Inside My Mentoring Group

I started my first mentoring group in January 2010 after being inspired by Regi Campbell, author of Mentor Like Jesus. His organization, Radical Mentoring, guided me through the process and enabled me to do something I had always dreamed of doing.

A Mentor Meeting with His Mentee - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/asiseeit, Image #9854027

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/asiseeit

Mentoring has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. The first year went so well, I decided to do it again in 2011. We just wrapped up our second season. I am doing it again in 2012.

Scores of people have written to ask how my group works. I thought I’d write about it here in the hope that you might be inspired to start your own group. (This is not an invitation to join my group. It is already full for 2012.)

I am contacted almost weekly by people who want to be mentored. If there’s one thing I have learned, it’s that young men and women are desperate for mentors who will build into their lives.

Here’s how my group works. (Again, this inspired by what I learned from Regi, but modified a bit by me.) Let’s start with the vision.

My vision is to help younger men live a God-centered, integrated life and fulfill their God-given potential.

I believe that we can be followers of Jesus Christ and have successful careers and be great husbands, fathers, church members, civic leaders, disciple-makers and friends—ALL at the same time.

I endeavor to share what I have learned about success in these areas, most often by focusing on where I have failed. (And I have plenty of examples!) I want to help my mentees avoid the same mistakes that I made along the way.

I have eight men in my group. Why so few? As Regi says, “More time with fewer men equals greater Kingdom impact.”

Also, the reason I have not included women is because I want to focus on those things that men struggle with. I believe mentoring is done best with those of the same gender. You may disagree, and that’s fine.

Requirements

I specifically recruit men who met the following criteria:

  • Men who have a passionate commitment to Jesus Christ. They may be struggling in their relationship with God, but, fundamentally, they want to grow.
  • Men who are married and in their late 20s to late 30s.
  • Men who are willing to look themselves in the mirror and make changes to improve.
  • Men who are teachable and willing to take direct feedback—about anything—without being defensive.
  • Men who are willing to replicate the process at least once with another group of guys sometime in the future.
  • Men who live in the greater Nashville area. I think it is important to be able to meet face-to-face.

Commitments

The men and their wives sign a written covenant to do the following:

  • Be on time to every session. I am big on punctuality.
  • Attend two scheduled retreats, one at the beginning of the year and one at the end. These start on a Friday evening and end late Saturday afternoon.

  • Meet with the group at my home once a month for three-hours (7:00–10:00 pm). This is the formal session.

  • Read one book a month. I assign these and the mentees are responsible for purchasing them themselves.
  • Prepare a written “net-out” (book summary) for each book and bring eight copies to each meeting.
  • Memorize two assigned Bible verses per month.
  • Meet with me one-on-one for lunch every eight weeks (six meetings through the year).

  • Meet with their assigned growth partner (one of the other mentees) in person or by phone once a month. These meetings can be as short or as long as the partners desire.

Opportunities

In addition, I invite my mentees to participate in these optional activities:

  • Meet with the group informally once a month for two hours (7:00–9:00 pm). This is the informal session and will be driven by my mentees’ questions. I host this in between the formal sessions.
  • Come to dinner with my wife, Gail, and me at our house once during the year—just the four of us. This is purely social.
  • Contact me as necessary to process any specific issues they need to work through.

Schedule and Topics

This is the program I have planned for this year:

Month Theme and Book Cost
Jan Launch Retreat: Creating Your Personal Life Plan by me $100.00
Feb Character: Who You Are When No One’s Looking by Bill Hybels $9.72
Mar Priorities: Choosing to Cheat by Andy Stanley $9.06
Apr Health: The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz $10.87
May Marriage: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas $10.19
Jun Temptation: Sex Is Not the Problem (Lust Is) by Joshua Harris $9.77
Jul Fatherhood: Parenting with Love and Logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay $16.15
Aug Talents: StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath $14.97
Sep Leadership: The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership by James C. Hunter $14.53
Oct Community: Samson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood by Nate Larkin $11.07
Nov Influence: Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt $14.95
Dec Graduation Retreat: Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family by Steve Farrar. $100.00

Agenda

The agenda for the formal, three-hour session looks like this:

  1. Prayer: We begin with me praying for the meeting.
  2. Catch-up: Each guy shares the high point and low point of the prior two weeks. I encourage the guys to take notes. They will need these at the end of the meeting.
  3. Scripture Memory: Each guy says his two assigned verses from memory. I then randomly ask guys for previously assigned verses.
  4. Break: We take a ten-minute break.
  5. Discussion: This is the bulk of our time. Each guy passes out copies of his book “net-out.” I then lead a discussion around the content of the book. (I use questions I have prepared before the meeting. I also do a net out.)
  6. Assignments: I make the assignments for the next session. This includes the next book, next two Scripture verses, and any exercises I expect them to complete. (Every session will have one practical exercise that they will do daily before the next session.)
  7. Prayer: We pray for one another, based on what was expressed in the Catch Up section.

The informal, two-hour session is driven entirely by their questions. They bring questions they want to ask me. These could be on any topic. I also ask the guys questions. It’s a very free-flowing discussion.

Cost

The total cost is approximately $360. This includes the books and the retreats above, plus the cost of going to lunch with me six times during the year. (We go “Dutch” and I assume they will spend $10.00 per lunch). In addition, I ask them to make a donation to Radical Mentoring and suggest $100 each.

As you can see, my guys make a serious commitment of time, effort, and money. So do I. This insures we all have “skin in the game” and maximize our learning.

I am really excited about leading my mentoring group this next year. I only wish I had time to do more than one. That’s also why I am praying that other men will step up and become mentors.

If you are over forty, I seriously encourage you to consider it. It will be one of the most rewarding things you could ever do.

Question: What questions do you have about mentoring? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

    I love this post!  Question:  Do you have a vision for spreading this into areas outside of Nashville?  Like the Philly area?  :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t personally. This would only be possible if I went to a Skype model. Right now, I just don’t have the bandwidth. Thanks for your interest!

      • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

        I understand.  I’m just expressing my interest in being mentored in this way, and I’d love to be in a place a few years down the road where I can pay it forward by mentoring others.

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

          I agree Jon. It seems Michael has an outstanding mentoring system in place and it must be an honor for those that are included.

      • http://modernservantleader.com/ Ben Lichtenwalner

        Michael, this is fantastic. I’m excited to see which books you use and plan to read the few on the list that are new to me.

        I’ve always hoped you’d start a virtual group in which to participate. I’m grateful you’ve been a virtual (mostly one-way) mentor to me for years. You may also consider Google+. G+’s hangout feature offers up to 10 channels with auto-switching by active speaker.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Ben. It might be fun to experiment with Google+ hangouts.

          • Stephen J. Weaver

            my mind went here too… this makes me want to consider moving back to nashville… (believe me, if it happens, put me at the top of the list)  

            I think the virtual group would be tough, but if you wanted to do a north east (philly/baltimore/dc/new jersey/new york)  I could provide you with the retreat space… :-)

            and I agree with Ben, you have been providing so much valuable content for as long as I have been following…

            so thanks for that…

            sj

          • Anonymous

            Michael, it is commendable that your influence extends well beyond your local area (I, personally, live in Calgary, Canada), and I can agree with the desire of others who are eager to see this kind of mentoring replicated in their areas. But I’d advise against going “virtual” for two reasons:
            1) Mentoring requires the “face-to-face” and more specifically, “flesh to flesh” that Skype or G+ cannot offer. I’m impressed that you require your mentees to have this in person time.

            2) Unless you know something about cloning the rest of us don’t, you simply won’t have the time to do a large “virtual” group any justice, and will thereby under-mine the original intent.

            I’m certain that if Jesus were to walk this earth today, he would not be on Facebook. He might tweet :) 

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            I agree. It’s no accident that “the Word became flesh.” I think the incarnational model of mentoring should be primary. However, I would not fault someone else for trying it. You could argue that something is better than nothing. Presently, I don’t have the bandwidth to even consider it.

          • Sbredman

            Hi Michael,  
            A friend just recently turned me on to your blog etc.  Great stuff.  One of my passions is to be mentored and then “pay it forward”.  There are options through a company I know.  Mine is a geography hurdle as well, I live in MT and have actively sought out older men for counsel etc. to no avail yet.  Do you have connections in my part of the world?  Also a thought in the solution realm is what if there where a common theme and or meeting time via a broadcast and then “cell groups” of eight to twelve that met in the flesh in their respective area.  Thoughts, as Maybe Jesus wouldn’t facebook but he is into multiplication.  Just think of the loaves he could make with technology :)
            Anyway, Bless you and thank you for your heart and ministry.
            Seth B.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone in MT at all. I’m sorry. Thanks.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        This is a question based on ignorance. My only Skype experience has been talking to my wife in the U. S. while I’ve been overseas. Europe was fine. The Middle East a challenge. Your statement about bandwidth suggests Skype can be used in a broader sense than I’ve experienced. Are you saying that, if bandwidth wasn’t an issue, you could meet with people at multiple sites?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          No, just that you could mentor via Skype. Probably a webinar via GoToMeeting or Google+ Huddles would be a better technology.

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

            Yes, that makes sense. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/marketingwizdom Robert Clay

    This is fascinating, partly because I am also mentoring groups. But the context, requirements, commitments, opportunities and topics couldn’t be more different.

    I am specifically mentoring groups of entrepreneurs, by invitation only. They have to meet certain criteria in terms of business size, experience, business acumen, competence and desire to achieve leadership in their niche. Religious beliefs are not a factor. They also have to be people whose values correspond with mine, and they must be nice people to do business with. 

    We start with a very intensive 3-day workshop that explains WHAT to do to grow their businesses. We use technology to create a bespoke blueprint for each individual participant, and they usually leave with an entirely different perspective on their business.

    In the mentoring sessions that follow we go step by step through a process designed to take participants to market leadership in their niche. This is where I deliver the know-how and tools they need to implement each step in the process. This is where we deliver the detailed HOW TO instructions, including an in-depth manual or book I have written on each topic.

