voices who shape other protégés. Our core values provide a map to clarify the pursuit of growth in our own lives and how and to what end we are guiding and investing in protégés.

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ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ // 1.3

In addition, reflect on whether the values that you aspire to align with the ones Paul points out to his protégé, or if they emerge a bit differently in your life. Take time to get clarity on what you really value as a person. Carve out time to make sure you align your life values to the values you want to pass on as a mentor, so that you understand what you are trying to shape in another person’s life. The Mentor’s Map In my own journey with God, I’ve landed on five primary growth areas (five of my “core values”) that I focus on in my own journey of individual growth and that inform and guide how I invest in others. Intentional Investment Invest in people who invest in others. Spiritual Vibrancy Abiding in Christ is the path to genuine fruit-bearing. Character Formation Put on virtue as you continue to put off the sins that entangle you. Relational Wholeness Love matters most. Kingdom Entrepreneurship Missional living is a call to act, risk, serve humbly, and initiate boldly. These become what I call my Mentor Map. This map brings clarity to me (and hopefully my protégés) in the areas where we’re desiring to grow and experience transformation. You may add another one or two core values to these, or adapt them a bit. That’s fine. But for our purposes together, these will be the ones I focus on in the coming weeks. Along the way, perhaps you’ll become more deeply convinced of what your core values are and so clarify your own mentor map. It can become a great guide for you in your life and ministry moving forward. As a protégé, these core growth areas intersect how I engage life and relationships in the context of the kingdom of God. Again, this map directs me in my pursuit of growth as a protégé and guides me in how to invest in others. These core values form a transformational path upon which I strive to guide every protege in whom I’m investing. At the center of each core value lie God’s heart and vision for our lives as we seek to embody life in the kingdom more fully everyday.

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Protégés and mentors alike long for a renewed vision for kingdom living. They yearn to discover fresh ways to embody God’s mission. They crave authentic encounters with God so they can experience and help others to experience real life transformation. All five core values are critical in the life of faith and to the ministry in which God uses us to serve others and restore our world.

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ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ // 1.3

THE MENTOR’S MAP

INTENTIONAL INVESTMENT SPIRITUAL VIBRANCY RELATIONAL WHOLENESS CHARACTER FORMATION KINGDOM ENTREPRENEURS

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INTENTIONAL INVESTMENT Invest in people who invest in others. How deeply and clearly do you sense God’s calling for you to invest in others? • In whom are you investing? • Are you investing in the “right people”? • Are you prayerfully and purposely selecting those in whom you invest? • What are you doing to intentionally and specifically help others grow?

SPIRITUAL VIBRANCY Abiding in Christ is the path to genuine fruit bearing. Are you caring for your own soul? • Are you walking with God daily? • Are you investing in people who you feel God calling you to invest in? • What intentional actions are you taking to cultivate spiritual vibrancy and an ever-deepening, abiding connection with God? • Are you engaging in this soul conversation with a community of people around you?

CHARACTER FORMATION Put on virtue as you continue to put off the sins that entangle you. In what specific ways is your character being challenged, sharpened, and transformed by God and by others? • Are you keenly and consistently aware of what God is saying and doing in you? • Can you point clearly to specific sins that you are overcoming–things like envy, greed, pride, lust, self-reliance? • Are you growing in self-awareness of your character deficits? • Are you inviting others to be part of your journey at a deep level, to speak honestly, appropriately and openly into your life? • Are you growing in the way you handle conflict?

RELATIONAL WHOLENESS Love matters most. In what ways are you striving for growth in how you love and relate to those around you? • Is your heart postured to serve others, even in difficult conversations? • Are you serving people consistently and with intentionality? • How is God growing the way you relate to people? • In what ways are you becoming more emotionally and relationally whole? • Are you growing in awareness of God’s presence throughout your day?

KINGDOM ENTREPRENEURS Missional living is a call to act, risk, serve humbly, and initiate boldly. What intentional actions are you taking to live on mission, serve outsiders, and proactively take risks for the sake of others? • Is your life laced with courage in the midst of internal fears you may have? • Are you taking personal responsibility to do your part in restoring the world to be what God intended? • Is your compassion deepening for “the least of these” and “the lost,” and are you in genuine relationships with them? • Do you see the good and beautiful dimensions of who you are from a godly vantage point?

