Jim Langley: Living Intentionally in the Marketplace | Homes & Lifestyle

By Jim Langley | September 22, 2018 | 10:30 a.m.

In 2014, I was privileged to attend the CBMC President’s Council meeting in Phoenix. I left that 3½-day conference refreshed and encouraged by what I heard and experienced.

It’s good to frequently meet with like-minded men and women who have a similar vision and appreciation for the work that Christ has prepared for all His followers.

The keynote speaker at the event was Dr. Tim Elmore, a best-selling author, international speaker, and president and founder of Growing Leaders, an Atlanta nonprofit organization that helps emerging leaders under the philosophy that each child is born with leadership qualities.

That Saturday morning, Elmore shared nine principles he considers critical in the mentoring process, that all Christians must follow as we disciple younger men and women in the faith. He used an acronym to explain this critical process — I-N-F-L-U-E-N-C-E.

Let me take this one step at a time and share the wisdom he presented at the conference.

We must first make an Intentional investment in the lives those God places under our tutelage. We need to continually make deposits into their lives as Paul did with his protégé, Timothy. CBMC team members are blessed to have Operation Timothy as an educational tool designed to provide spiritual growth to those who invest in the process.

Tim then presented the importance for us to be Natural and authentic in our approach as we meet with those God places in our path. We certainly don’t need to attempt to impress them with our biblical knowledge and worldly accomplishments. What they need to sense is our simple willingness to help them in their life journey.

Our Faith needs to be evident and real! We must not only demonstrate our faith in Christ, but we must also show our faith in those we are mentoring. We need to “expect the best” from each student and trust that God will surely bring out the best in them as we invest in the lives of those who are truly serious about growing in Christ.

We must develop our Listening skills so that we might earn the right to speak to our students. That’s really what these younger men and women are — they’re students God has placed in our lives so we might assist them in their life journey here in this world, which is filled with “many dangers, toils and snares” designed to make our walk ineffective for Christ.

Each student we mentor will be quite unique, and we must come to mutually Understand them and where they have been on their journey so far. No cookie-cutter approach will work, since God has made us all distinctly different with diverse experiences. We must dig deeply into their past and genuinely care about their journey.

In the process they will need much Encouragement since the Enemy will certainly throw all he can at them to impede their meeting their full potential for Christ. They also will need the encouragement of others in the Body of Christ as they go through the trials of life.

We must also Navigate them trough the twists and turns of their journey as they grow in their relationship with Christ. They need to know True North, and we need to be their compass to guide them on the right path and keep them from easily being side-tracked by the ways of this world.

We must remain faithful and constantly have a deep Concern for their well-being. They must see and experience our continued care for their growth in Christ. We need to be available to meet with them as they will surely struggle with all kinds of issues in their journey.

They need to see our Enthusiasm in all we say and do. If we can’t be excited about our relationship with Christ, then I suspect we are not adequately equipped to handle the mentoring of a new disciple who truly wants to know Christ intimately. The process of discipleship needs to be taken seriously, if we want to present Him to a lost and dying world.

Our CBMC of USA president challenged us to live an intentional life for Christ. Please consider joining me in the wonderful task presented by Jesus in Matthew 28 as He tells us to “go and make disciples” for His glory!

Passages to Ponder

» Matthew 28:18-19

» Ephesians 4:14-16

» Colossians 1:9-12

» 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4

» 2 Peter 3:17-18

— Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at [email protected] for more information. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.