A Book Discussion

At VantagePoint3, we have been cultivating the art of seeing others for 23 years . Close friends know that we call this “particularizing a person.” As our lives and the communities we lead continue to re-calibrate and lean into what matters most in 2024, the importance of relationships is front and center


As a team, we have been captivated by David Brooks’ newest book, How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen. 


David Brooks is an outstanding, curious journalist with a proven track record as an author and thought leader. He wrote this book out of a desire to improve his human relationship skills and out of the conviction that he wasn’t very good at seeing and noticing others. Brooks believes that one of society’s most pressing needs is to go deeper with others. He also builds the case through the book that this skill can be learned.


In a New York Times interview, Brooks says, “I’m not an exceptional person, but I am a grower. I do have the ability to look at my shortcomings and then try to prod myself into becoming a more fully developed person.” 


At VantagePoint3, we are a network of “growers.”  That’s what God made us to do! But we can develop this more deeply for ourselves and those we lead!


Brooks goes on to say, “Being openhearted is a prerequisite for being a full, kind and wise human being. But it is not enough. People need social skills. The real process of, say, building a friendship or creating a community involves performing a series of small, concrete actions well:

  • Being curious about other people
  • Disagreeing without poisoning relationships
  • Revealing vulnerability at an appropriate pace
  • Being a good listener
  • Knowing how to ask for and offer forgiveness
  • Knowing how to host a gathering where everyone feels embraced
  • Knowing how to see things from another’s point of view.”

I’ve slowly inhaled Brooks’ book from cover to cover with more underlines and dog-eared pages than those that are not. He is talking about the work we do through building up mentors and our VP3 processes, but he does so with language, depth, and insights that are helping me improve my skill set and desire to hear and see others more deeply.

Are you captivated yet??


One of the things our VantagePoint3 team has been paying close attention to over the past few years has been mentoring. Our deep conviction is that a “mentoring attention” is required if leaders are going to help men and women grow up into Christ in every way (Eph 4:15).

A Mentoring Guide: Christ. Conversation. Companionship, this website amentoringway.org , as well as mentoring workshops, and our most recent course “Spiritual Mentoring: Recovering A Leadership of Companionship” have all been expressions of our belief that the quality of our relationships significantly shapes our ongoing growth and maturity.

This mentoring effort continues with the launch of 30 DAYS OF MENTORING! Each day you can expect an email with a quick one-to-three-minute read that will include quotes, short videos, guidance, and encouragement. We are excited to share with you sections from our mentoring guide as well as introduce you to others whose voices encourage us in our mentoring way work. Read More

Mentoring Practices: Prayerfulness

The third practice for a friend or mentor to walk well with others is prayerfulness.

Prayer in this mentoring context is about cultivating a deep trust in the loving movement of God in the life of another. As mentors or friends, we pay attention to the everyday life of others, helping them identify and see what is already in play and at work. Amidst the comings and goings of work and school, amidst the meals and chores, amidst the anxieties and arguments and joys of family and community, we become what Barbara Brown Taylor calls “detectives of divinity.” 

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learn to be a mentor

A small yet powerful matter

I pin my hopes to quiet processes and small circles, in which vital and transforming events take place.

Rufus Jones (1863-1948)

Adults need a space and place to move deeply into their own experience and grow in the light of Jesus and his way in the world. Simply telling others where they must go or what they must do won’t cut it. Our mentoring tables need to be set for unhurried conversation.

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