    We meet as a group for a one-day retreat every 90 days, and normally finish with a dinner. The location changes every time, but usually it is at a stately home or country house hotel to make a change from day to day operations, and create a sense of occasion. Between sessions they implement what we’ve talked about, delegating internally or to third parties, as the case may be. Participants also support one another, acting as devils advocate and sounding board for one another.

    Strong bonds soon form within each group as participants get to know one another better, even to the extent that some of them now sit on one anothers’ boards in totally unrelated industries.

    Anyway, that’s a brief overview Michael. What you have said is fascinating and there are a few things I am taking away from it that could perhaps be applied to what I do.

    Thank you for sharing

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Your process is fascinating, too, Robert. I love hearing how other people are doing it.
      Is your model a paid one? In other words, are your mentees paying you as a business mentor? I could see this being a very viable business model, especially since you are improving their business.
      Even with my kind of mentoring, I know mentors/coaches who charge $10,000–$20,000 per year per participant. I have no doubt I could do this if I want. There is a huge demand for mentors. However, right now I prefer to do it for free. It’s a way for me to give back and do something that is personally very fulfilling.
      Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • http://jonstolpe.wordpress.com Jon Stolpe

        “There is a huge demand for mentors.”  How do you suggest we tackle this?

        And I appreciate so much your willingness to do this for free.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Great question: Support an organization like Radical Mentoring. They have done the heavy lifting and provided tremendous resources for mentors.

      • http://twitter.com/marketingwizdom Robert Clay

        Hi Michael, yes it is a paid model and the fees are currently in the $10,000 a year range, although they will be closer to $20,000 a year once I am happy with all aspects of the tools and materials supplied as part of the program. I don’t deliver it for free because it cost me many $ millions to develop the content over some 16 years, and development is still continuing apace. I also need to make a living, and that’s what I do.

        Having said that, current participants are all doing very well, defying the current market conditions. I have seen participants go from start-up to market leadership to winning awards like Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of The Year (one year the winner and the runner up were clients), to exiting their businesses for $100s of millions, to growing hundreds of percent despite their industry going backwards, so it is quite easy to justify the investment.

        I no longer offer one to one consulting, but when I did it was at nearly $10,000 a day … but it consumed all of my time and I could only work with a small handful of clients. This way I can work with many more businesses and the cost for each participant is way lower than if I were consulting with them individually, so it works on all fronts.

        • Derek

          It seems to me you are very limiting based on the dollar amount. Michael’s mentoring is a little more cost effective and focusing on the content and message vice the monetary gain.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

            I think both are valuable. It just depends on your objectives. You definitey get a much bigger commitment from people when they have skin in the game.

  • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

    Wow! The detail and time you commit to sharing Christ with others is inspiring. THAT is the type of leader I strive to be. Thankful that I have Godly women in my life mentoring me along the way. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m glad you do, too, Sundi Jo. Male mentors are in short supply. Female mentors are in even shorter supply (based on my experience).

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        Really? Sounds like it’s time for a movement.. 

      • Kerry Dexter

        that’s interesting, Michael. I’ve been mulling over starting to do this sort of  thing in the arts, with a faith based element. had not occurred to me that being a woman mentor  would also be something people are looking for. good to know,

        thanks for writing about how you strucuture your mentroing groups.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Thanks for sharing your mentoring schedule. Mentoring those younger than me has been weighing heavy on my heart and I’ve been unsure of how to go about doing it. You’ve laid out a great outline that I can study and try to make into my own.

    One question I have is where do you find the young men to mentor? Is it from inside of your church or some other place?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great question, Joe. I started with an announcement on my blog. From that, forty-two men applied, including several from my church. I then prayed over the applications and selected eight.
      You should read Regi’s book and check out his Website. He has plenty of ideas for this. Thanks.

      • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

        I see the reason for doing an application process. They have to want it or it’ll never work. 

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Exactly. And I pull no punches in terms of letting them know what this will require. The good news is that it attracts the very kind of person you want.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Thank you for replying back and sharing how you found the men you were to mentor.

        It appears you got a nice response and, I assume, 8 men who followed through on the commitment.

        I’ll have to pick up a copy of Regi’s book and look into his website a bit more. I hope it will help me move in a direction where I will be able to do something similar.

  • Scott

    Michael, do you meet with a group as one of the “mentees?”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I don’t. However, I do have a coach that I meet with twice a month.

      • Patlayton

        Michael, I know you have shared about your personal coaching process before but I look forward to an update on that! 
        I was excited to see this update today on your mentoring others program. Mentoring is something I have done off and on for years calling my group “Leading Ladies”. I agree that women mentoring women, especially from a professional/ministry/family integrated perspective is very rare. I have tried to FIND a mentor for years and never have found a speaker/author who is ahead of me and willing to share ideas and support. That unmet desire in my own life has inspired me to BE there for other women who feel called to full time ministry!  I have been asked so many times recently that I planned to start a group this year. Your update is very timely for me.I am signing up for Radical Mentoring today!

        Thank you for YOUR daily dose of virtual mentoring!

        Merry Christmas to you and Gail and your family,
        Pat

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I love the name of your group. Awesome!

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    We go “Dutch” and I assume they will spend $10.00 per lunch.

    Where are you meeting them for lunch? Wendy’s?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I let them pick the spot. In my neck of the woods, you can find lots of lunch options for $10.00 and under without resorting to fast food.

      • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

        I see. Sorry. Long-term NYC waiter here. To me, ten bucks sounds like an iced tea and some extra croutons for the caesar (without the actual caesar, of course). 

        • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

          Haha! Is NYC more expensive than smaller cities?

          • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

            So I hear. As far as the U.S., NYC is my only personal point of reference. (“A fish doesn’t know he’s wet,” as the saying goes.)

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        Same here! I have an awesome Asian place that is WAY better than PF Changs that you can get lunch specials for $6.99.

        It is owned by a family, so they have great prices on Chinese, Japanese, and sushi.

  • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

    Michael, I love this plan and I am sure it is successful (you are repeating it!) this way.  

    Can you see a similar plan working with my inner circle at work?  

    I have four direct reports that make up this inner circle (I described my process HERE) and I want to drive the development of each member of the team.  At the same time, three of the four are 8-15 years older than me and this would not be a completely voluntary program since they answer to me.

    Any thoughts?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think it depends on the nature of your work and your relationship with them. One of the dynamics you would have to consider is whether or not your guys are doing it because they see it as part of their job (and they really don’t have a choice) or is it something they really want to do.
      One idea would be to make it voluntary and do it after hours. It works best if the mentees have “skin in the game.”
      Thanks.

      • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

        That makes sense.

        Thanks!

  • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

    This reminds me of the advice Andy Stanley gave at Catalyst in October.

    “You need to double the time you are spending in mentoring people who are half your age.”  

    Of course, I am NOT saying that people in their late 30’s are half your age!!!  I just think the idea fits with what you are doing.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think that is excellent advice. Andy always has a way of saying it in a pithy way!

      • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

        I can’t remember the exact words, but he added that we must be prepared to change the methods we use (to mentor those so much younger) without changing our principles.

      • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

        The neat thing I took from Andy’s discussion back in Oct was that their church promotes mentoring for all ages to all ages…starting with the elementary school aged kids mentoring the pre-schoolers.  

        Loved it when he said, “They don’t know they’re not leaders.  They don’t know that they don’t know anything!”  By the time they are in college mentoring high school kids, they really are mentors and leaders.

        And here I’m still thinking of mentoring as being a one-way deal!

    • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

      Loved Andy Stanley’s talk there. I also loved when he said to do for one that you would love to do for everyone. 

      • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

        Yeah, I loved that one as well! I have already had the chance to put it into action a couple if times!
        Chris Patton

        • http://www.sundijo.com Sundi Jo Graham

          me too!

  • http://emuelle1.blogspot.com Eric S. Mueller

    Mentorship should be considered a vital part of life. I made a commitment several years ago to provide mentorship to younger men starting out in IT and engineering careers. So far there’s only one, the son of a friend of mine. He calls me with technical questions every now and again. I also coach him for job interviews. I don’t think our society or church give anywhere near enough thought to mentorship and discipleship, especially on a personal level.

    I was forced as a new believer about 9 years ago to largely find my own sources of discipleship. We lived about 10 miles from church and it didn’t seem like anybody had time to spend with me outside of scheduled church activities. That caused me to waste time going down some silly legalistic paths. 

    Last year when I found myself laid off and unemployed, the pastor of the church we were going to spent quite a bit of time holding me accountable. It helped a lot.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I was fortunate enough to be mentored, too. Right after I became a Christian, a young pastor met with me daily—yes, daily!—for about three months to get me pointed in the right direction. During college, I was also heavily involved with the Navigators, who, as you may know, are very big on disciple-making. Gail and I later joined their staff, where we served for six years.

      • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

        My main mentor has been my dad. My youth pastors have been awesome as well. I am a little nervous when I head to medical school. I hope that God will allow me to find a church that is as great (if not better) than the one I have right now…one with an awesome college group!

  • http://twitter.com/lantzhoward Lantz Howard

    A possible book on health is “Spark: Revolutionary Science of Exercise and the Brain.” Not a total health book, but it is a great read. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for that suggestion. I am trying to find a single book that covers all the basics: nutrition, exercise, rest, etc.

      • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com Enrique Fiallo

        Younger Next Year?

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I actually thought of that book. I read it back in April. The only problem is that it really is written to people over 50. But that’s the kind of book I am looking for.

