About This Blog

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"The Power of One-on-One" (Jim Stump)

TITLE: The Power of One-on-One: Discovering the Joy and Satisfaction of Mentoring Others
AUTHOR: Jim Stump
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2014, (192 pages).

How do you reach the world? Answer: One conversation at a time. One person at a time. One at a time. In our age of many to many communications, where social media postings can reach hundreds and thousands of people at a single click, we are reminded that while electronic gadgets and computing devices can do the technological connections, people flourish in smaller networks. According to author Jim Stump, there is power in any one-on-one relationships. Whether we call it discipleship, mentoring, or plain individual conversations, Stump is convinced that meaningful relationships are best build one-on-one. For the transformation of the world begins with the transformation of individuals like you and I.

Part One of the book is about Mentoring. Sharing his own journey to becoming a mentor to people, Stump reiterates constantly the need to earn the right to be heard, that we possess the joy of mentoring, and to see the essence of discipleship. We must recognize that we all need help. The two core convictions of Stump are:

  1. People are open to the gospel
  2. People when touched by the gospel will want to share the gospel.
This approach is what the author says: "mentoring people to Jesus." He goes back to sharing his first experience of meeting God personally through another person. Once that seed is planted, the rest is history. 

He models mentoring according to the life and ministry of Jesus. He believes that the gospel transforms. Eight principles sum up his approach.

  1. Choosing well
  2. Investing in the Relationship
  3. Teaching spiritual Obedience
  4. Passing it On
  5. Modeling Your Faith
  6. Learning to Delegate Wisely
  7. Keeping a Watchful Eye
  8. Training Mentorees to Mentor
Part Two of the book simply asks "What Would Jesus Do?" in a variety of situations. He notes that Jesus would accept people as they are without judging; care for them without hesitation; teach them to pray without ceasing; always ready to tell the truth without compromise; and always a friend for life.

Part Three covers some evangelistic strategies about the gift and grace of God; four principles for inviting people to trust God; and believing without a doubt that it is God who moves, forms, and transforms.

So What?

Written in a direct manner, readers will easily see that the book itself mentors the reader toward a proven mentoring strategy; a real-life demonstration of showing Jesus to others; and some principles to invite people to the gospel. Such a book can only be written by a person who is soaked with experience and conviction. One can tell that the author truly believes what he writes. He even thinks that the replication model can be shared far and wide. This is the power of a one-on-one relationship. Sometimes, I wonder how effective technology and social media can be with regards to discipleship. Though the ways to connect are many, nothing can replace one-on-one, face to face communications. Whether it is over a cup of coffee, a telephone chat, a brief encounter, or a scheduled meeting, the important thing is that we genuinely care for the welfare and spirituality of the person. The popular saying is true, that people will not care how much we know until they know how much we care.

There is power in one-on-one relationships simply because when one cares enough to love, the gospel flows freely and rapidly from one person to the next, and the next, and the next, and the next. Until the whole world will know that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Rating: 4.25 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Baker Books and Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

No comments:

Post a Comment