Book Notes: Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell

For the past several months, I have been thinking about starting a mentoring group. As a result, I have bought several books on the topic. However, the best one I have read so far is Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell. In a moment, I will tell you how to get a free copy.

Book Cover of Mentor Like Jesus

As I was thinking about starting my group, I looked at numerous models, including Seth Godin’s special (and very innovative) internship program. Based on that and some other input, I developed a a fairly detailed plan that I was very excited about.

I was all set to issue an invitation to my program when a friend suggested I read Regi’s book. Boy, am I glad I did. It made me re-think everything. As a result, I have now taken an entirely different tack. I plan to blog more about this later this week.

Here’s the problem: We traditionally think of mentoring as having the following characteristics:

  • The mentoree initiates the relationship by approaching a prospective mentor.
  • The mentor and the mentoree agree to meet one-on-one, usually in an informal setting.
  • The mentoree drives the agenda by virtue of his questions.
  • The mentor does his best to offer advice on personal and professional matters.
  • The relationship really has no official ending point.

In Mentor Like Jesus, Regi turns all of this on its head by simply looking at the example of Jesus. He says,

We have visualized Jesus as CEO, Jesus as an environmentalist, and even thought about what Jesus’ politics might have been. But in reality … in history … regardless of your religious beliefs, Jesus was a mentor.

He then goes on to describe the eleven characteristics of what he calls Next Generation Mentoring. Each of these are the subject of a separate chapter.

  1. It is on purpose. Mentoring is an intentional relationship that is unlike any other. Regi says it is not about knowing something. That is education. It is not about learning to do something. That is training. Mentoring is about showing someone how to be something.
  2. It is a selfless endeavor. Mentoring is about giving back to others. It is hard work for the mentor. The benefits are not always immediately apparent. It is about the mentorees and investing in their future. It is about them, not about the mentor.
  3. It starts in a group context. Jesus did meet with people one-on-one. He also spoke to large crowds. But He primarily worked with a group of twelve men. He mentored in the context of a small group. This was His priority.
  4. It involves hand-picked mentorees. The twelve disciples did not chose Jesus; He chose them. He did so after praying all night (the longest prayer mentioned in the Bible). As the mentor, He took the initiative, not the mentorees. He chose them—and they responded.
  5. It is for a defined period of time. He gave His disciples just three years of His life. He could have started earlier. He could have started later. But He began definitively, and He also ended definitively. His discipleship program lasted three years.
  6. It is centered on truth. Jesus taught His mentorees about truth. He focused on the Scriptures and living life in a way that pleased God. He told parables and stories. He asked tough questions. But it was all for the purpose of having His mentorees confront the truth about God, themselves, and the world.
  7. It involves the practice of prayer. One of the disciples’ first requests was, “Lord, teach us to pray” (see Luke 11:1). Jesus not only taught them to pray, He prayed with them.
  8. It requires transparent modeling. Jesus’ mentorees saw Him in the good times (e.g., the triumphal entry into Jerusalem) and the bad (e.g., the Garden of Gethsemane). They saw how He reacted to daily life. What He did spoke as loudly as what He said. He was completely and utterly transparent.
  9. It incorporates a contextual component. Jesus appointed twelve “that they might be with Him” (see Mark 3:14). They saw how Jesus responded to daily life. They saw him confront injustice, face temptation, and weep publicly. He did not offer theoretical instruction. He “did life” with them.
  10. It demands mutual commitment. Jesus’ discipleship program was demanding. He asked his mentorees to make a radical commitment. This was not a lowest-common-denominator program. Their relationship with one another took priority over everything else—for Him and for them.
  11. It requires a multiplication element. Ultimately, the disciples’ relationship with Jesus wasn’t about them individually or even their own group. It was about the people they would ultimately reach. He required them to “pay it forward” and invest in others (see Matthew 28:18–20 and 1 Thessalonians 2:8).

If you are thinking about mentoring, you must read this book. It is relatively short—only 152 pages—but revolutionary. It is my prayer that it launches a movement. I hope I can play a small role here by giving you a sense of its potential.

Just to prove how valuable I think this book is, I am recommending it to you despite the fact that it was published by B&H Publishing Group, one of my company’s competitors! However, they have graciously made 100 copies of Mentor Like Jesus available to my readers. To get a chance at snagging one, you must take the following three actions:

  1. Leave a comment below. Tell me why you want this book. Be creative. I really do read these comments and base my decisions on them.
  2. Fill out the special form. I have set up a separate contact form to make it convenient for you to provide your mailing address. Please do not put your shipping address in your comment. This will automatically disqualify you.
  3. Twitter a link to this post. You can do so automatically by clicking here. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can use Facebook. Yes, I know if more people read this, it will hurt your chances of getting a copy yourself. But the only incentive the publisher has to provide these books to giveaway is the free publicity that you and I collectively provide.

