While there are overwhelming numbers of Christian books on many topics (parenting, anxiety, homosexuality, Bible commentaries, etc.), I haven’t seen too many on mentoring. Sure, there are some mentoring books out there, but as far as I can tell it’s not an area that has been covered as much as other areas. Because I’ve not read any mentoring books before, I recently picked up “Men of Influence” by Bill Hendricks and Howard Hendricks. It’s basically an updated and revised edition of “As Iron Sharpens Iron.” “Men of Influence” is a relatively detailed resource on what it means for Christian men to mentor and be mentored.
The book basically has three main parts: 1) The nature of mentoring, 2) for men who want to be mentored, 3) for men willing to serve as mentors. There is much wisdom in these chapters – wisdom that the authors gained through years of themselves being mentored and mentoring others. I do agree that “most men require learning from a guide” (p. 36). It’s also true that many solid Christian men have had godly influences in their past, mentors who came along at some point and in some way helped them in their Christian life.
I appreciated some of the details in this book, such as errors to avoid in mentoring (micromanaging, jealousy, etc.). The authors also rightly mention that most mentors don’t really see the fruits of their mentoring. God uses mentors to touch another man’s life, but the fruits of the mentor’s efforts ripen later when the mentor is no longer part of the man’s life. Also worth noting is the issue of sin and grace – men will fail and fall at times in their lives, but they must remember there is forgiveness and grace in God’s story of redemption.
I didn’t agree with everything in this book and I do think it was rather wordy in certain areas. As with many Christian books I read, I thought: “You could’ve said the same thing in half the pages.” But that’s subjective I suppose. Anyway, this really is a helpful resource on the topic of Christian mentoring for men. Again, it’s not a “Ten-Plus Stars” book, but there is enough insight and wisdom in this book to certainly make it worth reading if you need a resource on this topic.
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54002