Telescopes and Your Support Team
When it comes to looking into space, there’s a limit to what we can do here on earth. We can only magnify input (of whatever kind—visual, audio, microwave, radio waves, etc.) so much, and its usefulness is limited by how well we can perceive it.
Astronomers have found a way to exceed the limits of telescopes and antennas, though, a technique called astronomical interferometry. This is an oversimplification, but basically the way it works is based on the principle that the larger a telescope or dish, the higher the resolution it can receive. Astronomers connect a series of telescopes, mirror segments, or parabolic dishes that are spaced very far apart (the largest is an array of ten 25-meter dishes located from Hawaii in the west to the US Virgin Islands in the east).
By having an array that is this large, with this many pieces working together, it can receive data that would be impossible with a single instrument.
When I try to tackle any major project, change in my life, or even just navigate rough waters, I need to do the same thing. There’s a limit to what I can do on my own.
“Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)
I need people around me to give me counsel, encourage me to take risks, caution me on when I’m risking too much, challenge me, and just generally be in my corner. And so do you…maybe. If you want to be average, not risk anything, and just be as safe as possible, you probably don’t. But if you’re reading this, then I believe that’s not what you want.
So who do you need in your array? Here’s my list. Yours might be somewhat different than mine, but this should get you started.
1. My wife – If you’re married, your spouse needs to be at the top of this list. If you don’t think they’ll support you or for some reason you don’t trust them, stop everything else you’re doing and go straight to marriage counseling with a Christian marriage counselor. The two of you need to be on the same page or you’re virtually guaranteeing failure in any major endeavor.
2. Wise, Godly Friends – Not everyone you know, but those you trust and who can give you wise, godly counsel. Keep this group fairly small, but as large as you need to get a balance of perspectives and experience. Mine is four people, one of whom has filled this role for me for more than 20 years.
3. Mentor – It’s true that you can be mentored by people that you never personally interact with, through books, podcasts, blogs, and other similar ways. That’s not what I’m talking about here. This is a personal mentor—one who has been where you are and is where you want to be. He or she doesn’t have to be ahead in every area; you can focus on one specific area like a healthy marriage, launching a business, parenting toddlers, becoming a professional speaker, etc. if that is more suited to your needs. It’s also possible that this person (or people) will also be among your “wise friends,” but not necessarily.
4. Coach – This is different from a mentor. A coach isn’t necessarily someone who has gone ahead of you that you want to emulate, or one who has the specific expertise or experience in the area(s) of growth you need. A coach is one who can bring out of you what is needed to move forward. We can ask key questions and help you get down to the answers, help you see and overcome roadblocks, and target specific goals.
5. An advisory board and/or mastermind group – Some combination of the people above (generally with the exception of your spouse) can combine into an advisory board if you want or need something more formal. Doing it this way places more requirements on the people in the group, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just something to keep in mind.
A mastermind group is more likely to include peers than mentors, and those peers may or may not be people you have a close friendship with when you start. The important thing is that you all have the same positive attitude and sharp focus on your goals, and that you are cooperative with each other rather than competitive.
Having these people around you will allow you to accomplish things you never thought possible—and that wouldn’t have been possible if you were going it alone. Jim Rohn said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you are looking for growth, success, and a more dynamic life—in short, to grow in your Supernatural Kingdom Identity—you’ll need to intentionally choose those five people, and then choose to spend time with them.
Question: Do you have a team of people around you like I’ve described here? If not, who needs to be on it and what is one step you’ll take today to begin intentionally gathering them around you? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.