    • http://www.15minutewriter.com Sharon Gibson

      That is an excellent book! Very encouraging information on how much the exercise affects our intelligence and memory. One especially motivating story was about how exercise greatly improved the test scores of high schoolers who were put on an exercise program and exercised vigorously before taking tests. Thanks for this reminder. I got off on my exercising when I got sick and this reminds me to get back on it to keep my mind sharp. :-)

  • Tom S

    Michael, wow! Thanks for sharing that in great detail. I’m doing this with a couple young men informally, and you give some great ideas on how to be more in depth and intentional about it. The money seems a little steep, especially for a young guy.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      So far, the money hasn’t been an impediment. I know some guys struggle to get it, but it ensures that they pay attention. (We tend to value our education more when we are paying for it.) Also, I have helped a few guys when they have been really struggling.

  • David Harding

    Excellent wisdom. Thankyou.

  • http://davidsantistevan.com/ David Santistevan

    Very helpful, Mike. I was wondering about this. I currently have a mentoring group for worship leaders in my area and this post has given me some great ideas for the future. What advice would you give to a younger person in mentoring? I’m 27 and those who are half my age probably aren’t ready for something this intense :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Your leadership is more important than your age. Jesus was only 30 when he started.
      In my system (and Radical Mentoring’s), your role is not to much to teach, but to point your guys to great resources, facilitate the discussion, and hold yourself and them accountable.
      Hope that helps.

    • Anonymous

      David, I was battling with this too. Once I thought it through I wrote a blog post on what I learned: 

      The Fear of Not Being Good Enough: http://bloggingyourpassion.com/the-fear-of-not-being-good-enough/

      I hope it gives you the courage to step forward anyways.

      Jonathan

    • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

      Well, I’m 17, and I have mentored a few people. I don’t think it is a matter of age as much as spiritual maturity(you have to mentor someone around the same age though…).

  • David Manning

    Wow – this is a great plan.  I’m about to head out to the mentoring group I co-lead.  The core of our 2012 content is a Bible Read through on the same schedule.  We don’t do “Bible study.”  Instead, we ask: 1) what did you observe in your reading (what jumped out that interested you; what did you learn)? 2) How is God addressing you, forming you?  This leads to interesting conversation on either applied theology or life issues.

    I may emulate your plan with some adjustments at some point. 

  • Michael Salazar

    Michael, My wife and I Pastor an inner-city church in Houston and we’ve been reading your blogs, twitter, etc… For about two years and I wanted you to know even though we don’t live in
    Nashville, You have already mentored and coached us on so many different levels through SocialMedia.Thank GOD for you and Gail and MerryCHRIST-mas from our family to yours!!!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Michael. Same to you!

  • http://www.hope101.net Lori Tracy Boruff

    Lifting this in prayer. Lord, you be the match-maker!

  • Alan Spies

    I really appreciated your post today, Michael.  In fact, I believe God is using you specifically to speak to needed areas of my life.  As a 40 year-old, my vision is very similar to yours (for me, the demographic is male college students and young adults).  In fact, one of my life verses is 2 Timothy 2:2 that states, “Pass on what you have heard from me – the whole congregation saying Amen – to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others” (MSG). 

    My question to you is this……..as someone who desperately needs mentoring myself (I would give anything to have a mentor with a structured program like you are providing) from someone who will “stretch” me and provide needed wisdom and insight, what are your suggestions for finding someone?

    I have inquired with several men but none appear interested or at a point in their life where they could provide the guidance I desperately crave.  What should I do?

    Thank you for this great blueprint.  I plan to start a similar group soon.
     

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is a tough question. My friend, Jeff Goins, has written a great post on this: “How to Find a Mentor in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps.” Also, you might contact the folks at Radical Mentoring to see if they have mentors in your area. Thanks.

    • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

      I have felt the same desperation as you are describing.  I have looked and not found anyone to do it.  I am still looking, but in the meantime, I am following Bill Hybels’ advice from his book Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs.

      There is a chapter called “Obi-Wan Kenobi Isn’t For Hire”.  Basically, Hybels says too many of us are looking for an all-knowing wise man to meet our every mentoring need.  While he certainly is not against mentoring, he suggests that “it’s possible to be mentored by someone you’ve never met.”

      By reading, going to conferences, watching webinars, studying those who have gone before us, etc., we can be mentored from many different perspectives.  While it would be nice to have someone like Michael present in all of our cities, that is unlikely.  While we should still continue to look for someone to fill this role as we go, we should not wait until we find them to start being mentored.

      Like I said, I know what you are experiencing.  I am in the same boat at the same age as you.  I am just determined not to wait until I find that someone. 

      Until then, my mentor list includes Michael Hyatt, Francis Chan, Andy Stanley, John Maxwell, William Wilberforce, Jim Elliot, Bill Hybels, Dave Ramsey, Larry Burkett, John Beckett, Jim Collins, Charles Sheldon, R.G. Letourneau, etc….I will stop there, but there are more!

      • Alan Spies

        Thanks for the reply, Chris.  I share your list of mentors as I have read many of their works and find they have really challenged me to step up to the plate.  I do think one of the best things we can do is strive to mentor and serve others as I learn so much from working with others.

        In the meantime, I will continue to pray and seek God’s guidance as I truly believe we were created for community and that we, as men, need to be sharpened and held accountable by other men.

  • http://www.the-white-stone.blogspot.com Brian Owen

    I agree with you Michael.  Younger men and women are starving for this.  

    I started something similar in my church about a year and a half ago called a “triad.”  It is based on a discipleship model developed by Greg Ogden, author of “Transforming Discipleship, Making Disciples a few at a Time.”  I meet with two other men for a year.  We commit to honest conversation, transparency, study, and scripture memorization.  

    The small size of the group fosters a powerful environment for safety and transformation.  At the end of the year, each of us will multiply ourselves with a new group of 3-4 men.  I anticipate that this will have a profound effect on the spiritual health of our church over time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great model, Brian. You might also be interested in this post I wrote a while back on the Leadership Strategy of Jesus.

  • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com Enrique Fiallo

    This is amazing Michael. I have never seen anything this well defined, and so full of deep, meaningful and thoughtful activities and value. I can see how effective this must be for the men who are privileged enough to participate. You have gotten me to thinking about doing this. My take away is, if it is worth doing, it is worth doing right. The potential for touching people’s lives in a big way is so huge! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’d love to see you do this. We desperately need more mentors. The Radical Mentoring site can help you make it happen.

      • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com Enrique Fiallo

        I have been mentoring one young man for several years, but I now see why I am not being effective. We do not have a “contract” and I am not going about it in a formal methodical way, so the interactions are more ad hoc, and therefore, not as effective as they should be. Jim Rohn once said, “things don’t just happen, things happen just”. Your post happened just so that I could see what I need to change. Thanks Michael. You are a remarkable man.

  • Ellen

    Do you have any suggestions for where women might look to find a mentoring group? I would love to find a mentoring program in my area.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Oh, I wish I did. But I don’t. Hopefully, someone else will jump in.

    • http://henryfiallo.wordpress.com Enrique Fiallo

      Ellen, I had been giving this particular question some thought now for a while, and this is what I came up with. I would suggest inventorying companies, businesses, educational, health care, and government  institutions in your area and then looking at the successful women who are in leadership positions there. Then research their areas of expertise and interest and map that to your desired growth areas. I would look at this post, 
      http://blogs.hbr.org/johnson/2011/10/get-the-mentoring-equation-rig.html and use it to plan an approach to potential mentors. 

      • Ellen

        Enrique, Thanks so much for your suggestions and blog post. 

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Ellen, have you done a Google search? If not, I suggest you try searching along the lines of

      “mentoring group” women +your city or state

      You may find a great group that way.

  • http://www.touchtheskye.org Chris MacKinnon

    I like how you have a lot of face time with the group members. I live in a rural section of Canada. What do you think of long-distance mentoring (not from you, but in general)? Can it be effective? Do you know anyone that is doing it well?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I think it could be effective. The only one I know doing it is Wes Roberts. I think it could be effective. It is certainly better than nothing.

  • Tracy Hoots Hoexter

    So wonderful and generous! Almost makes me wish I was a man…. almost! :-D

  • Jim D

    Michael, another great post! Love reading your blog everyday. I have an accountability group right now and it seems as if we meet, develop yearly goals and then sort of 1/2 check in along the way. I am lost a bit in structure and actual accountability. This system seems so much more appropriate. Do you also get into goals and accountability with them? Thanks for,the inspiration.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I had them develop a Life Plan last year. Unfortunately, I didn’t really do much to follow-up. This year, we are going to tackle that at the first retreat, and I am going to make it the foundation of our one-on-one times together.

    • Holger K

      Accountability group, that sounds great! Does that mean, you have to tell in front of all the others if you failed in something? I guess that would help youn men a lot from time to time to avoid male problems… Being responsible face to face to somebody seems to be more difficult than being accountable to God, who knows anyhow anything…

  • J White

    Hi Mike!  I know you’re into information sharing so I thought I’d turn you and your readers on to a site that I’ve been subscribed to for some time now.  TruthMedia is a Christ focused online organization that is seeking mentors who are Christ-centered like yourself and willing to take on the joy and responsibility of accepting mentees through a variety of online interactions.  Your readers can choose to be blog mentors, direct email mentors, or even community leaders who help develop the mentoring role in others.
     
    You can find out more at http://truthmedia.com/training/mentoring/. 
     
    You will be shocked at the number of men and women out there who are just looking for someone to talk to.  As Christians, we can use this platform as a way to get Christ into to lives of those who may not know that we are out here willing to offer a kind word or simple prayer.
     
    It’s simple and effective.  Check it out! 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Very cool. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

    Michael,
    I was wondering if you have ever had anyone drop-out and what were the reason(s)—in general. What did you learn from those drop outs? Thanks.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No one drops out during the year, because they make a covenant to finish the year. (That’s not saying it won’t happen, but it hasn’t yet.) However, I did have two guys who elected not to roll forward to 2012. One guy wants to start his own group and didn’t feel like he could do both. Another guy is at a strategic place in his business and feels he couldn’t afford the time this year.
      In my system, not continuing is perfectly acceptable. I only ask guys to commit a year at a time. Regi’s system is different. He asks for a year commitment and doesn’t allow anyone to roll forward. In another words, he graduates everyone after one year.

      • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

        That’s great. It sounds like you really making sure that everyone understands the commitment, and as many have already said, the great opportunity that you are making available.  As a youth pastor for 15+ years it has been really cool to mentor a student as a High School student and then again as a young leader when they return form college…

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        I like the fact that one of your members now feels empowered to start a new group and help mentor others. I believe that is a great sign of effectiveness!

        • http://theordainedbarista.com Barry Hill

          Joe,
          I think that’s a win too!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    As the daughter of an alcoholic, mentally-ill mother, I have
    always wanted a female mentor. God chose in his wisdom not to do this, because
    I would potentially idolize that woman, and instead chose to put influential
    woman in my life for brief encounters.  I call them my “manna mama’s.” (Enough mothering for the day.) While I have always yearned for a real mother figure in my life, I instead have the perfect (heavenly) father.

    Now that I am over 40, I am seeing opportunities to mentor other young woman. After I spoke at a recent retreat, a young woman of 21 emailed me. She wrote me, “Every time I think of God’s grace I think of you, and it reminds me that nothing is too big for God and it also reminds me I was blessed to hear you speak.”  Nothing could have blessed me more. We are going to get together in January.

    Thank you for filling this void in young men’s lives.  And for the layout, so that others can formulate similar plans.

    Question: After the mentoring sessions are complete, do you have any further contact with the participants?  I imagine you are creating a big impact on their lives, but I know you are very busy.  Are these lifetime friendships, or seasonal?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The focus certainly changes after the formal mentoring ends. I tell the guys that they will continue to have access to me for life. I intend to follow-up from time to time.

  • Holger K.

    I had great experiences with a personal mentor when I came to Christ. That was a very precious and forming time for me. We went through a course of the Navigators and I got answers to so many questions. I should think about picking up the issue myself.
    One thing I wondered: how do you actually go through the meeting? Is it you giving a talk about your experiences or are you discussing about the books all have read and wrote something about it?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great question:

      The formal session looks like this:

      – Prayer: We begin with me praying for the meeting.
      – Catch-up: Each guy shares the high point and low point of the prior two weeks. I encourage the guys to take notes. They will need these at the end of the meeting. – Scripture Memory: Each guy says his two assigned verses from memory. I then randomly ask guys for previously assigned verses. – Break: We take a ten-minute break.
      – Discussion. This is the bulk of our time. Each guy passes out copies of his book “net out.” I then lead a discussion around the content of the book. (I use questions I have prepared before the meeting. I also do a net out.) – Assignments: I make the assignments for the next session. This includes the next book, next two Scripture verses, and any exercises I expect them to complete. (Every session will have one practical exercise that they will do daily before the next session.) – Prayer: We pray for one another, based on what was expressed in the Catch Up section.
      The informal session is driven entirely by their questions. They bring questions they want to ask me. These could be on any topic. I also ask the guys questions. It’s a very free-flowing discussion.
      I think I may add this to the post!

  • http://www.philippknoll.com Philipp Knoll

    Michael, your mentoring plan sounds great. In fact it is another reason I’d consider the greater Nashville area. I wish you’d come up with a good way to also hold a mentoring group  exclusively online so that it would open up for people outside your area. I know that face to face it really helpful in a lot of ways. But perhaps you can find a way to take it online in the near future. And those people (the others and me) could still meet once or twice a year for a coupe of days. I’d be thrilled to read about you actually planning something similar.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Philipp. I have had numerous requests for this, so I plan to consider it at some point.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      I know I would be interested in an online mentoring program also. It may not be the same as face to face meetings but I think it would still be very effective.

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        Agreed!

  • Max Anders

    Michael… another home run!  Thanks.  I’d be interested now in drilling a little deeper, to know what you do in each session, if you think it would make another good blog.  Best wishes,

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Max. I actually just updated the post to include my Agenda. You might want to look at that section. Also, the guys at Radical Mentoring provide detailed agendas for each session.

  • Mark Smith

    Thank you. Michael. The Lord is using this to inspire me to restart what I’ve enjoyed in the past but only with a clearer plan. I love everything you have put into the process. I’ve not yet read the mentoring resource you gave us. My question, what do you tolerate on absences? Whether planned or unplanned, vacation, sickness, weather, etc. How do you schedule so all guys can be together?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I don’t tolerate any absences unless “providentially hindered.” That’s the exact language in the covenant. We set the dates together at the first retreat and make sure there are no conflicts. (I come with a draft of the schedule, based on days I am available. We also meet on Monday nights, which seems to have the fewest conflicts.)
      I then warn the guys they will be tested, and they must say “no” to all requests for this time, even if it comes from their boss. This requires them to exercise courage, which is a key character quality men need to develop. It also remind them that there are things in life that are more important than work.
      I think sometimes, we are guilty of trying to make it too easy for men. In my experience, they long to be part of something that is difficult and challenging. If you haven’t done so, read the classic book, Dedication and Leadership by Douglas Hyde. He contrasts the way that the Communist Party used to recruit members and the way that most churches do it. Priceless.

  • http://reactlove.com/ Lance M.

    Hey Mr. Hyatt,

    I was wondering who mentors you? (Who mentors the Mentor?)

    I’m always curious about things like that. Kind of like, “who leads a great leader?” or, “what authors do great authors read?”

    So just out of curiosity, who mentors you?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Formally, I employ a personal coach and have for over a decade. Informally, lots of people. Thanks.

  • Paula Lee

    Love the list of books, gives me another endorsement for a mom struggling with a middle-schooler and I had recommedned Parenting with Love and Logic.  Any of you ladies have tips for getting a mentoring group started and what books you would use?

    Micheal-I commend your sacrifice of time with these men and I commend the men for their investment that will benefit their families and future generations.  Thanks for sharing all the details so this process can be replicated.  Interesting that there isn’t a health book in your list yet.  Is that because there are so many or because there isn’t one book that has the right balance?  We need to focus on both nutrition and exercise.  The Happy Body has excellent reviews but I haven’t read it myself.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I just added a health book. It is one I read years ago and totally forgot about: The Power of Full Engagement. It covers everything from physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. Thanks.

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I want to mentor but I want to have substance to offer. What do you think are some Key factors for Men to Possess before they begin Mentoring??

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great question and probably a blog post of its own. Short answer: desire, willingness to be vulnerable, willingness to make the investment of time and energy, ability to stick with it, no matter what.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Daren, I think we all have substance to offer. Sometimes it is hidden and other times it is easy to see.

      I was reading The Flinch today and came across this quote – “Those who face the flinch make a difference. The rest do not.”

      The flinch is the thing that makes you doubt, pull back, turn around. In this case, it would be wondering if you have the substance. It’s in there, you need to find it and release it.

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    So good! This model of mentoring is the future for strong ministries. I would like to hear stories of the men who have participated in this.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Read a little further down. Scott Winter, one of my mentees just posted a comment.

      • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

        Thanks for pointing to that, will do!

  • http://scottdwinter.com Scott D. Winter

    As an inaugural member of this group (and ready to head into my third year with Mike), I thought I would weigh in. Maybe the perspective of someone in the group will help those of you wanting to join a group, or start your own.

    I can’t say enough about how fantastic it’s been being a part of something like this. I don’t think I can say with a clear conscience it’s been transformational, but I can say that I have been able to slowly make incremental improvements over the last two years. I can see improvements in all of the areas we have covered – marriage, fatherhood, work, personal discipline, and, most importantly to this group, my relationship with God.

    My biggest fear at the end of both sessions has been that Mike will stop, or want to start with another group. His commitment is impressive, and I wouldn’t blame him a bit. However, for me, I feel like I’m just getting going in this. If you are looking to start a group, make sure it’s for the long haul.

    I’m also grateful for Mike’s availability outside the group. He’s a busy person, and I’ve tried not to take advantage, but it’s nice to know that he is there to hep me through the things that come up in-between sessions.

    One caution for those looking to get into a group – this isn’t therapy. This is one guy trying to share the wisdom of his experience with some other guys who are a little further down the line. While we do share “life” together, I don’t know that anyone has come to any of the sessions with the intent of airing all their dirty laundry. We do, however, rejoice in each others’ successes and provide support through the setbacks.

    In the end, no matter if you are the mentor or the mentee, something like this is what you make it. I like the structure and the intensity we have had in this group. You may want something more relaxed. I am thankful for this opportunity, and I’m already looking forward to my own group in the coming future.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Scott. You have been a joy to have in the group. I love your commitment to always be on time with your work done!

  • VB

    This is great …. love the agenda.  Very helpful.  The one thing that seems to be missing — the Church.  The Church (the body of Jesus in and through a local gathering of men and women committed to His ways and teachings) is the solution for the World.  Call your mentees to yoke their lives together in community making the Church more relevant, real, and practical through their service there and you will lead them well. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      We do emphasize this in the group. In fact, the ideal way to do this would be in the context of a local church, where you are also worshiping together.

  • Anonymous

    Michael, thanks for this post. When I read the opening lines, I thought: “Oh, great another article on programming the impossible dream!”. As I persisted in reading thru, I became aware that: a) it’s not a program, even while structured and formalized; b) it’s not impossible; c) it’s a great dream (vision). I especially appreciated you including the plan for this year. That helps to “flesh things out”.

    I’m also pleased to see “Sacred Marriage” as one of the books. I think it ought to be mandatory reading for any married or pre-marriage couples.

    But I have two questions: 
    1) You state that you’re contacted almost weekly by people who want to be mentored, and then you state you “recruit”; I’m assuming the distinction is not everyone who asks will meet your criteria, but I’m wondering if by “recruit” do you ever find yourself recruiting someone who did not ask? 

