When I was younger, I loved playing baseball. I especially loved pitching. Today, as the father of three boys who all pitch, I love sitting under the sunny skies of Scottsdale, Arizona, watching my boys take the mound for year-round baseball.
If you know much about baseball, you know that there are multiple kinds of pitchers. Some are left handed, others are right handed. Some throw fast, others slow. Some can pitch many innings, others are only good for a few batters.
A good coach takes all the pitchers and puts them together into something called a bullpen. The coach then calls in each pitcher to meet the needs of a specific situation during the game. Why? Because a bullpen is far more effective than just one pitcher.
In life, you are a coach. What you need is a bullpen. This is more than a mentor. I believe that having a mentor is actually a myth. There is no one person who can help you get through every situation of your life. As you make plans for your life, it is good to assemble a bullpen of specialists – various people who are wise at finances, marriage, parenting, health, business, legal, theology, and so on, respectively. When you need them, you can then call them in to your life to help you get through whatever you are facing without wearing one person out to be there for you all the time.
The Bible speaks of this kind of a bullpen as wise counsel. Proverbs 13:20 says it this way, “Walk with the wise and become wise,” and Proverbs 15:22 says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” Also, Proverbs 24:5–6 says, “The wise prevail through great power, and those who have knowledge muster their strength. Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.”
How can you benefit from wise counsel to help you make your plan for this year? To start, Proverbs 12:15 teaches us to listen and learn: “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Here are some very practical things to consider to maximize your bullpen of wise counselors:
- Prayerfully and carefully choose wise counsel
- Formally schedule a time with them at their convenience
- Show up prepared, with your questions and a way to write down what you learn
- Listen and learn – do not say a lot
- Ask them for any resources you could use for further study
- Thank them
- Pray for them before leaving
- Act on their instruction
- Send a follow-up thank you
At MarkDriscoll.org there is a special four-part series this month called Four Biblical Laws That Change Your Life, available for a gift of any amount. This brand-new content is a series of lectures and accompanying homework by Pastor Mark Driscoll to help you make this a godly and great year, by God’s grace.