For those using BraveHearts Mentoring Solutions for Sexual Integrity over the past 5 years...
Hi, I'm Michael Leahy. I discovered pornography when I was 11 and struggling with it for most of my life. But after hitting rock bottom almost 20 years ago, I've been free from my addiction and living a redemptive life helping others along their journey to freedom.
It's my pleasure to invite you to join me in this Great Adventure and become a Certified BraveHearts Mentor who also leads men and women to freedom.
For the past 5 years, I've been conducting my own "proof of concept" by taking a mentoring-centric approach to recovery. That is, I've been meeting with sexually addicted men 1-on-1 and in small groups, guiding them through their recovery. In these past 5 years, I've spent over 4,000 hours mentoring 100+ men.
Like a sherpa guide leading a group of climbers up through treacherous mountains they've never climbed before, I've instructed these men to just "clip onto my rope" and follow me. I guide them as God guides me, helping them navigate through a process I call sexual integrity discipleship.
Drawing off of my own 15 years of sexual addiction recovery experience, not to mention the 30 years I spent in a growing relationship with pornography and sexual sin, my "mentees" - addicted or not - trust my judgement as I lead them and model sexual integrity, wise decision-making, and healthy intimacy in relationships.
Recovery happens in relationships!
That's just one of the many lessons I've learned over these past 5 years of mentoring sexually addicted men. But it's not just any connection they desire. After years, even decades, of living double lives where we never could allow our true selves to be fully known by another, even our wives, what men in recovery really need are safe connections.
That's one of the reasons why I believe mentoring works so well in recovery. Because, in my humble opinion, the best mentors - the only ones these men will trust - are the men who've been there.
In other words, I believe the main reason I've been so effective in leading so many men to freedom in Christ from their sexual addiction is because I went through it first myself. Been there, done that. It's like the difference between sympathy and empathy. People can just tell.
Of course, there's much more to this process than I'm making it sound. But here's the good news - when it comes to the mentoring model and process and methodology, it's all teachable! As for your redemption story, well, either have one or you don't. So if you're reading this and you're still working on your recovery, just keep plugging away. Your getting well should be your top priority right now. Having a rock solid recovery and redemption story is a prerequisite to mentoring men and women who are sexually addicted.
Let's face it - sherpa guides who've never climbed Mt. Everest before have no business hiring themselves out to unsuspecting climbers to scale a mountain that's cost men their lives. Quite frankly, taking the long, arduous journey through sexual addiction recovery is no different.
But then again, not everyone's an addict. In fact, the vast majority of people I've met who ask for help and advice aren't sexually addicted. They've struggled over the years with sexual temptation and sexual sin, but without it ever escalating in their life to the point of being a compulsive or addictive behavior. But they've also never received training in the area of overcoming sexual temptation and building sexual integrity.
So if you have a sexual addiction redemption story, OR have been victorious, are living in freedom from sexual sin, and just want to help others through your learned experiences and acquired wisdom, WE WANT YOU!
If you're reading this, chances are you're one of the redeemed. Whether it's a calling, or a desire, or a deep stirring to help and serve others like you that's motivating you to read this, BraveHearts was designed for people like you. We're freedom-fighters who see this as our ministry of reconciliation. And now, we have a brand new weapon in our arsenal to use against the enemy that can help us set the captives free!
5-Year Mentoring Proof-of-Concept
Year - Phase: Approx. Time Spent/Week (incl. mktg.)
No. of Mentees
Mo. 1 - Mo. 12
No. of Mentees
Year 1 - Startup: 5-15 hours/week
2 - 10
Year 2 - Early Growth: 15-20 hours/week
10 - 14
Year 3 - Solid Growth: 20-30 hours/week
14 - 22
Year 4 - Coasting: 25-30 hours/week
22 - 20
Year 5 - Pulling Back: 20-25 hours/week
20 - 14
Ave. Top 2 Years
One of my goals when starting this proof-of-concept was to see if a one-person mentoring ministry could succeed and be self-supporting over time. That's why I started it as a for-profit ministry and only used non-profit funding when it was offered in the form of a mentoring scholarship or matching grant.
My results here are published for all to see in the table above. Please understand I'm not doing this to boast. I know that each and every person I mentored, and every dollar they invested, was the result of God allowing it. Instead, I'm proud of the fact that I've proven this model works as a reliable source of income!
Whether your financial goal is to start out mentoring part-time (like I did) and just keep it that way to generate some supplemental income, or you want to grow your mentoring ministry into a full-time job and career change (again, like I ended up doing), this ministry model is proven and it works!
NOTE: In case you're wondering, the reason you see the decline in # of mentees and income after year 3 is because I started purposefully cutting back on the amount of time I spent mentoring men so I could shift more of my focus to further developing this mentor training program. Creating a ministry model that's replicable has always been a part of my vision for BraveHearts.
DISCLAIMER: Even though these were the results I experienced personally, I just want to remind you that I'm not guaranteeing you'll experience the same results. There are a lot of variables involved, not the least of which is the amount of effort you put into building your mentoring ministry. I'm just sharing this info to show you that it's possible to generate this kind of income and more.
Let's face it - raising money from donors to support yourself in this area of ministry can be really difficult. Not only are we dealing with a subject matter that most people in the church are still uncomfortable talking about, but a lot of the people we approach for funding support are struggling with this themselves and still not dealing with it. Our efforts, noble as they may be, just hit too close to home for some of them. And that includes most of the pastors and church staff members out there.
So, to help you achieve BOTH your ministry goals AND your financial goals, I created a course called, appropriately enough, Launch Your Mentoring Ministry. Because that's exactly what I wanted to do - to help people like you start your own mentoring ministry. So I went back and thought through everything I've done over the past 5 years of running my own successful mentoring ministry. From my own start-up to finding my first clients to choosing my curriculum to figuring out where we'd meet and when and how often, and deciding what to charge them, and on and on. I've thought through
I've reflected back on a thousand decision I made, and continue to make. Good ones, and not so good. From the smallest details to the biggest game changers, they're all the kinds of decisions you'll have to make as you launch and grow your mentoring ministry. Unfortunately, no one had a roadmap for me to follow when I started mentoring. But now you do! You can choose to go it alone, or we can take that journey together.
In the true spirit of mentoring, I can be your sherpa guide to help you successfully navigate your way through the multitude of decisions that lie ahead of you, offering my insight and experiences and hard earned wisdom along the way. Whatever your mentoring ministry goals might be, I can put you on the most direct path towards achieving those goals.
As you can probably tell, I love being a mentor. I think it's arguably the best job in the world. Next to mentoring men, my greatest joy is loving and living life with my wife of nearly 10 years Christine, hanging out with my youngest son Andrew, my oldest son Chris and his wife Melissa and grand daughter Brooklyn, and sharing our home with two adorable sister cats, Chloe and Cleo.
While Christine and I are big homebodies, we also love to travel. We enjoy going to the movies, taking long walks in the park along Lake Lanier near where we live, and going on vacations. Fortunately, being a full-time mentor allows me to work from home AND while on the road. So taking long trips is never an issue with my work schedule.