In Mentor Like Jesus, entrepreneur and investor Regi Campbell has set out to encourage a generation of men to invest in others. This is both a theological/philosophical argument for the merits of a mentoring approach to helping to people follow Jesus, and a practical look at how to do that with intentionality and precision. Campbell writes,
Mentoring isn’t about coming to know something; that would be education. Mentoring isn’t about learning to do something; that would be training. Mentoring is about showing someone how to be something. (emphasis mine).This little book gives excellent suggestions for how to accomplish this (the main point: show people Jesus), along with tons of great practical advice (mentor a group, have a defined period of time, require mentorees to mentor others, etc).
The tone of the book is conversational, and it’s a quick read at only 152 pages.
The inclusion of the mentoree perspective from one Campbell’s mentorship “graduates” Richard Chancy is a great touch. Chancy gives a window into what a great mentoring experience should be like for the person being mentored.
I didn’t need to be convinced of the value of the mentoring model for discipleship; I’ve long thought that it makes sense considering the examples of Jesus and the Apostles (especially Paul, who seemed to have mentored a few young men). What I have been struggling with is a model for doing this in the local church, where mentoring is rarely considered a top priority initiative. Mentor Like Jesus has given me this, by reminding me that everyone can be be a mentor, and it starts with me.
If I had to level one criticism at Mentor Like Jesus it would be that Campbell is so focused on men, yet Jesus also seemed to have mentored women (Luke 10:39). What are implications of this for men and women’s mentoring ministries in the church? What are the practical considerations women might need to consider as they form their own mentoring groups?
One other possible weakness in the book is the emphasis on men in certain stage of life (married with an established career), when high-school and college-age guys need mentors too.
Despite Campbell’s silence on these issues, I wholeheartedly recommend Mentor Like Jesus to every Christian as an inspiring and useful primer to developing intentional mentoring relationships…just like Jesus did.