On Monday, November 30, I will select 100 people, based solely on my arbitrary and subjective evaluation of their comments. If you are one of those selected, Lindsey Nobles on my team will notify you via email. If you don’t hear from her, you can assume you didn’t make the cut.

Update: If you are interested in joining a mentoring group, read this.

Question: Why do you want a copy of this book?
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Jordin

    I manage a coffee shop on a college campus that acts as a college ministry for my church. Our goal is to affect the lives of everyone that comes in there (about 200 people a day) by connecting to people in a relational way. Whether it's by remembering patrons's names or orders or by connecting with them and forming bonds through conversation and/or expression, we want to make people feel at home. It's my personal goal to disciple to people as Christ did. I don't just want to do things the "traditional" or "accepted" way. I want to do things the way Christ did them. The best way possible. I think that this book would help me to disciple, build relationships with, and mentor students at the university in the most effective way. Christ's teachings aren't for one generation or one type of people, they are for all people. And only His teaching style will help me to affect a demographic group that feels like nobody understands them. This book will hopefully help me enhance my teaching/discipleship/mentoring.

  • Barrett Myers

    I would love a copy of this book because I am actively trying to follow Jesus' example as I reach out to college students at Purdue University. Just last week I had coffee with two students who recently made big faith decisions, and they said that they want to do what I do. I'm planning to meet with them regularly as I continue to coach others on their spiritual journeys. This book seems like it would offer a fresh perspective on mentoring and impacting others. And if it's as good as you say it is, I promise to pass it on.

    Thanks for making these available and have a great Thanksgiving!

  • Jamie Gosney

    I have mentored only three Guys in my life, and all three of them, like you first suggested, came to me. They wanted to get involved in the industry that I work in (Professional Audio – Sound for the entertainment industry) and wanted me to teach them. I worked with them all at different times and I'm very pleased to say that they have all gone on to have successful careers in the said industry. But, not only professional success – all three have gained a reputation of being honest, hard working and men of integrity in an industry that is not really know for those three virtues. I am just about to start in a new international business and this time it is down to me to choose the people who I work with…it will be a very close working relationship with the people I choose and I have been looking for a book that would help me to mentor my team – not necessarily in the skills they need to do the job from a professional point of view – but more in the way we conduct ourselves in business – to become how my first three turned out – honest, hard working and know within the industry for their integrity…to stand out, be different from the others around them…and yes, to shine a light in an industry that is know for it's debauchery. Non of us are perfect – and God Knows I'm really not, so I need all the help I can get. Showing others the way to do life and helping them to display their creative uniqueness is a huge and daunting responsibility!

    • andy back

      I agree. However, Jamie underplays the essential nature of the way his Christian faith informs his choices in business, serving churches wih sound reinforcement and recording. His skills are respected within his industry, and the young men he has mentored have each developed excellent businesses, underpinned with integrity and honest dealings. I cannot recommned Jamie highly enough. He deserves a free book. Give him my copy, if you like.

  • Sandy Reynolds

    I can think of three reasons why I would like this book. The first is that I work in leadership development for women and mentoring is a big part of what we do. I often feel like I am making it up as I go and need to read more.
    The second is my husband is a pastor who does mentoring as well and this is on his wish list so we could both read it.
    The third is that I will send you a book on mentoring written by my colleague, Lynn Smith, who works with me at
    And a bonus reason – I think if you recommend it that it must be a good book. I appreciate your insights and comments and have been disappointed so far!

  • Scott Lehman

    I always love to get a new book resource.
    Your timing is perfect! I am getting requests from our In His Grip Golf Church Partners to design a mentoring program. This sounds like the perfect program to implement into our ministry. I have personally been praying about being available to pour into the next generation and look forward to get this kicked off.

  • alece

    for years i've heard people throw around the word 'mentor'. a friend of mine has a long list of people she considers mentors. i don't get that. the whole idea of mentorship confuses me. but it also intrigues me.

    i crave the kind of mentorship you described here.

    at 19 i moved to africa, and have been in full-time ministry there for 11 years. i have never had anyone i'd consider a mentor (based on the criteria outlined in your post), but know that i could really benefit from one. but more than that, my ministry (the team of staff and the beautiful african people i serve) would also benefit.

    i desire to grow in my leadership. to be sharpened.

    i want to read this book so i know what to look for in a mentoring relationship. and to help me pray more specifically for the right mentor to come into my life.

    but i also want to read it because i desire to mentor others. i want to extend something to others that i wish i'd had as i started out in ministry.

