April 11, 2005
The Master's Program
The Point of View - A Weekly Commentary by Bob Shank


Dear Marketplace Friend, 

      A few days ago, I invited myself into your space with my stewardship solicitation, asking you to sponsor me in our upcoming Golf Challenge event. The effort underwrites The Master's Program; TMP is known - by its participants, its graduates ... and their friends - as a mentoring program for Kingdom leaders. There's a concept with huge appeal ... and limited availability: mentoring.
      What is it, exactly? How do you know that "mentoring" is happening? The concept has significant panache among people who already enjoy a level of accomplishment in life ... but know that they still have a reservoir of untapped potential that remains beyond their reach. A mentor is a unique player: a person who is accomplished in his/her own life pursuits, who makes himself/herself available to someone who is on the same - or, similar - journey ... and is willing to slow-down, come alongside them, and provide the wisdom gained through experience that will enhance their progress. The leaders who participate in TMP say they've been mentored through the process.
      Most people who plan to maximize life have either explored or experienced mentoring. The ache to be nurtured is God-given; the process of transference is biblical: "...and the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2). Paul challenged his protege - Timothy - to be multigenerational, passing the experience along to his own "downline" of beneficiaries. Be mentored ... then, be a mentor, to others who will - themselves - be mentors, in time, to another generation.
      Finding the right provider isn't always easy. Yesterday's newspapers (in Southern California) carried full-page advertising for an upcoming opportunity to be mentored ... in the space of just two days! What a killer headline/offer: "One weekend can make you a MILLIONAIRE" Who's doing the mentoring? There they are, bigger than life, in the ad's photos: Donald Trump In Person! #1 Peak Performance Success Coach Tony Robbins Live! "Rich Dad Poor Dad" Robert Kiyosaki Live! The possibilities of a weekend of mentoring by these "proven" pro's makes the $99 weekend pass (available to only the first 75 sign-ups) seem like a deal-and-a-half. Will they make the thousands of attendee/proteges millionaires ... as advertised?
      My life - for the last 20 years - has been marked by my mentors. When I wrestled with the "stay in business, or move into ministry?" question in '84, Chuck Swindoll played mentor for me ... and coached me through the decision. When given the opportunity to serve as a senior pastor in '91, Howard Hendricks gave me the nudge ... from the mentor's point of view. Mid-90's - moving back into marketplace ministries after my active duty in the church - was a mentoring moment for me: Bob Buford picked up the baton ... and his counsel - as a mentor - birthed the vision for The Master's Program. Who's surprised: a systematic means by which to provide mentoring. Organic ... and organized, at the same time.
      Bob Buford has become organized in his mentoring, too. Bob's using the web to distribute his wisdom, as the point man for this "Succes Significance"s to movement that has gained incredible momentum since he wrote Half Time in 1994. Bob continues - along with Chuck and Howie - to be my prime source of great wisdom, at moments when critical crossroads call out for independent insight.
      While you're on-line, you ought to dial up Bob's website - www.ACTIVEEnergy.net - and peruse his weekly newsletter. On that site, you can subscribe to it - without cost - to consider each week. Just imagine what two Bob's whispering in your ear could do to affect your approach to the rest of your life!
      Three ways to approach life: 1) Go it alone, without the benefit of outside input; 2) Use the advice of others, and allow the culture and media to nominate your influencers (Trump? Robbins? Kiyosaki?); or 3) Find people who share your foundational, faith-based values ... who are further-along the road than you, yourself, are traveling. That third choice is what God commends ... and encourages.
      If you haven't been mentored, pursue it. If you have, pass it along. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

Bob Shank


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