    2) How would you suggest, someone who does not have people asking “almost weekly” go about initiating mentoring?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Dan. Radical Mentoring has some great helps on recruiting. With regard to your specific questions:
      1. Recruiting is how Jesus did it. I didn’t wait for guys to come ask Him. He went out and choose 12 men. There’s an important principle here. However, I didn’t quite follow this model. Instead, I threw out a blanket invitation to my blog readers. I then selected the men I wanted. I had 42 initially apply. And by “apply” I mean a formal, written application. I then prayed over the invitations and chose eight. I have never selected someone who didn’t ask. I’m not saying this is right or wrong; it’s just how I did it.
      2. I would ask my pastor for suggestions or even make an announcement at church. There might be other guys who have expressed a general interest or simply men you think might need this. You gotta get creative. Guys are dying for this.
      Hope that helps.

  • http://bentheredothat.com Ben Patterson

    If you’re interested in a good read on how mentoring can become the focus of a Sr. Leader in the church, I recommend the book “Going Deep” by Fording MacDonald. Great stuff! http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0785226087/ref=mp_s_a_1?qid=1324565026&sr=8-1

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Wow, very intense!  Thanks for this guidance and insight.  At the moment I am praying  for a mentoring couple for my husband and I to grow with, but from experience, I have learned that often when I seeking something like this, God is asking me (and in this case my husband) to step up and be the change I want to see (or in this case possibly the mentors I am hoping to find). 
    Guess I will just have to wait and see what this next year brings! 

  • Veda Ram

    So well thought through  and structured! I feel uncomfortable to ask persons for money while mentoring – even if it is to buy stuff for them.  There are three younger ladies that I am working with. I am not American. Our culture is kinda different, but I do see the need for $$ for resources. I have downloaded your Personal Development Plan –so you are mentoring me. Thanks so much for your free E copy!!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    The book Transforming Discipleship has driven me to start seeking out some other guys for a year long commitment. It has a lot of great ideas in it, and I’m tired of seeing young men leave the church. I know some are headed off to college but so many stay here for at least a few years because there is a community college in town. 
    I do need to find someone as an official mentor. Finding a program like what you offer in the Nashville area would be incredible! It sounds like there is some amazing opportunity for growth.

  • http://twitter.com/guymwilliams guy m williams

    Thanks, Michael. I’m in the mode now in my late 30s of looking at mentoring as part of my life and ministry. Thanks for breaking down your approach. 

  • Nicci

    Michael,
    Thank you for this post! I am a 30 year old female is so desperate for a mentor and a system as solid as this! It really is sad how hard it is for young women too.

  • Alex

    This is unbelievably valuable information. I cannot put my gratitude in words! Thank you and Merry Christmas.

  • Kevin Huska

    Great Post! I recently re-read The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, Is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal. I loved it. Now I am listening to
    The Power of Story: Rewrite Your Destiny in Business and in Life by Jim Loehr. I’ve also got the paperback edition, and have stared underlining and making notes.

    Do you have a list of the books you read with the group over the past few years?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes, but I’d have to pull it together. Dashing out the door now …

  • Scott Fernandez

    I am 43 but would love to have a mentor. Is that possible?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m sure it’s possible. Start praying about it. “When the mentee is ready, the mentor will appear.” ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Good Morning Michael,
     
    I have been reading your blog for about a year now with a special interest in your mentoring group. Somehow I missed the ‘sign-up’ opportunity if there was one. I did want to at least make an attempt to contact you expressing my interest in your group and provide you with my information.
     
    –         I received Christ right before I married my bride almost 12 years ago. We now attend a chruch here in Nashville and lead a bible study in our home every 3 weeks. We are also currently going through counseling for the first time. I originally thought we had an almost perfect marriage but counseling has uncovered many issues, mainly my lack of leadership in the marriage.
    –         I am 38 years old, married, and we have 3 daughters ages 2, 5, and 8.
    –         I  contacted a good friend of mine earlier this year about him mentoring me. With no true mentoring from my Dad, not being raised in the church, and no true leadership shown in the home, I knew I was in need of true mentoring. Respectfully he declined as he lives in Seattle and felt like someone local was critical to a suggessful mentorship. Even now his counsel has proved priceless though these difficult times. He is also a brother in Christ, married, and also has 3 daughters so we can relate on many levels.
    –         I live north of Nashville and run, but do not own, a small business in Nashville.
     
    I fully realize that your group of men for your next mentoring group has probably already been selected. I would however be interested in a future mentoring group or your upcoming group should an opening become available.
     
    Thank you for your time. Merry Christmas!
     
    In Christ,
    Jason
     

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for this, Jason. Yes, the slots for my 2012 group are all full. I’m sorry. I will keep you in mind for the future.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for sharing this! Love this post and all it’s ideas.  I just bought a house and I am not married nor do I have kids.  I keep thinking I need to start book club, mentoring group or the like. This gives me some great ideas.  Have a Merry Christmas Michael!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Two of the best mentors EVER were single: Jesus and Paul. ;-)

  • http://3dlessons4life.wordpress.com/ Lyli

    I would love to hear what books you read in 2010 and 2011.  I did something similar to this with the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at my old church — we read 6 books and met every other month though.  It was life changing for me, and was a catalyst into leading me into a whole new area of ministry.  God used it to move me forward.  

  • Martin Corder

    Thanx for your commitment to lead through this mentoring model. The outline is a great help. How long does it take for you to get your group of men together? I can imagine that men are lineing up to get involved in a group with you leading it…I know I would! But for the others who have the desire without the notoriety, it might take some time to pull together a few guys. I suppose you might start looking a year in advance to commit to the group. Any suggestions? Keep up the great work! Blessings, -Marty

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Mine did come together pretty quickly. ;-)

      Here are a couple of suggestions:

      1. Pray. Ask God to send you the right men. (Notice that Jesus did this before He picked the disciples.)
      2. Ask your pastor for guys that he knows need mentoring. Make sure he understands your criteria. You are not looking for guys to counsel; you’re looking for guys to mentor. Huge distinction.
      3. Make an announcement in your church. Again, state the criteria and your expectations.
      4. Ask your friends for recommendations.

      5. Announce it on your blog or other social media channels.

      Hope that helps.

  • http://www.leighkramer.com/ HopefulLeigh

    I love the way you’ve structured this!  My one question is why being married is a requirement, whether that’s so everyone in the group is coming from the same place or so that you can specifically mentor that aspect of their lives?  As a single, I’m genuinely curious about that stipulation.  And if your wife ever decides to start her own group, I’d be very interested!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think this is more of my own sense of calling. Having a group of singles, couples, or even mixed singles and couples would not be wrong. There is no right answer. It’s really a question of what you feel called to do. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/kelleyboles kelleyboles

    For a “Health” book. You may want to take a look at The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss. I have NOT read this so this is not a recommendation, but merely a suggestion as I have read positive reviews on it. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      The problem is that it has a chapter on Improving Sex that is inappropriate. I’m not opposed to sex; just a lot of his assumptions and methodology.
      Thanks for the suggestion.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        I am also not opposed to sex. ;)

  • http://www.noahlomax.com Noah Lomax

    Michael, this is awesome! I’m thankful for men who have the burden for mentoring. I’m only 25, but I am involved in active mentoring of freshmen at the college I work at. Your blog gave me some great ideas.

    Here’s my question: how can I find the same type of mentoring? I have asked men in the past and it usually did not last or was primarily weekly shooting the breeze.

    You are right: most young people long for intentional mentoring. I do.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Jeff Goins has a great post on this: How to Find a Mentor in 10 Not-So-Easy Steps.

      • http://www.noahlomax.com Noah Lomax

        Thanks! I appreciate your influence!

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        wow. thanks, Mike!

  • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

    Good morning Michael, I just happened to watch a video today that might make an interesting feature for your health topic. This doctor came to some startling conclusions about what causes health to flourish or go sour. It aligns exactly with the book I’m writing about self care: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tu9nJmr4Xs

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I’m checking it out now. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      This is excellent, Lucille. I just sent the link to Gail and my daughters. Powerful.

      • http://blog.rumorsofglory.com/ Lucille Zimmerman

        My husband came home for lunch so I showed him too. I’m glad you liked it.

  • http://www.15minutewriter.com Sharon Gibson

    Excellent that you are doing this and excellent that you are giving a model for others to follow. There is a huge need for this and we need to raise up more people to know and love God and to walk in His ways. Some people shrink back because they don’t think they are perfect enough. You don’t have to be perfect to mentor. In fact it’s better if you can be vulnerable about your mistakes and struggles because it gives people permission to admit theirs.

    Thanks again for this encouragement in a much needed area!

  • Abby

    I think it’s really great that you do this. I also agree that mentoring is done best with someone of the same gender. I’m going to pray that God brings me to a mentor and that I can also mentor someone else. 

  • BJ Strickliln

    Michael,
    As always, great stuff.  Thanks so much for the book recommendations as well.  I would love to see more of that.
    Do you publish your reading list for the year?  (via goodreads.com, etc)
    Or maybe you could do a “Top Ten Books I Read this Year” post at the end of the year?

    Either way…
    Thanks for the recommendations.
    BJ

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great suggestions! You might also check My BookShelf. I have listed my Mentoring books there.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      BJ, it looks like Michael’s post was missing a link but he does have a Reading List link at the top of the blog. You can see it at http://michaelhyatt.com/mybookshelf

      • BJ Strickliln

        Thanks Joe.

  • http://www.suttonparks.com Sutton Parks

     It is difficult to feel a sense of belonging in a church or bible study when they are geared towards couples and families.  Being a middle aged and single and economically challenged, I have found I need to seek out mentorship through books, tapes and inviting others to lunch or coffee.  I have to be very intentional about seeking mentorship and accepting it whether it’s through a book or in person and it is there if I look for it.  

  • http://twitter.com/CoachTheresaIF Theresa Ip Froehlich

    I got a lot out of this post. Mentoring has been on my heart for many years. While I’ve been mentoring some women one-on-one, I haven’t really been using any particular structure. Your post is especially valuable for providing a sample structure.

    Recently I started a small group at our church, focusing on discussion of how to apply the sermon in our lives. Your blogpost inspired me to start a group using the suggested structure.

