Growing up for me was a journey where I learned not to depend on people. Therefore, my Christian faith was one of isolation. I struggled through the first two thirds of my life when I did not have to. If only I had reached out for the guidance of a mentor. I am now strengthened in this mentoring partnership with Dr Rick Lewis, who has come alongside me helping me to ask the right questions and to take a step back and consider the broader picture. It has not been looking at simply one aspect of my journey; it has be a call to address the whole and to be whole spiritually, physically, emotionally and relationally. Leadership is, at times, lonely. As the head of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia much of my time is given to listening to others. With Rick I have had the opportunity to be heard and to stop and listen to what God is saying to me as a person, as a husband, as a father and as a leader.
Rev. Rex Rigby, Australian National Superintendent, President of the South Pacific Region
One leadership lesson I learned is that if you want to be a great leader you need to have people to accompany you on the road! It can be lonely at the head of an organisation and you often have to embrace great pressure and shape significant decisions. Over recent years Rick has been alongside me as a mentor, encourager and soul friend and I have experienced the benefits of this. I am most definitely an “external processor” and I have really appreciated the opportunity that a mentoring relationship has given me to explore issues with a wise and prayerful person who is completely outside my context. Rick is the master of the good question! Always seeking to enable clarity and awareness with a well-crafted question, rather than offering advice. If I had to single out one main outcome of this mentoring relationship so far, I would say that I have been empowered to have the confidence to be who God is calling me to be; nothing more and nothing less.
Rev Lynn Green, General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain
Rick Lewis is one of the few mentors we use with our clergy who always gets positive feedback even when he helps clergy to see their own faults and shortcomings. We have confidence that his experience of church leadership, down to earth no-nonsense style and ability to help leaders understand themselves better is what our Church leaders need at this time. More importantly he listens in a prayerful way to what God might be saying in each and every situation. He doesn’t offer ‘off the shelf’ solutions but he does help people to take responsibility for themselves and their own leadership. I have no hesitation in recommending Rick as a mentor for those who want to take their personal and corporate leadership to the next level.
Derek Chedzey, Archdeacon, Diocese of Hereford
Rick has been my mentor for several years now and has consistently and sacrificially offered a listening ear, asked leading questions and given helpful advice towards my personal and leadership development. His genuine, heartfelt desire to come alongside leaders to invest in and identify the best in them so that they shine, is a gift to the greater body of Christ.
Karina Kreminski, Lecturer at Morling Theological College, Sydney, Australia
With Rick Lewis’ help we have now launched a mentoring ministry in our church where we have 30 individuals trained and serving as mentors. Rick has a capacity to not only cast a great vision for mentoring, but to give practical training that will result in individuals gaining both the tools and the confidence to begin this exciting and life-changing ministry. I highly recommend Rick to you as someone you can engage with confidence to help you initiate a mentoring ministry in your church or organisation.
Andrew Ranucci, Senior Pastor of Coast Community Church, Australia
Whenever Rick has taught our students they have found him challenging, engaging and inspiring. And they have asked when he is next visiting us. This has been true of day events and three-day events. Rick has the exceptional gift of being able to draw on his own practice and experience and communicate what he has learned in ways that ministerial students can grasp and make use of. Whenever Rick has visited the College we have been impressed by the quality of the material he has offered and the enthusiasm with which it has been delivered. I recommend him wholeheartedly.
Stephen Finamore, Principal of Bristol Baptist College, United Kingdom
Rick Lewis represents a consistent voice reminding Christian leaders that their spiritual formation will influence everything they touch in life and ministry. He is a thoughtful fellow journeyman who brings a rich theology to bear upon the whole matter of having and being a soul friend.
Dean Eaton, Mission Facilitator/Church Planting Mentor, Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand
Rick Lewis has had a significant and powerful influence on my life as my mentor for the past two years. Rick’s insightful questions and practical tools have given me greater clarity and confidence as a leader. I have appreciated not only Rick’s skills as a mentor but his genuine heart to know and care for where I am at. Having Rick as a mentor has been one of the best decisions I have made as a leader in recent times.
Phil Bignill, Church and Community Engagement, Churches of Christ in Queensland, Australia
In 2011 Dr Rick Lewis was commissioned by the Board of our College to conduct a thorough review of the formation experiences, processes and gaps experienced by ministry students at undergraduate and post-graduate levels. This was a large undertaking that required theological understanding, knowledge of emerging 21st century ministry needs, appreciation of the roles of corporate and academic governance as well as the operational realities and budgetary limitations experienced in a competitive higher education environment. In the process Rick was also required to gain the trust of stakeholders, staff, students, alumni, denominational executives and the Board. It was quite a task and he delivered an excellent report, on time with practical and insightful observations and recommendations that became the core of the College’s new strategic plan.
Rick’s review was appreciated by all the groups already mentioned and has served the college extremely well. It was a core reason why the college has experienced 10-15% growth in enrolments in the last two years and we see no reason why that won’t continue. Throughout this whole process Rick has become a friend of the college. He has become a professional, personal and confidential mentor and listening ear to me and I have referred him to other peers over the past year or so. Rick’s temperament, personality, listening and reflective style and keen intellect have indeed been a gift to our college community and I know that our sister college in the UK also has a similar experience through conversations I have with their Principal. I am very happy to recommend Rick’s skills, abilities, analytical approach, pragmatic understanding, communication style and mature Christian commitment.
Dr. Andrew Menzies, Principal of Stirling College, Australia
You can tell that Rick’s wisdom comes from having ‘been there and done that’, but that doesn’t mean he spoon-feeds you answers or sits you down for a lecture! The important thing is that you can really tell he is 100% for you, and believes that God is 100% for you. Within this secure context you explore new ways of attaining deeper character, sharper professionalism, greater integrity and longevity of purpose. The solutions you end up with are the ones you honestly own, and then go on to implement. I’d definitely recommend going a few rounds with Rick!
Andy Drake, CEO of YMCA Essex, United Kingdom
I have just signed up to a formal mentoring relationship with Rick, but in truth he has acted as an informal wise guide for many years. This began with his participation in transforming work, in God’s love and mercy, with my church Pavilion Christian Community. He joined us as minister, with Heather his wife, just before the turn of the millennium. We were tired, and had lost our joy in Jesus and our hope and direction. He engaged deeply with us, in love and vulnerability, and was responsible for the refounding of our church in grace and dependence upon God. He worked with us for just two years and yet the values he surfaced among us are still bearing fruit in our strong and growing church. This relationship has continued to be important for all of us who participated in this time of renewal and many formal and informal mentoring connections have continued. And right up to date, we have just benefitted from his technical ability, as, in a consultancy arrangement, Rick guided us through a challenging interregnum. As a community we are profoundly grateful for the wisdom of this gifted, servant leader.
Mary Publicover, Editor at The Missional Network, United Kingdom