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

Apr 6, 2016Work Uncaged

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.


  1. Diane Klettke

    This so resonates with me. I love writing about spiritual truths but fight (in my heart) constantly with the social media platform that seems necessary, but often robs the joy. And, as much as I enjoy connecting with other people’s wonderful blogs, I now can’t even keep up with my inbox. Clearly, I need to prayerfully consider what God is calling me to and how to continue forward. I have a kingdom approach to my faith (ever since reading “Follow Me” by Jan Hettinga), so your words “What would it look like to create a sisterhood and brotherhood of writers and speakers whose first thought was the kingdom of God” really connected with me. (I hope you managed to follow that long sentence ;-))
    Count me in – please!

    • Mary DeMuth

      I did follow it! And I’ll continue to pray about this. Curious what God is up to.

  2. Rachel Britton

    Would love this type of program with our first thought being the kingdom of God and an emphasis on listening to the Spirit for guidance. I can feel my thirst being quenched already.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Yay for thirst being quenched!

  3. Cindy Calvert

    I would love this type of mentoring. I am working on launching my blog soon and this articulates the struggle as Christian writers/bloggers so well. I will be praying for you and all of us that we would see first the kingdom of God.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Thank you Cindy for the prayers. So important! So lovely! And I’m glad you’re wrestling through this now.

  4. Laura Acuña

    Yes, Mary. I replied to your comment over on Michele’s post. This is so needed. I actually have started unfollowing some of my gurus because it has become such a distraction for me. The Lord has taught me ( through hard lessons) not to ‘hitch my star’ to anyone but Him. I love what I have learned from so many accomplished people, but the pull to push, push, push to be noticed (and what you are encouraged to do to BE noticed) is too much. Love this AND Michele’s post. God must be up to something!

    • Mary DeMuth

      I’ve had the same hard lessons, and it really doesn’t have to do with the guru, but my attitude toward the guru! 🙂

      • Laura Acuña

        Me too. xo

  5. sarahfarish

    I love this. It’s so easy to chase, but Michele’s post stirred something in me -and so does this one. Praying!

    • Mary DeMuth

      Aslan is on the move, perhaps?

    • Mary DeMuth

      I agree. Now to know what “it” is. 🙂

  6. Lea Ann

    What would this change for those like me, just starting out and caught between giving and grabbing, gurus and girlfriends in need? How would this shape our online ministry? How could it unshackle our message for those who most need it? How could it free us from fear and propel us toward God’s true image? The possibilities are mountainous. Praying mustard seeds with you.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Great questions, Lea Ann.

  7. Jessica Galan

    Prayers and support, Mary. What’s tugging on my heart is this:

    1. What would happen if we placed Christ on the platform of our hearts? Would we love more and strive less?
    2. Shouldn’t we focus on being Christ-followers first?

    I’m guilty of putting “drive and strive” on the platform of my heart. That’s what’s so awesome about the Holy Spirit–who discerns our intentions–who overcomes our carnal frameworks in holy truth. It’s sooo subtle the deception….but God…but God.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Amen to this, Jessica. You have a great kernel of a blog post there. Christ on the platform: amen.

  8. AmyLu Riley

    Yes, Mary.

    • Mary DeMuth

      Thanks for the YES!