We’d been meeting for a few months now and still not getting below the surface. She was one of those beautiful people, from a beautiful family, that seemed (on the outside at least) to have things figured out. She’d sought me out after church one day because God had moved her and she said she needed to take her next step of faith, but wasn’t sure what that was and wanted me to “mentor” her. So why were we circling around all of this small talk each time we got together? Why did she dodge my questions that attempted to get to the deeper issues of struggle, motivations and her own walk with Jesus?

Of course, “the heart is a deep well” and there was a lot going on inside her, which we would dig into – eventually. But right then, I needed to give our relationship some structure, some tracks to run on if we were going to get anywhere.

Partly, we were stuck because SHE HAD NOT OWNED THE PROCESS. She had not invested in, learned to discern and figured out her own steps forward in our mentoring journey. Throughout the years, I’ve learned that I can’t dictate this journey for anyone. They have to dig in and sift their way through the gravel to find the path forward. But I can be a travel guide. I can provide some tools that gently help them uncover the place God would have them put their next step in growth.


One of the best ways to help those we mentor own the process is by helping them evaluate. We’ve created a tool for you to use with those you are pouring into that will help them:


  • See where God has moved in their lives to bring growth.
  • See what obstacles are getting in the way of their growth and flourishing.
  • See where God is calling them to use the gifts He’s given them (their time/energy, talents, and treasure)
  • See how God might be wanting them to care for the life He’s given them (their spiritual, emotional, intellectual, social, and physical life).
  • See how God wants us to be intentional about who we pour into and who pours into us.
  • See a fresh glimpse of the “new thing”(see Isaiah 43:19) that God might want to do in and through us, igniting our holy imagination.


So print out this tool or send them the link. Have them work though it and then set up a time to talk about it together. Taking this one intentional step will set you on a course to encounter all that God has for you during your time together.




Mentoring Goals:


As a pastor’s wife, there are probably quite a few that would like for you to pour into them. As you pray through who you will invest in this year and what that will look like, keep these things in mind… The best mentoring relationships…


1. are Christ-centered

    • Not problem-centered
    • Always asking “How are you seeing God move in this situation?”

2. are intentional

    • Seek God for direction and focus – on both sides
    • Establish goals at the beginning and revisit them

3. establish healthy expectations together

    • Are you available by text? If so, what times?
    • Set an end date to at least evaluate (otherwise your capacity will quickly fill)
    • Talk about the difference between a coach, a mentor, a spiritual director and a counselor. Which of those seats are comfortable for you? Which ones does she want?

4. are filled with humility and authenticity

    • Avoid being tempted to impress each other
    • Ask for permission before giving advice

5. honor each other’s time

    • Meet regularly- monthly works well (more frequently if in crisis)
    • Keep appointments
    • Set alarm – put phones away

6. pray together

    • Invite God’s presence to guide conversation
    • Model praying Paul’s prayers for each other (character over circumstances)

7. honor confidentiality

    • Ask for permission to seek outside wisdom
    • Avoid referring to examples even without names

8. welcome accountability

    • If you have a plan of action, expect to follow up on it
    • Mentor – ask about it / Mentee – act on it

9. are reflective

    • Every few months, ask “Are we doing what we set out to do?”