Yesterday I had a brief layover in Denver to work with a fascinating group of men and women. Their calling is to help mentor, train, and encourage deep relationships between people.
This new company is the culmination of 30 years of work by my good friend and mentor Wes Roberts, who has mentored me for the last decade. Through the highs and lows of life, Wes sits and listens, gives advice, and ALWAYS comes to my relational aid NO MATTER the circumstance. It's been an incredible friendship spanning the last 10 years, and I think it's important that people know there are these types of relationships out there. I hear it far to often, "I'm so Alone in life. I just don't have anyone who gets me." Well...get ready for a change.
As we began to program a bit of the 'how to's' I sat back in amazement watching a team of people dedicated to a process of helping others understand what it means to live life in a whole way---together.
1. For The Individual
I believe deeply we have lost the art of 'truly knowing' and 'being known' in our culture. We don't even have the vocabulary to be able to enter into meaningful deep levels of relationships because we live in such a fast paced efficient world. We text our feelings, 'like' our friends, and count on people to use all forms of social media to 'connect.' But what happens when the 'likes' and the 'tweets' stop coming? Where are the people in our individual lives with the wisdom, care, and long term encouragement to make it day to day?
I believe we can revitalize this culture of 'knowing and being known,' but there is a certain level of education that has to go first. We can't simply utter words like community, brotherhood, sisterhood, or friendship without having a toolbox with the right relationship tools to achieve those places in our lives where we don't know how.
We've got to examine the core of our belief systems and find out what motivates us, be introspective about the baggage of history causing us to be or not be, and ultimately surrender to the fact we're all human trying to make it through life the best we know how.
I know, at least for me, the times I feel the pressure of life beginning to choke in around me, are the very times I NEED someone to help walk with me and assure me The Sun Is Going To Come Up Tomorrow. Some might see that as weakness, but I see an system of mentorship as an unbreakable strength of life.
2. For the Business
Too many companies are trying to teach and train their employees in one dimension of life. Sell, Sell, Sell, is the mantra in the corporate culture.
In fact, I was just talking with a friend in Florida last week who admitted, "When I knew the top level executives, and I respected them, I would work insatiably for the companies' bottom line. Now that the turn over has replaced those people with bottom line production people, I see my work as 'just a job.'"
Now what CEO or Management wants their employees to work out of a crucible of obligation? Sure we have to produce at our work, that's what business is; but think deeply about the companies you've worked with who take great care to meet the needs of employees while they manage the company output. Don't we all want to work in environments where people care about our family, our creative input, our opinions, our financial viability, and our overall health and wellness?
This Whole Life Mentoring does just that. We're planning on helping the Business World with tools that make a company like a second family, dedicated to one another, and ultimately prove to be a healthy place to make money and grow as humans instead of just being production factories.
3. For the Church
As we look at various organizations trying to develop deep partnerships with their people, The Church culture is part of my own make up. The impact Youth Pastors like Mark Rutherford, coaches like Patrick Salman, and leaders like Pastor Scotty Gibbons have had on my life makes me want to help other churches understand the vernacular of growing long term leaders.
Words like Accountability and Discipleship are muddy, grey, and sometimes clouded with guilt and shame. When actually, true disciples are those who are willing to grow in whole. They are people who teach and train others how to live life worthy of the calling Jesus called us all to live, and we have an awesome opportunity to help those who want a clear path toward healthy living in the freedom of human existence.
I'm excited to watch this team develop these tools I can already see are going to be MONUMENTAL for people who want a way to truly live life with other people. This comprehensive approach will bring meaning to the individual longing for community, a sense of belonging to employers and employees who are trying to create healthy work environments, and a renewal for the church who is stuck in programming and long to return to a community of a people living life in freedom.
Thanks Wes Roberts for your leadership, your vision, and most of all for your continued belief in my own journey. I know it's rocky at times, and unsure; but you're a man willing to walk with me through it...to the end.
Get ready world...this is about to be something vitally important to our culture.