7 Core Values When Choosing a Mentor

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by KRIS VALLOTTON

Our destiny is directly tied to the people in our lives. Based on Proverbs 13:20, there is an old adage that says, “Show me your friends, and I will show you your destiny.” We are designed for God, and we are also designed to need other people. Nobody be-comes successful by himself or her-self; all of us need the right people to launch us into our destinies.

I believe that it is extremely import-ant to discover our destiny. Paul says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day…” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). God has given us specific assignments to complete in our lifetimes.

I did not have a vision for my life when I was a broken young man. The influence of godly people in my life infused me with vision to be a world changer. Kathy and I were saved when I was 18 and she was 15 years old. A few years later we moved up to the Trinity Alps in northern California. We lived there a year without the benefit of having a spiritual father and mother living alongside us. I was starving to be nurtured and felt lost. I began to cry out for God to send me a father.

I was working as a mechanic in a repair shop at the time. One day while I was lying on a creeper underneath a green Jeep Wagoneer the Lord spoke to me saying, “The man who owns this Jeep will be your father.” I had been praying fervently that day about the void in my life, but I didn’t even know the man who owned the Jeep.

When the customer came in to pick up his vehicle I collected his money and explained the work order to him. I was so nervous that I could feel my heartbeat in my throat. He was about twenty years older than me and seemed very warm and loving. I accompanied him to his car, still trying to gather the courage to tell him what God had said to me and hoping I wouldn’t sound like a crazy person! He got in the Jeep and rolled down his window as I stumbled over my words.

Finally I blurted out, “God told me that the man who owned this Jeep would be my spiritual father!” (I was choking back tears.) How awkward is that?! To my great surprise he turned off the engine and opened the door of his truck. He stood up, wrapped his arms around me and said, “I would be honored to be your father!” This man’s name is Bill Derryberry and he has been my mentor for more than 40 years. His love and discipline have changed my life. I am forever indebted to him! The love that Bill and I have for each other has resulted in many people being born into the Kingdom through both Bill’s encouragement in my own life and the contagious nature of love when it is expressed through someone.

A CALL TO FAMILY

We in the Church have given birth to children and then left them father-less and trying to survive on their own. Jesus never intended for us to make Christians but rather to make disciples. The word disciple means “learner.” The very nature of a disciple is that he needs someone to teach him.

When the Church of Jesus be-comes a family instead of a group that gathers in a building, people won’t just come to church, they will become the church. It will no longer be a place they go to but a tribe they live in, a people they have responsibility for and a family that nurtures one another in good times and in bad, in sickness and health, until death do us part.

It is only when we find our people that we can fulfill our destinies. For us to live abundantly, it is critical that we see ourselves as a part of a family of believers, and not lone rangers. I love how The Message says, “Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words. The wisdom of the wise keeps life on track; the foolishness of fools lands them in a ditch.” (Proverbs 14:7-8).

If you want to be a world-changer, you will need to learn the art of taking advice from mentors in your life. If you ask for input and then argue with the people who are counseling you, you are sending them a clear message that you do not value what they have to say. I am not saying to become a drone or don’t weigh advice; I am saying to allow people to speak into your life and hold it up to what God is saying.

Below are 7 core values when looking for mentors and spiritual parents in your life:

1. Resonance: Do you feel a divine connection with the person and vibrate with the same spiritual frequency?

2. Tribe: Does the person see the world like you do and value the Kingdom attributes that you value?

3. Purpose: What are you born to do and can this person help you on the journey?

4. Submitted: Are you submitted to listening to and heeding your potential mentors’ instruction, elevating their insight even more than your own ideas?

5. World Changer: Have you put yourself around bigger people than you?

6. Authenticity: Are you committed to authenticity and vulnerability as your mentor calls you to your greatness?

7. Covenant: Is this relationship just for what you can get out of it, or are you committed to loving and serving when it is not convenient for you?

I specifically want to highlight the importance of covenant relationships. Paul and Barnabas, Esther and Mordecai, Ruth and Naomi, none of these world changers would have ever fulfilled their destiny apart from their mentors. And, they stuck to the relationship even when it was not convenient! Do you think Esther would have become a queen without Mordecai? I seriously doubt it! Do you think Paul would have been received by believers without Barnabas? Nope. Then there are Peter, James and John. Jesus always sent His disciples out in no less than groups of two. The apostles continued the same pattern in the early days of the church, always sending people out in teams. The people around us awaken the destinies dormant within us.

The Scriptures describe men and women of God who took hold of their positions of divine influence to shift the destinies of nations. The world is crying out for people like Paul, Esther, Ruth and Joseph who will become fathers and mothers to the pharaohs of the world (see Genesis 45) and see whole nations fall into the hands of the Lord. God is summoning the Daniels of the earth who can stand as he did in the courts of four worldly kings and bring the most powerful nations into the Kingdom. God is gathering the Nehemiahs of our day to rebuild our ruined cities and restore hope to the planet. He is awakening the Davids of our generation and commissioning them to defeat the giants of racism, crime, immorality, and corruption that seem to roam the earth wreaking havoc on our children.

You are a world changer born in the most exciting time in history! This is your time to “rise and shine.” What team are you on and who is on your team? Have you submitted to spiritual mothers and fathers? Or is God asking you to be a mother or father to the people in your life? Maybe you’re still searching for a community to call your own. Wherever you are in your process, I want to encourage you to get connected, plugged in and committed to a spiritual family.

Today pray: “Father, thank you that you are with me. I ask you for a revelation of who is supposed to be in my life and a part of my divine destiny. Teach me how to identify and cultivate these relationships. I am your child. Lead me into your extravagant love and abundance for my life and the world.”

Kris Vallotton is the senior associate leader of Bethel Church in Redding, California, where he has served with Bill Johnson for more than three decades. His prophetic insight and humorous delivery make him a much-sought-after international conference speaker. Kris is also the co-founder and senior overseer of Bethel School of Ministry, which has grown to more than 2,100 full-time students, as well as the founder of Moral Revolution, an organization dedicated to cultural transformation. He has appeared on numerous media outlets, including The 700 Club. Kris and his wife, Kathy, live in Redding, California.

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