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ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ // 1.3

1.3

QUESTIONS FOR JOURNALING AND DISCUSSION

What immediately comes to mind when you think of the word protégé? What other synonyms for protégé come to mind? What are you challenged by most when considering what it means to be a protégé (as defined in the last few pages)? Describe what the following terms mean to you and/or why they are important to you. Intentional Investment Spiritual Vibrancy Character Formation Relational Wholeness Kingdom Entrepreneurship Write down one specific dimension in each of these five core areas that you desire to grow in. For instance, with character formation, you may identify how you want to grow in courage or humility. Or with intentional investment, you may want to identify one person to start mentoring or what your next step is to help another person grow. Or with relational wholeness, you may want to grow in understanding what drives some of your unhealthy relating patterns. At this stage, I’m not asking that you do anything specific with what you write down. I’m simply inviting you to identify some of your desires for growth. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate anything in any of these areas that he wants to speak to you about, or call you to act upon. Remember, he’s your ultimate guide­ — your Ultimate Mentor.

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Now, take a few moments to pray for the person(s) you’re going through this experience with—specifically that they would grow and change over the course of these coming weeks. Ask God for wisdom and insight for yourself and also for the others involved. If you like, write down a prayer in the space provided.

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ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ // 1.3

1.4

CHANGE // On Being A Protégé

This week, we’re actually going to practice what it means to “be a protégé” by taking initiative to find a new mentor. Let me walk you through what I mean because it may look different than you think. Here are three action items to get you started. ACTION 1 Make a mental inventory of people in your life from whom you’d like to learn. Maybe you want to learn a certain skill that someone you know has. Maybe you have interest in gaining wisdom in some specific area of expertise (e.g., leadership, computer science, entrepreneurialism, finance, or some artistic realm). Maybe you know someone who is an admired or accomplished person of influence and you would enjoy being around him or her to learn whatever you can. I’m certain that most of these people you’re thinking of would be willing to give you some time to ask some questions and learn. Taking initiative to ask is where this process begins. It’s a risk worth taking for your own development. I’ve met with a construction worker who was an entrepreneur, a writer of a TV show to learn about communication, and a PhD in sports medicine to learn about research methods and future-oriented thinking. Or consider doing this from a different angle, or with a different goal. Here are some ideas... Maybe there’s a married couple you know whom you’d like to talk to about building a strong marriage, or

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maybe ask for some practical advice from because you’re going through a rough patch in your own marriage? Do you know someone from whom you just want to soak up anything and everything she has to say because of how she navigates life’s complexities...how she balances and prioritizes everything? Look back over the five core growth areas and identify one that you can ask this person specific questions about. There are many options here. For some of you, I know this is a big risk and makes you feel a bit vulnerable. But tailor it to your personality and do it. Think about it for a few minutes and even write down a few names. Prayerfully pick one to act upon. Then act by taking initiative to contact that person (email, phone, in person, etc.). Do it right now. ACTION 2 Take initiative to set up a meeting with someone whom you desire to learn from, a mentor. I’m not asking you to establish an ongoing mentoring relationship or even to ask anyone outright to be your mentor, although maybe that’s what results. I’m simply asking you to identify someone whom you perceive could be a positive influence in your life in some area where you’d like to grow. I’m asking you to initiate getting together with them with the goal of learning from them, of being their protégé in some way or another. That’s often where an organic, natural mentorship begins—it’s unforced, maybe even informal, but very intentional. A little advice…this conversation may involve spiritual overtones, like gaining insights into how this person walks closely with God or how they study the Bible, or how they share the gospel message with an outsider

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and pray with them to ask Jesus Christ to lead their life and grant them eternal salvation. These are all very important things, of course. But, don’t limit yourself to trying to receive mentorship only in the areas that seem “spiritual.” Remember that all of life is “spiritual.” Learning about a certain skill or gain knowledge in an area that improves your work life can be a very spiritual act, especially if you’re striving to develop a skill which you want to use to serve others and honor God. Or maybe the area you want to grow in involves work ethic, or decision-making skills, or team building. Go for it. Don’t limit yourself in what God may desire to do in your life. It may surprise you, so be open. ACTION 3 Get it on the calendar. When you contact a potential mentor, share that you’d be interested in spending time with him or her to learn about the specific area you’ve identified. Affirm what you see that may be admirable or compelling. Feel free to mention getting together over a meal or coffee, or that’d you be willing to come to their workplace. Out of respect, listen to what his or her preferences are and allow them to determine what this looks like as it relates to schedule. Maybe you’ll be invited over for dinner or an an evening at their home. Be available and flexible. A suggestion…as you practice “being a protégé” this week, jot some notes down to help you remember what you learned, or to use to share with others. Others may learn from these things too.