  • WelshHerbie

    Michael, as a teacher and a rugby coach, the mentoring process is a vitally important one. One of the quickest ways to develop a new player is to pair them off with a more experienced player and encourage them to 'imitate' the way they play. ultimately, they take on board a lot of this behaviour and give it a unique twist that is from their own personality and style. In school, struggling or troublesome pupils respond greatly when buddied-up with a more senior or respected pupil. As teachers and coaches we are often part of the mentoring process. Jesus clearly had the best program – his twelve (substitute Paul for Judas) spread his message out across the world! From your review Regi Campbell has seen through into the heart of Jesus' mentoring process, and this knowledge can only teach and enrich me to improve the work I already do with my pupils and players. God bless you Michael and thank you for this opportunity.

  • Dale Schaeffer

    I'd like to receive a copy of "Mentor Like Jesus" because I'm currently looking for a tool to help me develop a mentoring system. Currently, I'm mentoring 5 men in their 20s & early 30s who are trying to follow Christ in varying professions (some ministry related & others professional). This book looks like it may provide a system that would provide a strong framework for this group. I pastor a 4 year old church plant in central Illinois that has grown fairly rapidly largely based on what God has taught me through mentoring relationship. As people are approaching me for mentoring, I'd like to be able to add value to their lives in a systematic way.

    Thanks for your consideration.

  • Nathan

    For the past two years I've been cutting my teeth as a new supervisor at a large Christian theatre where I've served for over 7 years now. Our mission to spread the Gospel of Christ through live theatre goes beyond our patrons and includes our coworkers. While our leadership team has focused much energy on leadership (Maxwell, Lencioni, Buckingham and the like), we have not focused much attention on mentorship. As a young leader, I would like it very much if the man I call mentor would "chose me." At the same time, I now wonder if I'm at the point where one of the ways I can serve my teams is to become a mentor as well.

    We have over 600 employees in two locations. I believe our entire organization could benefit from this book and the Christ-focused philosophy behind it. I would like to have the opportunity to introduce our leadership to this revolutionary paradigm shit.

    Thank you for your consideration Mr. Hyatt. God speed as you serve Him!

  • @CaseyLynne1015

    Hey! I would love to read your book about mentoring because I am looking for a way to get more involved in ministry. I want to mentor young girls–probably high school or college age. I know I've learned a lot and grown up a lot recently–and I would love to share things with them that I wish I had known them. I'm a little hesitant to know how to start this process…I think your book would be very helpful because it will give me a blueprint of how Jesus ministered (as the perfect example) as well as practical tips to reach out today. The concepts in this article were fascinating. Thanks for considering me!

  • BettyMc

    We have NO mentoring program in my church (a deaf congregation). But that's not why I want the book. A very special couple are missionaries in South Africa. They are church planters. In sum, the work they do is mentoring. Eventually the deaf they are mentoring in South Africa will become leaders of their own church groups. I want the book, to send to them, to say "Thinking of you. Admire you. Thank you for your service with love." and to quote back to him the verse he often uses Phillipians 1:3 "I thank my God every time I remember you."

  • @RalphYoder

    I'd love to receive a copy of this book as I have tried unsuccessfully to start a mentoring group about 5 years ago. I would like to sit at the feet of the Master and learn how he mentored. How He used timeless principles to make a lasting impact on the world, on society, and in leading people.
    Thank you for considering my comment.

  • Mark Watson

    Wow! What a refreshing topic. Losing my father during my teen years made having a metor an invaluable experience. I think many times I didn't even realize I was being mentored. Now that I'm 51, I wish I knew now what those men knew then. Sounds like an awesome book!

  • Mzphyt

    I am coming from the mentoree side… In my quest to search for a mentor, I had an idea of what I was looking for in a mentor but seeing your blog made me realize what was missing, “Jesus”. I wanted a mentor who knows Jesus, but I need a mentor who follows and mentors like Jesus. My hope is to be able to identify the qualities, mentioned by you from Regi’s book, while in my mentoring relationships. I also want to someday pay it forward to another mentoree some day. Thank you for paying it forward!

  • Chuck Ragland

    I am a bi-vocational church planter in Jacksonville, FL and have a heart to mentor the men God has placed in my life. This book would be a signpost for a NMG group that I will be starting up in the beginning of 2010. Thank you for your consideration.