    One question I have is the recruiting part. Your visibility as former Thomas Nelson CEO may naturally draw others to you (that is not to say that they would not have been attracted to you otherwise). Those of us who are not as visible in our communities may have to work harder at connecting with potential mentees. Our church has an online small group finder on our website, so that’s one way to recruit. If you or other readers have other suggestions, I sure would love to hear them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If you don’t mind, scroll up the list of comments. I answered this a couple of times. I think I might need to do a post on it! Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Michael! This was a big help. I am just about to launch my Radical Mentoring group next month. I’d appreciate your prayers!

    Jonathan Milligan

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Good for you!

  • Michelle Sarabia

    So when is Gail going to start one? I’d be interested in that.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Actually, she has a Bible Study she teaches on Tuesdays.

  • http://twitter.com/diigentwarrior Ian Spence

    Thank you so much for this.  I have been preparing to set up a mentoring group and the structure I was considering includes much of what you have included – I was wondering if I was expecting too much from my mentees.

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Gee, can I be in this group? Seriously, I feel like I am. You are one of most transparent bloggers I know, Michael, and I love reading up on your life. Keep up the Kingdom work!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Thanks. You made my day.

  • http://twitter.com/joshkelley Josh Kelley

    This is a great concept and I hope it encourages many new mentors. But what about all of the men and women who want to be mentored?

    One of the most important elements of my life is my “Mutual Mentoring” group; a group of guys who have been meeting together over beer, helping each other grow for the past 7 years.

    Groups like this have been duplicated in our church for men and women, especially after I preached on how to set up your own group. If anyone is interested in that material, they are welcome to it: http://bit.ly/tgmv159

    Josh Kelley
    http://www.RadicallyNormal.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Cool. That’s certainly an alternative.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I agree with this concept. I talk about it in this post, “How to Find a Mentor to Help You Go Further, Faster.” I talk about MasterMind groups there.

  • http://markjmartin.com Mark Martin

    Wow, great post!  I can see this working in a college and career group setting.

    I am 29, and I lead the young single adults ministry at our church.  I’ve had a burden to focus more on “discipleship” in 2012, and this gives me food for thought about how to go about it.

    It would probably start out with a fewer number of people than even 8.  We currently have about 5 men in our young single adults group.  Fewer still may sign up, but it could still be very valuable for those who do.

    Thanks, again, for a tremendously helpful post!

  • Dalton Paul Saunders

    Michael,

    Do you know of someone in Memphis, TN within your network that may be willing to do this? I know of 4-5 young guys you talk about in this area that could benefit from a mentor that fit your criteria, including myself?

  • Anonymous

    Really enjoyed/inspired by reading this post, it definitely has given me a renewed desire to be involved in a group like this and also a thorough structure to how it might work.

    i am not currently in a group like this but personally intend to use reading list

    From reading some of the comments it seems obvious that there is a real desire  for many of the readers to be engaged in something like this.

    I guess for most of us, its working out how this might work, particulalry if most of your interaction is with your peers….

  • http://wheretigerswill.wordpress.com Will Laohoo

    Great post! I think it’s great that you do this, and I hope to emulate you in this one day. I think it would be cool if you started a network of mentoring around the country (and maybe the world) based on your structure.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I actually already picked one. Take another look at the post. It is in the table with a link to the book.

  • http://idreamculture.com/ Andy Mason

    Mentoring takes the best of you and gives it to others, which is good. But how do you get people to go ‘greater than you’ like Jesus said? How do you allow freedom to help those being mentored to discover who they are and live out the fullness of who God made them to be?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great question. What do you think?

      • http://www.christianfaithatwork.com Chris Patton

        I hate to just be an Andy Stanley quote machine…but his advice at Catalyst was that it is not our responsibility to fill the mentee’s cup, just to empty our own! We cannot teach them everything they need to know, just everything we know…and how to learn more on their own.

        I think, from what I have seen of your program, you are already teaching them to go greater. You are teaching them how to do for themselves and grow as leaders.

        You are teaching them how to develop a Life Plan, not to copy yours. You are teaching them how to determine their own strengths and use them to their potential, not mimic yours.

        I have not read all of the other books on your list, but I think you get the idea. Your focus already seems to be on teaching them how to learn, much like going to college. I am using very little, if anything, I learned in college. At the same time, I learned how to approach problems in college. I learned how to learn. If I can apply that, then I will grow on my own.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Yes, Chris, that is correct. Thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/andy.janine Andy Janine Mason

        Your response is perfect. Rather than giving all the answers, draw on what people already have/know by using questions that teach them to think. Most of us already know what we should do, we just need the courage to act on it. What if we could have accountability to our greatness rather than just accountability to our weaknesses?

        Thanks Michael for what you are doing. Your blog is informative and practical. it has personally assisted me as we start out as writers, bloggers and public speakers. Andy Mason http://idreamculture.com

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Andy. I appreciate that.

  • http://twitter.com/executivesquid Edward Temple

    Wow! Very cool. Thanks for the blog. I will consider doing something like this in three years (when I turn 40). I like the structure and plan. I also like that is has nothing to do with a particular church or church program. Please, I can’t handle any more ads for “amazing” small group material!

    I am an Executive Pastor and regularly talk about “church programs.” I think we need more organic things like this. My sense is that we don’t need pastors telling followers what to do and how to do it. We need followers going out on creatively “following,” and then pastors championing and celebrating what they are seeing.

  • Samantha Johnson

    I have done a similar kind of mentoring (and being under someone’s mentorship) when I lived in Manila. I am longing to do it with women here but quite unsure where to start since I just moved to Nashville.

    My husband (whose job as a youth pastor at a church plant in Franklin is what brought us here) is also wondering if you open your mentoring group to applications. 

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, all my slots are full for 2012. I am not aware of a women’s mentoring group in Nashville. However, you might check with Radical Mentoring.

  • http://www.danapittman.com Dana Pittman

    Thank you! I could write an essay instead of merely a comment, but I won’t. Your post answered a prayer. I subscribe to your blog and receive your posts by email. I read post, which is not true for many of the emails I receive. My prayer was to develop the structure for a small women’s group. U have ladies interested and ready. However, something was missing. I have been reading and researching only to receive my answer via YOU. Thank you.

    QUESTION: Would you consider sharing the application and covenant? Also, do you plan to read the same books with your mentees that are carrying over to the new year?

    Thank you, God bless, and Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Sure You can find the covenant here. No, the new mentees will not read the previous books. We will all read the same books that I listed in the post.
      Hope that helps.

      • http://www.danapittman.com Dana Pittman

        Thank you again.

  • Anonymous

    Seeing what topics you cover (and don’t) was interesting, and did spark one thought. I was curious to see that you don’t have a “finances” topic. Since “money, sex, and power” seem to be three big issues, that seems to be an intentional omission. Or do you hit that when discussing David Platt’s book?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      We covered it last year, but you are right. It is a major issue. So many topics, so little time!

  • http://www.dennismccaskill.com Dennis McCaskill

    Hi Michael, This sounds great. Pity I live in New Zealand. Are you interested in doing some mentoring via skype etc?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      No, I’m afraid I don’t have the bandwidth. Kind regards.

  • http://recreationalwordslinger.wordpress.com/ Tessa

    Thanks for letting us into the inner realm of your mentoring program! I wish I could find a women’s group in my area that is like yours. 

  • Laurie

    Great details Michael! I’m an ordained minister and a certified life coach. I mentor and coach men, women, and couples. It is very difficult to gain mentoring insight and leadership tools from my heroes who are men. I understand and respect any leader who wants to mentor where they are an expert (same gender). I love your blog ! I have accepted the crumbs of resources and influence some men have given to me. Thankyou for sharing your specific intentions,vision, and books……so valuable!!! This girl will feast for days on it!

    -Laurie

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thank you, Laurie. Very kind of you to take time to say so.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    I emailed this to my two pastor friends. I appreciate the map you’ve laid out on the table. Your specifics help me see the possibilities. Curious as to the age choices you work with and wonder what you’d suggest for those later in life. I actually see two age groups (one younger, one much older) where this mentoring model might be helpful.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Are you asking about mentees who are older? or mentors?

      Regardless, I think this is largely a matter of calling.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

        As a mentor, I would look at where my influence is–guys my age (which is mid-50’s) and high school to early 20’s. Those are the people I see on a regular basis who might consider a mentoring program. Anyway your post has been extremely clear and practical. Thanks.

  • Jill Farris

    Michael, you have inspired me. I have mentored younger moms and have a heart for that. I am a big believer that women need to also see older women in their homes and relating to their families (in order to visualize some of the lessons)….at least I did as a young mom and wife!

    I am wondering how you decide who (of the many) are you going to work with for the year. Do you just pray about it? Take the first bunch who make the commitment? How many “no shows” do you give them before you tell them “thank you but I’ll see you later”? Commitment and punctuality is a concept that many people don’t seem to have in this day and age so I am sure that is a challenge.

    Thanks again!

    Jill Farris

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jill. I first announced the mentoring group on my blog. I had 42 apply. I required them to fill out a formal application. Then I prayed over those 42 and picked 8.
      I don’t allow them to miss any sessions unless “providentially hindered.” That’s what it says in the covenant they sign. I cover this on the front-end, and don’t expect any absences. It’s not been a problem.
      You have to set the standard high and enforce it. This is part of what they are learning: to make commitments and keep them.
      Thanks again.

  • http://tbolto.wordpress.com/ Thomas Bolton

    Wonderful tips!  I started a group at my Church in September–Learners Leaders & Relationships–for disciples of all ages.  We listen to a leadership audio or video presentation, eat pizza and discuss the topic of the week and form pairs and small groups to mentor each other on needed areas, which vary by individuals.  I will look at your tips for adding some additional structure and formality.  Thanks!

  • Jean

    Thank you for such a play-by-play plan.  Practical too.  