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SYNERGY // On Being A Protégé

1.5

Before you start today, go back to section 1.2 and reread the verses where Paul is exhorting, encouraging, and challenging Timothy. What strikes you most about these verses? Think specifically about the dynamics of mentors and protégés. What do you notice about their relationship? What challenges or inspires you about what Paul is trying to pass on to his protégé, or about the relational dynamics that exist, or about the posture of his heart, or even about the word choices of Paul? What challenging dynamics exist when trying to establish a mentor/protégé relationship? How have you seen or applied navigating these challenges? Or, what have you learned that didn’t go so well? In what areas do you desire to be mentored? Take some time to write down thoughts on why you desire to be mentored in these areas. Share the potential mentor that you selected with the person(s) with whom you’re going through this experience ( your group, your friend, a fellow protégé, etc.). Share why you chose this person and what you hope to learn from them specifically (or what have you learned from them). Share a few of the questions you want to ask him or her and why. If you have time, read through the entirety of 1 & 2 Timothy together. Discuss what you observe in the scope of both letters.

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Maybe by sharing questions together, everyone in your group, or the person you’re dialoguing with, will receive good ideas and insights into what questions they can ask as well. A significant part of being a protégé, in addition to gaining wisdom and advice from others, involves asking great questions. If going through this with a group, you may want to jot down any great questions that emerge and email them to everyone in the group as a resource after your group meeting. If doing this with a group (to prepare for next week’s group time), discuss and then decide together on two or three mentors who you think would come to your group next week to pass on what they have done to be an effective mentor. Shoot for three and you may only get one or two. In other words, brainstorm different people whom the group collectively would like to learn from. Someone take the lead to get each person to your group next week so you can all learn from a great mentor or two. See next week’s Synergy day for more details.

Something to think about: To be a protégé, ask thoughtful, curious questions. Choose to be humble. Listen well. And remember, never stop learning from others.

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CALIBRATION // On Being A Protégé

1.6

Timothy spent 15 years doing life and ministry with Paul. Along the way, he never stopped seeking out and applying everything Paul was passing on to him, and then synthesizing it to pass on to others. Like Timothy, being a protégé ought never to stop because it is about humbly learning to be and do everything God wants us to be and do. It’s about being attentive to God’s voice and responding to it. Mentors help protégés recognize that voice inside of them. That’s the spirit of a protégé. It is a lifelong journey for every follower of Christ to recognize God’s voice and learn to act on it. One of the questions that mentors ponder is, “Who should I mentor?” Great mentors are extremely intentional about who they select to spend, and steward, their time with. So, if we want to become the right kind of people that great mentors WANT to mentor, here’s a sketch of what characteristics I believe great mentors look for. In other words, if you want to find a great mentor, embody the following… Cultivate a hunger for God I always look for people to invest in who are passionately seeking God. If you’re a protégé looking for a mentor, keep your hunger alive because that’s who kingdom-minded mentors are drawn to invest in. They spot it more than you think. Seek to know God intimately and take adequate time to strengthen your relationship with him. What flows out of this relationship is a passionate devotion to this God who we can spend everyday, and really a lifetime, getting to know. Pursue God earnestly and you will experience what it means to
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As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? (Psalm 42:1-2) One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple… My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek. (Psalm 27:4, 8)

ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ // 1.6

be spiritually alive. Mentors will desire to come alongside someone who is truly hungry for God. Maintain a humble, teachable posture toward God (and others) The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. (Proverbs 12:15) This is a non-negotiable characteristic that I look for when considering whether to mentor someone. One caution is to know the difference between learning and teachability. Learning is important, but sometimes people learn on their own terms. Or they are limited by thinking that learning is simply the pursuit of knowledge or just observing life and taking in what they want and dispensing with what they don’t want. Teachability is distinct and different because it’s about opening one’s life up to learning from another person and being molded by someone else due to a person’s relational investment. This takes humility. And teachable people have evidence of being humbly open to and then molded by another person’s life. What follows this teachable posture is a willingness to submit to the care and guidance of another. One way to communicate that you want to submit to another’s guidance is by asking questions to wise people and then being receptive to their input, advice, or counsel. Our human tendency is to resist advice. But protégés know the value of remaining open to guidance and also to allowing someone to care for them. We can’t force someone to care for us, but often we self-protect and don’t allow it when someone does in fact want to care. Don’t be too proud to allow someone to come alongside you in life, care for you, and invest in you. Protégés continually look for wise counsel and godly advice. Be devoted and diligent in striving to become the best of who you are Don’t wait for things to fall into your lap. Take responsibility. Take action. Be a risk-taker for the sake of others
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and in a way that honors God. Believe in who you are becoming and that what you’re doing with your life really counts. And act like it. Strive diligently to excel to the best of your ability in all you do. Be devoted to becoming the best person you can be in all aspects of life and faith. Always give yourself fully to what you do, who you are becoming, and to the relationships in your life. Work hard and do it for God. Strive to master your craft and steward your abilities Pursue mastery. Fan the flame of your gift. Sharpen your ax. Spend time discovering your calling, talents and gifts—really spend time gaining deeper levels of awareness of the resources God has given you. Then, sharpen and develop your gifts and abilities for the sake of the kingdom. Harness these abilities that God has given you to serve God’s greater purpose and mission in the world. Be tenaciously careful not to just use them simply for your own gain. Rather, let it lead you down the path to know God better and serve him with greater kingdom impact. Along the way, be intentional about getting around others who have a similar gift mix or who have expertise in areas where your abilities lie. Take time to develop yourself, but refuse to make it all about you. Instead, seek to steward all of who you are and who you can become for the sake of the kingdom of God, serving his greater purposes. Show honor and express gratitude Honor your mentor(s) and express gratitude consistently. It’s not that mentors need constant expressions of gratitude, or even to be honored incessantly, although these are certainly nice to receive at times. Primarily this is about protégés cultivating the right kind of heart and then giving to others who invest in them what they deserve. I know as a mentor that I look for the characteristic of gratitude right from the start in exploring
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Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58) The Apostle Paul once said: In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people. (Colossians 3:23 NCV)

If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill [and wisdom] will bring success. (Ecclesiastes 10:10) We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. (Romans 12:6-8)

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you. (Hebrews 13:17)

ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ // 1.6

Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

a potential protégé/mentor relationship. I’ve learned the hard way how important this characteristic is when investing in another person. I’ve realized that grateful people are almost always generous people. And so when I invest in grateful people, they tend to generously multiply everything I invest in them. Be bold and assertive Ask for a mentor. Wow, brilliant advice, right? Yeah, I know this sounds simple, but people don’t do this. So I say, if there’s someone you’d like to mentor you, and it’s appropriate to ask them, go for it. Ask graciously and humbly if they’d be willing to spend time with you to help you grow. I don’t advise asking for someone to mentor you for the next year. Start small. Take it one step at a time. It usually works far better. In my experience, the overwhelming majority of people say yes and are willing to at least give you some time and investment.

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

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ReCREATE // On Being A Protégé

1.7

After King David died, his son Solomon became king over Israel. While he was at a place called Gibeon, the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream during the night and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you” (1 Kings 3:5). Solomon proceeded to ask for wisdom, and God granted him his request, as well as so much more! (1 Kings 3). As a result of his request, God tells him there will never be anyone like him. This is why many deem Solomon the wisest man who ever lived. In the sidebar there are a few snapshots of wisdom from Proverbs that Solomon, as well as the Holy Spirit, penned for our reflection. Take time to meditate on this wisdom and truth. That’s what protégés do. They seek wisdom and truth. At the core of it all, protégés humbly and tenaciously pursue WISDOM.

Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. (Proverbs 9:9) Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray. (Proverbs 10:17 ESV) The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. (Proverbs 15:33) Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance. (Proverbs 1:5 ESV) The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)

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ON BEING A PROTÉGÉ // 1.7