  • @DaveAnthold

    I am huge fan of mentoring & applying the principles that Regi lays out; however, this doesn't always come about this way. We do often seek out our mentorees based on traits they possess as well as on how they might inter-relate in a group & with the potential leader. As a member of my church's elder board, our charge is often to step in and lead & mentor younger believers as well as in other things. This book would help form the foundation for creating a more active mentoring plan within the church as well as I could use these insights to help mentor people at work. I would love a copy of this book for this purpose.

  • Rolandg

    I do not want a free copy of this book. God has blessed me. I can buy it. I cannot imagine waiting for a free book to take action on mentoring anyone. Initiative and leadership is not dependent on the receipt of a free book.
    I absolutely love the idea of mentorship as no man is an island unto himself. Anyone who cannot afford a copy should get an ebook copy free. After all, the benefit is for the Kingdom of God. It is He who will reward all believers at the Resurrection of the Just.

  • Buehler

    Having seen the impact people have had on me through mentoring relationships going through Bible College, I intend to implement mentoring at all levels of ministry. Maybe I'll even bring Donald Miller's TMP to Toronto. That's my desire. I can use all the knowledge I can get with this. This book would be another great resource. If you say it's amazing, I need to read it! God bless.

  • Chownage

    To be frank, I'm at a place in my life where finding a mentor has been almost impossible. You know this. We've talked about it. So rather than complain or be frustrated, I've recently turned my focus from looking for help, to being the help for someone else. It looks like being the solution is actually better than being part of the problem (lack of mentors).

    My interest in this book is based on using it to help me form a plan and strategy on how I could use my new focus for the greatest benefit of those I mentor. Your takeaways from the book seem to be a great foundation for my next steps. I look forward to reading more about it.

  • John

    I am the director of a ministry to coaches in Colorado. Our foundational verse is 2 Tim 2:2, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." Discipleship is our key focus in this ministry. I would love to read this book to get a fresh insight into how our ministry might better serve our coaches.

  • Frank

    I'm always looking for the "perfect" model to grow the church spiritually. Of course, there's no more perfect an example of anything, than Jesus. After all, "it was he who gave some to be… so that the Body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity… and become mature" (Eph 4:11-13) As part of this, I strive to develop other brothers' own spiritual gifts for the benefit of the Church. Sometimes this is through mentoring, other times through group studies. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. But there can never be too many tools in the toolbox.

  • edienst

    I am a 20-year old female senior student at Washington State University, leading a group of 12 women who are relationally living in the dorms (I am living there with them) with the intent of intentionally sharing the gospel and our lives with our neighbors. This year I want to equip these women with the tools they'll need to continue reaching freshmen students with the gospel, and multiply their lives into others who will do the same. However, I lack a directional vision and training in mentor/discipleship. I'm joining staff with Campus Crusade for Christ next year, and hope to develop a lifestyle of discipleship with those I get to know and interact with. I'd like to share this book with not only my ladies, but my campus as well! I think this book would be so beneficial to our movement that I'm going to buy it if you don't pick me (hope that doesn't disqualify me)!

  • Arabella

    Yes, i love to have one, i think this book has a great tips how to be a great mentor because JESUS is great and HE put love when HE mentor!

    I love to have one book, i want to learn how to mentor like JESUS for i have compassion to those people who do not accept and believe in JESUS, i also wanted them to know JESUS, what is a true joy of knowing JESUS, the joy HE can give that cannot find anywhere and this world cannot offer or give.

  • Joe Willoughby

    Many men will shy away from accepting the opportunity to mentor others because they fear they don't have what it takes – I'll admit to having those kinds of thoughts. What resonates with me in your book notes is the first point – "Mentoring is about learning how to be something." I want to be like Jesus. That seems impossible…until I realize that He is still mentoring! Paul, the apostle, understood this when he said, "Follow me, as I follow Christ." I will get this book, one way or another because I am in a season of "convergeance." I'm on the upward side of a restoration process. I know my destiny includes helping other men learn how to become the man their Creator intended when He made them. Thank you for posting your notes on this book.

  • FriarWade

    "There is always a better way… " is the graphic message on my friend's mousepad. This inspiring quote – attributed to Thomas Alva Edison – has remained indelibly imprinted on my mind from the moment my friend shared it with me. (He wouldn't part with his mousepad.)

    When I was in high school, feeling the call of God on my life, I was looking for a mentor – an experienced man of God to guide me. I even offered to volunteer my time to one minister, offering to carry his briefcase and shine his shoes. That approach, although ernest and sincere, didn't work.

    Unfortunately, the minister didn't have an alternative suggestion for me.

    Now, many years later, I have discovered 'Spiritual Direction,' 'Life Coaching,' 'Mastermind' and 'Band of Brothers' constructs. I'm actively working (and praying) on the development of a construct that combines the wisdom and disciplines of the Church Fathers in a 21st century North American culture.