  • Jean

    Me again Michael, how are you doing retreats for just $100?  Including lodging, food, and speaker?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I am the speaker. And I am free! The lodging, food, and recreational activity (ropes course or paint ball) is LESS than $100. I just put that in there to be safe. It’s a local Christian retreat center and very nice.

  • http://twitter.com/jerburroughs Jeremy Burroughs

    I really love this post. I have ordered several of these books after reading about these. I have read Choosing to Cheat and it rocked my world. I thank God for Andy Stanley’s voice in that book. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derek-Johnson/100002228041272 Derek Johnson

    Is this post an invitation for us to sign-up to be accepted?  I am in Hendersonville and would be honored to be considered for this.  I just turned 40 last month and feel directionless at this point in my life – after having been in the ministry for the past 14 years.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Unfortunately, no. My group for 2012 is already selected. This was just a report on what I am doing. Sorry.

  • Justin Fratt

    Hi Michael –

    I read that your group is full for 2012. Do you happen to have a “waiting list” for future years or is it best to see if something opens up and apply at that time? Thanks in advance for your response.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If you are interested, I can add you to the list. I do keep a waiting list.

      • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

        I’d like to be on that list.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Consider yourself added!

          • Justin Fratt

            Thanks Michael – I am interested and would like to be added! Thanks for your consideration and Happy New Year.

          • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

            Done!

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    This is incredible!  I wish I lived closer to Nashville!

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Wow! That’s pretty cool!

  • Roman

    This was absolutely brilliant! As a 21 year old, I think you are right on when you say younger men and women want to me mentored by older men and women. Just today I met with an older man, and the meeting was SO valuable! Great stuff here Michael, thanks for sharing! 

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    I would love to be part of this group. But, my geography is placing the spolsport.

  • http://fitnessexpose.com Michael Mahony

    Awesome concept and something I want to explore with my church family. I was just wondering how you plan the retreat in such a way that is it so inexpensive? Also, why start with the retreat itself?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I start with the retreat, because I want the guys to get to know one another. This jump-starts that process. We all go around and share our stories in-depth.
      With regard to cost, I just called around to a bunch of different retreat centers and camps.
      Thanks.

  • Anonymous

    @TNeal:disqus ….This is crazy….my best friend’s mom makes $88 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 10 months but last month her check was $5483 just working on the computer for a few hours...Read about it here…. WantMoney .….

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  • Jim K

    Mr. Michael, I wonder if you could talk at some point in the near future. I have read what you have written here and am very impressed with the discipline of the program’s organization. I am currently involved in a men’s ministry here in Nashville that is comprised of several hundred and am wondering if I could pick your brain. If possible, I will recheck this site.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brentmundie Brent Mundie

    Hi Michael, 

    I’d love to be added to your waiting list as well.  I just moved to the Nashville area and I think I fit your profile perfectly (30 yr-old husband, father, Christian, leader).  I just finished up 7 years as an Air Force officer and I’m looking for a great way to use all my talents at work, home, and church.  I’d love to hear from you if something opens up.  

    Brent Mundie
    brentmundie … at … gmail … dot … com (hope that will fend off the scrolling internet bots)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great. I have just added you. Thanks.

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  • Valleyrewards

    Hi Michael, I have really enjoyed reading your blog.  I am a female worship leader and my husband is the associate pastor at the church we work for.  It is a rapidly growing church and I am finding it harder to connect with the other people in our team on more than just a surface level.  We are doing team meetings once a month and “Wired meetings” bi-monthly to keep vision in the forefront and give tools to keep growing and moving forward. So… I am trying to figure out a way to have an impacting and consistent time to meet with the women in the Worship Ministry.  I am seeing the need for this but I don’t want it to turn into me controlling and leading everything.  I want it to be organic in nature and for the women to take ownership and interest in each others lives.  I am seeing that there are really two categories the women could be in- 1. Those that want to put the “skin” into it as you say and 2. those that really just need a friend, someone to encourage them spiritually and relationally.  It seems like I would need to have two separate groups???  I have also been looking at becoming a life coach.  Do you have a recommend program that I could become certified in?  Thank you for your time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I basically have two groups, too: my formal mentoring group and then an ad hoc group of men that I meet with individually, usually at their initiative for encouragement. With regard to a certified life coaching program, I am afraid that I m not familiar with one. If you come across one, please let me know. Thanks.

  • Valleyrewards

    Hi Micheal,  Can you please clarify the differences between “Coaching” and being a “Mentor”
    Thank you

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      They are very similar. I think a coach is generally a paid position—at least, that’s how I think of it. I mentor people for free. If I coached them, I would charge. Both are legitimate. In fact, I have a coach that I pay to coach me!

  • http://fitnessexpose.com Michael Mahony

    Would you be willing to share the contents of the application you use?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Which application are you referring to?

      • http://fitnessexpose.com Michael Mahony

        Sorry, I should have been more specific. I was referring to the application you required in order to join the group. The application potential group members turn in that you use to pick the members of the group.

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          I sent them each an email, inviting them to apply. I outlined the program, including the cost, and then asked them to answer these questions:
          What is your age?

          – What do you do for a living?

          – What is your educational background? (I don’t care if you dropped out of high school or have a Ph.D. I just want to know about your background.)
          – What is your wife’s name, how did you meet, and how long have you been married?
          – What are you children’s names and ages?

          – Describe your spiritual journey in 250 words or less.

          – What is the biggest challenge you are facing in your relationship with God, your marriage? your career? your parenting?
          – What church do you presently belong to and how involved are you?

          – Why do you want to be in this group and what do you expect to get out of it?
          – Are you willing to abide by all the requirements if you are selected?
          I hope that helps.

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for writing this! I read “Creating Your Personal Life Plan” earlier this year…and I took notes specifically about mentoring. I appreciate that you took the time to bring further clarity to how the group works.

  • Jean-Paul

    Any suggestions for those of us who are ” a bit behind the curve” in the 50 and over set – are we too old to be mentored?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Absolutely not. You’re never too old for a mentor.

  • http://www.irunurun.com/blog/ Travis Dommert

    Having been blessed to meet Regi and quite a few of the guys who have been through his program here in Atlanta, one statistic stood out above all the rest…of the 72 men who went through the program in the first 9 years he did it…zero divorces.  ZERO.

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

      Great statistics Travis! That’s mentoring – par excellence.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      Sounds like Regi did an awesome job with his program. That is impressive.

  • http://growahealthychurch.com John Finkelde

    During  my 30 years of pastoring the mentoring of leaders has provided some of my greatest highlights in ministry. It is truly both a privilege & a strategic opportunity to impart & garner wisdom. Congrats on your mentoring strategy Michael – love it!

  • Dale Aceron

    Hi Michael,

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I myself am at a place where I need to find a mentor. I realize that I cannot do this alone so this is something that I MUST do. But oddly enough, I recently had a guy in my church approach me to become “his” mentor. I read at the bottom of your post that if someone is over forty that they should consider it, but what are a few of the possible dangers of becoming a mentor at about age 36 to a 30 year old?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I probably should have been more clear. Everyone should consider becoming a mentor to someone (Jesus was only 30 when he started), but ESPECIALLY those over 40.

  • Ellex

    This is a wonderful idea!  Much success to you and the men of your mentoring group!!!

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  • http://twitter.com/romanalo Ro Manalo

    This is awesome. I lead a discipleship group here in Manila. I meet around 4-8 ladies every week but this is more like a bible study. I am very interested to start a mentoring group and would love to be part of one as well. Thank you for sharing how your group works. This is certainly a good model.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Thank YOU, Ro, for leading these women. What a gift your presence is to them.

      • Anonymous

        I really appreciate that, Michele! Thank you! It is my privilege to lead these women. We are on Day 6 of our church’s annual 7-day Prayer & Fasting and two of the ladies in the group are doing it for the first time. Both of them are so excited about the revelations they have received from God. I am so full of joy seeing them grow in Christ.

      • Anonymous

        I really appreciate that, Michele! Thank you! It is my privilege to lead these women. We are on Day 6 of our church’s annual 7-day Prayer & Fasting and two of the ladies in the group are doing it for the first time. Both of them are so excited about the revelations they have received from God. I am so full of joy seeing them grow in Christ.

  • Aljurje

    Great post. Exactly what I needed, as I was just planning on starting a mentoring group with 3 other men. I wish someone mentored me this way 15 years ago. But I am glad I can give other people the guidance I never received and had to accumulate the hard way over a long time. Thank you so much, Michael. I am a avid reader of your posts, and I also recommended your blog to many of my friends and co-workers here in Timișoara, Romania. 

    • http://justin.am/ Justin Wise

      Aljurje … So glad to hear you’re going to invest in the lives of others. And to bring that type of mindset to your country? What an encouragement!

      Thanks for being a part of the blog community. We appreciate your input!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for recommending my blog!

  • http://twitter.com/gljones01 Greg Jones

    @mhyatt:disqus , I would love to take part in this, but I live in Atlanta. Do you have any contacts here that would be willing to mentor me? I am looking for someone who is godly and has a creative and analytic side and someone who is older than me and can share their life experiences with (yesterday was my 38th birthday). I believe that I am on the precipice of entering into some sort of ministry field, so I am also looking for someone to challenge me as we build a relationship. I want to be mentored so that I can, in turn, mentor. Thank you.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Greg, I would check with RadicalMentoring.com. They are actually headquartered in Atlanta. Thanks.

      • http://twitter.com/gljones01 Greg Jones

        Thank you sir. I greatly appreciate it!!

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  • Zachary Sink

    Michael – I’ve searched comments for this so if you’ve provided please
    direct me to the right spot. A friend and I are going to start following
    your mentoring plan even though we don’t have a leader/mentor at this
    time. We’re already doing individual counseling/coaching.
    Our hope is that A) God would provide us a mentor, but we’re not going
    to sit around and wait for it; and, B) that we could begin preparing
    ourselves to lead our own mentoring groups down the road.

