Mentoring Mythbusters: Why Commencement?

One of the best things about mentoring men the Radical Mentoring way is commencement. We used to call it graduation. But graduation says, “I’m done.” Commencement says, “I’m beginning.” Just like Jesus sent out His guys, commencement starts a new phase.

So, what begins with commencement?

  • Accountability is now self-imposed, as opposed to a built-in part of the group. For the last nine to twelve months, the discipline of reading a book and netting it out had a clear deadline each month. Now, reading’s up to me. I’ve been reading at a rate 4 to 5 times the national average, and the books have been about important stuff. Some haven’t been all that fun or popular or easy to read, but they’ve been helpful. Built muscle and strengthened bones.
  • Community is now up to me. For a year, I’ve had a scheduled time to connect with guys. Like-minded guys who love Jesus, love me, and love hanging out together. Now to have these guys (or others) as friends, I’ve got to initiate. I have to create time, make a call or send a text, put it on my schedule, and invest time in creating and/or maintaining close relationships. If I don’t, I’ll end up isolated again, I’ll lose the momentum from my group, and my growth will sputter.
  • Intentional focus on my wife and kids only continues if I make it happen. I’ve got to come up with stuff to make life interesting for them and for me . . . stuff that draws us closer and keeps the fires burning. You can find marriage ideas on And great ideas on fatherhood and family stuff on All Pro Dad, but ultimately commencing is up to me.
  • Pay it forward starts now. “I can never pay you back, so instead, I’m going to pay it forward. I’ll do for others what was done for me.” Commencement marks an outward turn . . . it’s not about me anymore . . . it’s about Him. And when my life is about Jesus, the first place I’m drawn is to people. It’s what He told me to do . . . love others as I love myself. Starting with church. I have to connect, give, and get involved. I’m asking God to show me where He wants me to pay it forward . . . who He wants me to influence.

Regi Campbell, author of this blog, has written for Discipleship·org a eBook called Fill Your Seats, which is available for free digital download in your favorite format here.

I began writing this blog to remind the men I mentored of their commitments to Jesus, to their wives and families, and to their commitment to pay it forward as disciple-makers. I wanted a way to keep speaking into their lives, sharing what I learn as I continue my journey. Over the years, I’ve ‘sent out’ mentoring groups with all kinds of gifts and mementos to remind them of their mentoring year. While some of the plagues and coins and paperweights might still be visible, most are probably in a box somewhere.

That’s why we decided to create Radical Wisdom: A Daily Journey for Leaders. We envisioned it as something you could buy for the guys in your group and present to them upon commencement or on your Commencement Retreat. We hope that a small daily dose of Radical Mentoring might keep them fresh and focused.

So, head to to order copies if you want them in hand when your group commences. If you want 10+, you can buy directly from us at a bulk discount (info on that page). But regardless of where you buy them, all proceeds go back to Radical Mentoring . . . just one more way to pay it forward so more churches and mentors can activate their men.

Scripture: Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:6-7)


Written by Regi Campbell

Regi is the Founder and Chairman of Radical Mentoring, a nonprofit focused on equipping and encouraging churches to build disciples and disciple makers through intentional men’s small group mentoring. Regi believes the future of the local church is intimately connected to the development of strong Jesus-following lay leaders who will lead their wives, children, businesses, neighborhoods, and churches with God at the center.

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