Writers and Speakers: Do we need a New Kind of Mentorship?


I wonder…

if people who want to share a Jesus-message have mentors who will steer them toward the kingdom of God rather than the kingdom of the way things work in this world.

I wonder…

if perhaps we’re chasing after advice that seems to be logical but emaciates the soul.

I’m grateful that there are many Christ-following writers and speakers who absolutely have the upside-down kingdom in mind. Folks like my friend Michele (and her amazing post today). People like Lisa who share hard things with grace and grit. Or Emily who is just starting out, but seeking a good foundation in which to build her speaking career. Or Jim who has faithfully served God with his words.

Personal confession: I’m a guru chaser. Have been most of my career. And while there is nothing wrong with learning and becoming wise in your craft (in both speaking and writing), it can border on obsessive, particularly in marketing and social media. This pursuit can swiftly become an idol when we prioritize our kingdoms over the kingdom of God.

I’ve learned that my guru-chasing has cost me much. I’ve (unfortunately) run to people rather than trusting the Holy Spirit’s nudges. I’ve been caught up in the platform-churning machine. I can’t speak for others, but I can say for myself, that machine has hurt my soul.

Maybe it matters which gurus we chase? Because often when I feel I’m out of whack, I remember Sandra. She has been the kind of mentor that gently leads me back to the cross. She is a professor, an editor, a writer of nonfiction and fiction. She has traveled the world. And yet, she points it all back to Jesus. She doesn’t have a big head about it. She doesn’t obsess about sales numbers or numbers of followers. She’s more concerned with following Jesus. Her lifestyle of living for small moments has deeply encouraged and inspired me. She is happy to minister to the person in front of her. She is grateful for any doors God has opened.

So here’s my thought, my wild hair…

What if the gurus we chased were like Sandra? What would it look like to create a sisterhood and brotherhood of writers and speakers whose first thought was the kingdom of God? A mentoring program that was sensible in its approach to getting our messages out (using wise, effective practices) with a greater emphasis on listening to the Spirit for guidance?

I’ve been noodling this possibility, praying about it. I don’t know what kind of form this would take, or even if I’m supposed to spearhead something like this. But I would so appreciate your prayers.