My Journey Mentoring Millennials

This past year the Lord has surprised me with opportunities to mentor, disciple, and coach men in their 20s and 30s. What a year it has been of seeing God shape and mold several young men—and me! I’m so glad I listened and accepted the challenge.

My journey in helping young men started with a phone call in late 2017. Margaret Fitzwater, then co-director of Navigators Church Ministries, asked me to call Charles Allen III, a young African American man in EDGE Corps. Charles felt God calling him into Houston’s Fifth Ward downtown area.

I soon connected with him. How exciting it was to hear about and see God using Charles and his wife, Nicole, to disciple African American students on the campus of Texas A&M. Charles and Nicole have become associate staff with Navigators Church Ministries and work with Houston’s Fifth Ward churches. What a blessing it has been to meet with Charles weekly—over the phone or in person—to review the many discipling tools we use and how to maximize their effectiveness.

Soon Charles III introduced me to his father, Charles Allen, Jr., a Houston pastor in the Fifth Ward. Pastor Allen saw how God was working through Charles and Nicole to disciple college students, and he wanted that for his church. Within a few weeks, I began mentoring Pastor Allen weekly using The Next Steps follow-up material and then The Ways of the Alongsider. We have since started a Leadership and Learning Team (LLT) as part of the Growing intentional Disciplemaking Cultures (GiDC) process at his church, and both Charles III and his pastor father are training leaders for the LLT. This has now blossomed into Charles leading a men’s discipleship study and Nicole leading a women’s discipleship study at their church.

My journey mentoring millennials continued last November when I interviewed Elliot Teague, a young man who wanted to join NCM staff. God had been using Elliot at his church, in a campus ministry, and on a short-term ministry trip overseas. He was raised at Denton Bible Church in Denton, Texas, and had gone through our 2:7 Series® studies. Now he was using the series to disciple other young men. Elliot applied and was soon accepted as a Staff-in-Training with Navigators Church Ministries.
It’s been so rewarding to mentor Elliot in using the training tools with a weekly Skype call. Elliot and I led a recent Ways of the Alongsider seminar at his church, and now church leaders are preparing to take 40 people through the Alongsider 10-week study. Elliot has grabbed the baton and has already started to meet with two pastors in his area, introducing them to the NCM tool Crockpot Disciplemakingwhich depicts the GiDC process in a church setting.

The journey continued in January, when God started impressing me to contact a young Korean man whom I felt could benefit from our NCM Life & Leadership Coaching. He is part of his church’s youth group leadership and on Friday nights he leads a home group Bible study for seven college students at his apartment. I began to talk with him over the phone and email him information about coaching.
Then I met with him over coffee. I explained the coaching process to him in more detail and conducted a practice session. He asked me to start coaching him, and we have gotten off to a great start. I look forward to seeing how God is going to work through this young man as I help him sharpen his leadership and discipling skills.

Then in April I had a breakthrough dinner discussion with a man in his early 30s whose family I have known for three decades. After several discussions over the last year, he now sees a need for Life-to-Life® discipling. When I suggested we start an Every Man a Warrior men’s discipleship study with one or two of his friends, he replied, “Let’s do it!” He asked me to go through this study with him so he could disciple other men himself. I thank the Lord for developing a vision of spiritual multiplication in this great guy’s heart.

As a father of millennial-age children and with our first grandbaby expected soon, I’ve been thinking about what I will leave for others to build on. What am I modeling for the next generation to reproduce, and how am I preparing them? How about you, dear friend? God has prepared many of us for such a time as this. Let’s accept the challenge and disciple the next generation of godly leaders!

Steve Stahl serves with Navigators Church Ministries in the Houston area. He also shares leadership of NCM’s South Central Region with Dennis Blevins and Jeff Springer. He ministers with churches in the Houston area and is mentoring several young NCM staff.  In addition, he is helping to develop discipleship internships with Rio Grande Bible College.