TOP Churches To MENTOR You

In Connecting: The Mentoring Relationships You Need to Succeed in Life, Paul D. Stanley and J. Robert Clinton place mentors into three categoriesintensive (the disciple, the spiritual guide, the coach), occasional (the counselor, the teacher, the sponsor), and passive (the contemporary model, the historical model).

I want to add one more kind of mentor to the “passive” category: church model.

Churches can provide you with passive mentoring through (1) studying their websites, (2) reading books written by their ministry leaders, (3) watching YouTube clips of sermons, worship clips, teaching materials, and ministry promotions, and (4) analyzing ministry approaches and teaching materials.

Here are top U.S. churches that might can mentor you:


Crossroads Community Church (Cincinnati, OH), Brian Tome
Lancaster County Bible Church (Manheim, PA), David Ashcraft (Edmond, OK), Craig Groeschel
Church of the Highlands (Birmingham, AL) , Chris Hodges
Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA), Rick Warren
Woodlands Church (Woodlands, TX), Kerry Shook
Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC), Greg Surratt
Community Bible Church (San Antonio, TX), Robert Emmitt
Bay Area Fellowship (Corpus Christi, TX), Bil Cornelius
Cedar Creek Church (Perrysburg, OH), Lee Powell

Granger Community Church (Granger, IN), Mark Beeson
Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA), Mark Driscoll
Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC), Greg Surratt
Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX), Ed Young, Jr.
Mosaic Church (Los Angeles, CA), Erwin McManus
North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA), Andy Stanley
National Community Church (Washington, DC), Mark Batterson
Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL), Dave Ferguson
Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA), Rick Warren


Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY), Tim Keller
Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA), Mark Driscoll
Northwood Church (Keller, TX), Bob Roberts
Perimeter Church (Duluth, GA), Randy Pope
Spanish River Church (Boca Raton, FL), David Nicholas
East 91st Street Christian Center (Indianapolis, IN), Derek Duncan
Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL), Dave Ferguson
Fellowship Bible Church (Little Rock, AR), Bill Wellons
Kensington Community Church (Troy, MI), Steve Andrews
Church at the Springs (Ocala, FL), Ron Sylvia


Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL), Bill Hybels
Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA), Rick Warren
North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA), Andy Stanley
Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX), Ed Young, Jr.
Lakewood Church (Houston, TX), Joel Osteen
The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX), T.D. Jakes (Edmond, OK), Craig Groeschel
The Brooklyn Tabernacle (Brooklyn, NY), Jim Cymbala
The Church of the Resurrection UMC (Leawood, KS), Adam Hamilton
North Coast Church (Vista, CA), Larry Osborne

See the complete list on Kent Shaffer’s blog Church Relevance

Rockbridge Seminary students who have completed the fully online Touchstone Course may want to review the work you did in the Mentoring Self-Discovery Workbook and assess how mentoring church models might benefit your ministry competency development.

9 Responses to TOP Churches To MENTOR You

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sam Simmons and Rockbridge Seminary, Ken Lupton. Ken Lupton said: RT @seminary TOP Churches To MENTOR You […]

  2. Love the concept; thanks for sharing! I’m a pastor at LifeChurch FTW and love the idea of passive mentoring!

    • Sam Simmons says:

      Hi Chad – As you can imagine, passive mentoring by churches holds a gold mine of potential learning experiences when recognized by a seminary. Thanks for the comment! Sam

  3. Jack Allen says:

    Hey Sam, interesting list. I wonder what it might look like if we added a category: “Top Churches to Build Your Character”? Since mentoring is more about character than skill building (at least that was once the case), perhaps such a list would prove itself of value to the kingdom. My vote is Hope Community Church in Ft. Worth, Texas (Harold Bullock, Pastor). Honorable mention to Redeemer Pres in NYC (Tim Keller). I’m sure your readers can add many others.
    Thanks for the post.

    • Sam Simmons says:

      Yea, Jack. I like the new list! Harold Bullock is certainly a model for the impact a mentoring pastor can have on the Kingdom! Thanks for sharing. -Sam

  4. Brian Lewis says:

    I think it’s interesting that there are only a couple churches on the list that have their denomination in their name. Wonder if this is a new trend?

    • Sam Simmons says:

      Hi Brian, thanks for your comment. I think it depends on the context. In Southern California, I think the trend started about 30 years ago. When I moved there in 1994, there was still some pockets of discussion, but the new paradigm churches had already determined that the shift was strategic and moved on. My first encounter personally with it as a missional strategy was in 1992 – a church in a Boston, Massachusetts, suburb. -Sam

  5. I attend the LCBC, Manheim, PA church. LCBC is truly a church on the move. The leaders continue to seek God’s plans and purposes for His Kingdom in this region of Central Pennsylvania and beyond. The “God awareness” became even clearer and more focused as LCBC just completed a campaign to start up two new satellite churches, one in York and one in Ephrata. The campaign was dubbed “What If?”

    How awesome to see God at work…over $18 million was raised in less that two months. What’s even more amazing is that this campaign was initiated in an economy struggling w/ a nasty recession. Again…It HAD TO BE A GOD THING!

    I am so blessed to be a part of a huge move of God in Lancaster County, a hotbed of religiosity. In the midst of a religious spirit, God is stirring up a new move of His Spirit! Praise Him!

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