Becoming A Spiritual Father - Episode #2

John Woodall became a Christian when he was 14. He and his family were living a great life in London, England. John had planned to follow in his father’s footsteps and return to the States to attend business school. But after a deep conversation with his dad, John enrolled in a Bible college in Florida. 

He was so blown away by what he’d learned that he called his father and told him he wanted to stay another year. John knew he wanted to serve people. It put him on the path toward ministry where he’s been for the last 50 years. 

John is also my Spiritual Father. In this conversation, we dive into why John chose to invest his time into mentorship, how someone can get started being a mentor, and why our failures may be a more important testimony than our successes. 

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • [1:26] The foundational years of John’s life
  • [4:09] What led John into a life of ministry
  • [7:34] Why John invested in younger men
  • [12:18] Why it’s important to ask the right questions 
  • [20:34] How John chooses who to mentor
  • [25:17] Where do you start? 
  • [33:17] Why mentorship is important
  • [38:07] Pursuing Jesus through suffering 
  • [42:19] The lightning round

How John chooses who to mentor

You have to start somewhere simple: You have to like the person you mentor. John needs to enjoy spending time with them. Secondly, he points out that you can sense those men who are hungry to grow. John can see when they want to be conformed into the image of Christ. He doesn’t have time for men who aren’t interested in being a better man, husband, and father. 

If you want to become a mentor, pray without ceasing. Ask God of your desire to minister to another man. Scroll through your contacts and make a list. What younger men do you know? 

Where do you start?

There’s a deep, dark, and evil force in this world. God is light and love. The devil is full of hate and darkness. Don’t be unaware that the accuser—the voice of the butcher—will whisper, “You are not qualified.” 

Secondly, you don’t have to mentor from your successes. No one has it all figured out. You have to mentor from a place of experience. John firmly believes that some of your best mentoring lessons stem from your failures and your weaknesses. 

If a man is going to bond with you, they bond over mistakes, failures, and brokenness. It’s through brokenness most men find Jesus. You will mentor out of the power of God in you. 

When you mentor from your story, and what God has taught from you from your story, you have more than enough to be a spiritual father to another man. Younger men are open to being authentic and honest. They need a place and space to talk openly. 

Why mentorship is important

Attend a service, serve somewhere, get in a small group, and give toward kingdom work. That’s what every good church teaches its members that they must do. But something is missing. We didn’t realize our greatest spiritual growth from that model. 

For John and I, spiritual growth came from mentoring, discipleship, and counseling. It was the personal attention from someone more mature in their faith who could speak into our lives. 

The Bible says that the mission of God in every God’s life is to be confirmed to the image of Jesus. It’s the process of sanctification—becoming more and more like the image of Jesus. Being in close proximity to Godly men is important. You’re living your faith together. 

John wants to make sure that your most influential season of life can be in your 60s and 70s. You aren’t done yet. John is more free and excited about bearing fruit in his last decade of life than his first 70. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with John Woodall

Connect With Spiritual Fathers

Audio Production and Show Notes by - PODCAST FAST TRACK