    Two things that I haven’t seen yet would be helpful for us as we move forward:

    1) Would you share your prepared “net-out” questions for the formal
    sessions (or examples of what your questions typically look like)?

    2) Can you give us your practical exercises or assignments you give the
    guys each month as you move through the different topics?

    If these are things you don’t want to share prior to your current group experiencing it this year, would you consider posting the information
    after your group goes through their formal session each month? Thank you
    so much for being so open with your format, document downloads, and
    templates. This is a great blessing for us!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. This is a great idea. I don’t know if I can find the time, but I’d love to if I can. I do create a formal lesson plan for each session. I’ll give it some more thought.

      • John Mark Harris

        As you give them to your group, post them here. Then you will informally mentor us all…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derek-Johnson/100002228041272 Derek Johnson

    Micheal, how do I sign up for 2013’s group.  I am in Hendersonville and would be honored to be a part of the mentoring group for next year.  

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I have added you to my list of men who are interested. I will send out a notification to apply, probably in late November. Thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derek-Johnson/100002228041272 Derek Johnson

        Great!  Thank you much.  Look forward to it.

  • hogg.jenny

    Wow great conversation really very informative one ,Thanks for sharing informati0n .   Template Design</a

  • Lindalou1300

    we use this model in our church. We will beginning in 10 days this years program. What a joy to mentor women! Our men use this model too! It is life changing for the mentor too!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312586550 Alex Theis

    Michael, I am a Christian without a church home. I’d love to mentor 25-30 year old Christian men as well with a very similar structure. I would have benefited greatly from a mentor when I was 25-34 and I want to help men thrive in business, belief, relationships, etc. Any thoughts on where I could find a pool of hungry Christian men I could serve, not being a member of a church?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I honestly don’t know what to suggest. Are you opposed to a church home or just haven’t found one yet. I think that is the best place to find a pool of hungry men.

    • John

      Yikes! Personally, I would suggest no one listen to someone seeking a leadership position as a Christian who has not served faithfully through their church. I would not want an unchurched mentor passing on their views to a younger generation of would-be Christians.

  • http://kurtbennettbooks.com/ kurt bennett

    Fantastic. Right now I’m in the middle of Dungy’s book, Mentor Leadership. Your post provides paints an excellent picture of what it actually looks like.

    Thank you Michael

  • Shawn Perry

    I live close to Nashville and would love the opportunity to “apply” for next year’s group.  Is there a formal process?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your interest, Shawn. You don’t need to do anything yet. I have added you to my list of guys who are interested. I will e-mail you later this year about next year.

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  • Kim

    Michael, I have read through all 262 comments :o) and couldn’t find an answer to the following questions:
     – What does your first Retreat schedule look like? Do the men actually work on their Life Plan at the first Retreat? It sounds like you then discuss their LP as you meet individually with them through the year. How has that gone?
    – What do you do at the second Retreat and what does the schedule look like?

    Thanks for any input you can give me on what the Retreats look like. I’m praying about starting a mentoring group this fall. I’ve been over to Radical Mentoring and have seen their Retreat schedules but it sounds like you do something a little different with your Life Plan. Thanks for any help or advice you can give!

  • Brandone

    Would you share an example of what an exercise, “Every session will have one practical exercise that they will do daily before the next session.”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Yes. For example, our topic for April is health. Last night I told the guys that I want them to exercise in the next 30 days three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. They are accountable to their Growth Partner. Thanks.

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  • Tadair2112

    Michael,

    Thank you much for the inspiration. TD Jakes just preached at my church this weekend, and at the end of the sermon my pastor Steven Furtick used the analogy to the Scripture, the message, and life in relationship to a can of paint. It’s in the “application” only when the color is revealed and comes out, so we must apply what we have been given. I am a true believer in this…. How do I get started? I mentor people in my own company, but not to this extent. Would love to learn more.

    Thank you!

  • John Mark Harris

    What’s your schedule/agenda for the retreats? I want to do this. Ideally I’d like to be the “mentee” but I just can’t find someone. I found someone once, but then he was killed (see my article: http://churchexecutive.com/archives/in-view-of-a-call-leadership-and-martyrdom-in-the-midwest) so, I’m going to just find some guys in their early 20s and mentor them… I’ve used http://mentoringone2one.com/mentoring/ before, but I’ve been compiling books (much as you have). Thanks for this!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Mine schedule is pretty customized to my group. I would take a look at RadicalMentoring.com. They have some suggested retreat schedules. Thanks.

  • http://jornadadeumlider.com Fernando Almeida

    Great mentoring format and theme suggestions. I will be incorporating some of these in my mentoring group with future church leaders.

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  • http://www.matthewreedcoaching.com/ Matthew Reed

    Michael thanks so much for the detailed description of your mentoring group. Though I am outside your target demographic (41 y/o), the detailed description of the books and agenda are great tools. First for my own continuing ‘distance mentoring experience’ with you and secondly to be able to pass it on to others. Thanks!

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  • L_schenk3

    What type of exercises do you have them do daily? Could you give some examples?
    Thanks!
    I learn so much from you. I appreciate you passing on your knowledge and that of others you repect!

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  • PjSmitherman

    Michael, I love that you have accomplished being able to put this into a format. I have been long searching for a group or a one on one. Do you know of anything in the Birmingham, Al area? Thank you as always for your excellent insight. 

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  • http://www.toddliles.com/ Todd Liles

    These are the posts that really hit home. Thank you.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mwguay Mark William Guay

    Michael,

    Thanks for bringing this to light and being so specific in how your run your mentoring group. I was an integral part in a peer Christian mentoring group way back in my high school and have long thought about looking for a similar one of like-minded business oriented peers w/ a mentor much like yourself. Your words have given me further inspiration to look into seeking this mentoring experience with someone of your caliber in the NYC/Hudson Valley area. If you have any suggestions of those you know in that area that would be interested, feel free to reach out to me. 

    Hope you are feeling better since the bedbug incident.

    Merry Christmas,

    Mark Guay

  • Billy Stevens

    It is a Maxwell/Reiland Joshua’s men format. I like your reading list. I’ve used this format for a number of years. I like them having to buy their own books too! I used to use the three hour with meal format & it is just too difficult. Good stuff!

  • Ben

    Michael. Great topic and Great theme. I have a suggestion for your theme that would make your posts more shareable. I find myself wanting a way to share the individual comments of each post. Maybe all you need is a share button that expands to give options after it is clicked. That would be very useful to your theme and your readers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Good suggestion, Ben. However, I am using the Disqus commenting system, which is a third-party plug-in. I don’t know if they plan to add this feature in the future or not. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/lrwhitney Lindsey Whitney

    Looks like a great list of books!  Thanks for sharing!  

  • Steve Hopkins

    Michael could you please send or post a representative agenda for the launch and graduation meetings.

    Thanks,

    Steve

    Stevehopkins@beautyscapesofga.com

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Let me encourage you to check out the Radical Mentoring website. They have this kind of stuff. Thanks.

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  • http://twitter.com/aaronashworth aaronashworth

    Michael, How would one be able to persue becoming a mentee?

  • Bryan Smith

    Michael,

    How would we go about getting permission to use portions of your agreement that you have your group sign?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Check with RadicalMentoring.com. They have a version of it you can use. That’s where I got mine.

  • GuyL

    Any insight on how we might go about searching out a like group in our area (Los Angeles/Hollywood/Teh Valley)? What a wonderful and needed group!

    • http://jorgesilvestrini.com/ Jorge Silvestrini

      GuyL – I’m sure that you can start a group in your area and find some people just like you, with similar interests who will LOVE to join! The challenge is up to you to take initiative. I’ve started a group with two other friends here in Miami, FL. In less than two weeks, we have encouraged each other to have plans for things we’ve never thought we needed.

      There are plenty of resources available for free and really all that I believe is required to do is: START! Get out and Do It… You won’t be disappointed.

    • http://jorgesilvestrini.com/ Jorge Silvestrini

      Did you start your group? No Fear… Start it!

  • Peter

    This sounds like a prison governed by one and only, you.

  • Alicia Britt Chole

    Since our participants do not live in proximity, we started with Skype then Google Hangout and now we’re very happy using http://www.FuzeBox.com for our one-on-ones and groups teachings. Mentors were among the first gifts God gave to me when he graciously interrupted my existence. My husband and I have been intentionally mentoring for 25+ years and Jesus’ model of investing deeply in a few still guides us. Our primary focus now is mentoring leaders in the marketplace and the church.

    We too keep the groups small (5-12) and twice a year all the participants are invited to our prayer retreat home for two face-to-face retreats. The content is structured and yet the one-on-ones provide the opportunity for personal customization. We call it having a fitness trainer for your soul.

    Thank you for the book list. We use a private facebook group for each year’s cohort which has been helpful but I’d be grateful to know of any other online tools you’ve found for small group community building.

  • josephjyoung

    Fantastic Michael. When individuals are willing to make that kind of commitment, you know something serious is happening in the soul. Jesus taught in Matthew 5, “They that hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled.” Many have detached from that aspect of living, that is, to be willing to do whatever it takes no matter what. Too many are giving up and throwing in the towel. Great work you are doing and I am sure your Mentees’ are better people today.

  • Tony Menzies

    I like what I have read and would really consider doing mentoring. How do you advertise or get people interested?

  • Deborah H. Bateman

    Thanks for sharing this post. Even though I’m a woman it gives me ideas of how I could do something similar with women.
    Blessings,
    Deborah H. Bateman

  • Regina E. Coley

    Michael your mentoring group sounds amazing. It’s practical, precise, and personal. I’m sure the men involved are Kingdom Builders who are grateful for your time and commitment.

  • http://www.calebstorkey.com/ Caleb Storkey

    Lovely shape and structure. Thanks for this Michael. I’ll definitely be implementing this downstream.

  • Blake

    I would LOVE to be apart of this. How do I become involved? The only requirement I don’t meet is I’m single. Other than that, it sounds perfect!

  • Sam

    How do you find a mentor or group?