Over the years I have taught that it is more important to have a “to be” list than a “to do” list. A “to be” list is a list of people you are mentoring to be more than they are at the moment.  I’ve found that it is best to keep the list to 10 or fewer so the mentor can spend quality time with each one.  By mentoring I mean simply hanging out with them and modeling what it means to be a leader.

How Good Is Your "To Be" List?

The goal of a “to be” list is to move people along in their spiritual development. For example, moving people from…

  1. a non-believer to a believer
  2. a visitor to a participant
  3. a participant to a servant
  4. a servant to a leader
  5. a leader to a coach
  6. a coach to a paid staff position

Another way to view it is to mentor people up the leadership path. It goes something like this:

  1. Visitors – Do not overlook the fact that fewer people will be joining organizations in the future and that one of the best ways to disciple a person is to involve them in a ministry. New Hope Christian Fellowship in Honolulu is one of the best at this.
  2. Apprentices in training – This includes potentially everyone in the congregation.
  3. Leaders of committees – Almost anyone can lead a committee. All you have to do is call it to order, keep your mouth shut, and close it.
  4. Leaders of short term ministries like Sunday school or VBS – At this point people need to become scouts, looking for potential new leaders, but they are seldom coaches.
  5. Leaders of major, ongoing ministries such as a small group system – It is not uncommon from here on for leaders to become scouts and coaches.
  6. Leaders of systems such as lay mobilization
  7. Leaders of leaders – usually staff
  8. Leader of leaders – the lead pastor

How do you mentor the leaders of your future?

Question: How have you seen the benefits of “to be” lists in those you’ve mentored or coached? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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