“I love TG, but we’re an international ministry [or I’m a missionary heading to the field] and my champions aren’t local. How can I coach them?”
It’s a valid, vital question and one I receive a lot.
That’s why I was flat-out thrilled when my Generous Mind man Jon Hirst turned me on to the Masterful Mentoring free e-newsletter produced by Triple Creek Associates.
(I always direct TG practitioners to steer clear of fundraising books and towards books on coaching and mentoring, as well as the scriptures. TG has far more in common with the latter disciplines than with the former.)
TCA’s February 09 e-newsletter is all about mentoring at a distance.
If you’re even remotely serious (or even just curious) about coaching your champions at a distance, you’ve got to read the whole piece. I myself am going to print it out and tape it to my forehead. There are unusually good practice exercises and reflection questions, as well as counsel on identifying and overcoming potential challenges and trouble spots that distance mentoring typically trips over, and strategies for strengthening distance mentoring.
The best part of the e-newsletter, however, are the detailed meeting guidelines by proximity. Take a second and drool over this chart with me:
Where has this chart been all my life???
Thanks for the lead, Jon. You are truly a Generous Mind.
Wow. All I can say is thank you. Can’t wait to check out the link!
I hope it helps, Kelly–thanks for checking in!
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The only question after reading the chart and article, is how do I do this with multiple champions? Half an hour every two weeks? Would it be correct to assume that you would work with your most eager to grow champions first? Some at a time? Just working this out in my mind and my schedule!
Great question, Kelly. Think in terms of Jesus’ 12 disciples and Paul’s church planting apprentices (Silas, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Onesimus, Gaius, Aquila & Prisca, Phoebe, Tertius). The Biblical pattern is 2 Timothy 2:2: We invest heavily in a small group, each of whom invests heavily in a small group in their sphere of influence, and so on. The error most organizations and missionaries make is what I call “the pin cushion syndrome”, where each new champion is connected to the missionary or organization to have to disciple. That’s neither scalable nor effective. Instead, train faithful men and women who will teach others also!