    "There is always a better way…" and from your notes, this book sounds like 'a better way.' If it has caused you to 're-think' everything. It should prove to be an essential tool for my work, both as a priest, father and coach.

    Thank you for your consideration in sending me a free copy.

    Fr. Wade+
    Lakeland, FL

  • Kieley

    Hola! Quiero un libro porque me gusta apprender y quiero ayudar la gente en mi comunidad. So I wrote this in Spanish even though I am American to get your attention. I love people and would love to read this book to gain insight on mentoring "Jesus style!"

  • Terri Lowe

    I am a minister at a large church that is over 50 years old. Our relatively new pastor has been in the process of laying out a vision that has developing disciples as a vision point. As a staff we have been praying how this would look and what God has laid on our hearts is that mentoring would be the key. The details of how that would look are still unknown. Your book could be the very tool God would use to help us lay that out.

  • Dan W. Boles

    I know it's December 1st, but I'll try anyway. I would like a copy of the book because I work with the greatest audience in the world; college students & college aged young adults. There is no better audience with whom we could have greater, life-changing, formative impact in my opinion. This book will be the basis of a new leadership/coaching program that I intend to initiate in the next year or two as part of the College Ministry I direct & pastor at Kennesaw State University.

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  • @1chosenrebel4JC

    I want a copy because I just resigned my church to give the remainder of my life to mentoring leaders out of and for the next generation. This is exactly what I sense God's call to do. Your blog was recommended to me by a friend after a late nite conversation. He later read your review and said in his email recommendation "Marty … component 9 reminded me of our conversation. … I thought of your investment in the next generation and thought you could be the poster child for this book." I am hoping to learn and refine and grow in my mentoring capicity and effectiveness.__

    • Michael Hyatt

      That is a worthy thing to give your life to. Unfortunately, we gave all the copies away on November 30th. However, you can still get it from Amazon or your local bookstore. Thanks.

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  • joanie bernard

    I am in the healthcare industry and the majority of my current position involves mentoring and training ” new baby” health care workers especially nurses. I have always viewed this as a way for me to pay it forward for the rich education that was granted to me in my undergraduate years. I also feel that the front line health care workers are our true heroes and need all of the guidance and prayers that they can get from someone like myself who has been in the industry for 27 years.

  • florin lucaci

    I want to become a mentor, a very good one and I think jesus was the best mentor. I am convinced that reading this book it will help me to realise my dream.

  • frank andrassy

    A couple of reasons that this book would help me. I am planning on presenting to our men’s minsitry team a mentor program and this book would help lay some foundatiuon and groundwork to start a mentoring program. I have particpated in a mentoring relationship in the past being the mentor and mentee and would like another view of mentoring. I would also like to use this book personally in a minsitry that I volunteer called Jobs For life. We are called mentors and we partner up with men and teenagers in helping them get their lives back in order and to prepare on getting a job. This book would not only help me it would also help the other mentors that I work/volunteer with. Thank you. Frank

  • Mhm

    I am one of the youth leaders in my church. And I’ve have become very concern about the rest of the youth that makes up our church. And that’s why I have felt a strong urge to start a mentoring program. I’m trying to find out to start it though. But this book has caught all my attention. And I’ve read some of the reviews, and I most admit It’s incredible.

    • Mhm

      That’s why I would want a copy of this book.

  • Williamsj13

    i work in a youth ministry and i would love to read this book. i have heard many good things about this book and it has been recommended to me by many people. i would really love to get a copy of this book! !  

  • Annemama4

    Been leading women20 years, and need help .
    this book sounds like what I need.   Libby

  • Luci

    I feel todays society need people who can influence positively, I have been mentoring youth whenever I meet them, I would like to start a resource center for youth mentorship, visiting schools and education institution to mentor and counsel our youth to uphold their moral for the good of a better life now and in future, I am a trained counselor, have been looking for mentorship classes and materials, I think this book comes in handy at this time I have just finished my counseling classes. wishing to start a
    start a resource center for youth mentorship as soon my funds are well planned.

  • Serving Him

    I feel like the opportunity for this has passed and so i will purchase. The Vicksburg Child and Parent Center,Inc. in Vicksburg, MS has two types of mentoring programs; group and individual. I have chosen this topic as my topic in pursuance of the Doctorate in Ministry degree. I have the world’s view of mentoring and proven success…I know that it is because I have used biblical principles so ingrained in my person and my understanding of God’s word. This book would enable me to use some practical and meaning truths that mentoring works but it really works when God’s word is applied. That is the reason for my request.