“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell
This is a great definition of mentoring, and this kind of mentoring has been a huge part of my ministry if not a part of my life. I have had some great mentors when I was young but, today, it seems everyone kind of expects you to have it all together by now.
Well, I don’t have it all together, and I’m still always on the hunt for mentors who will help me along this leg of the race. If you’re a youth worker working with teens in the local church, a non-profit, or camp setting, let me encourage you to find a mentor and hold on to them as long as you need to or until they have helped you finish your part of the journey.
Until that time, let offer you three thoughts on mentoring
Mentor By Example First (Priorities, Family, Spiritual Life, Online Life)
Your example speaks louder than messages, events, and activities. Kids are watching your marriage, your family, your online life, and yes, even how you participate in church.
You may think your priorities are private but in realty they are public for all to see, especially online.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. I Timothy 4:12
This very is not just for young pastors but for all believers. Jesus said,
I have setyouan exampleso thatyoushould doasIhave donefor you. John 13:15
The example has been spelled and now it needs to be lived out.
Mentoring Your Students On Purpose
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2: 3-5
Mentoring is an invitation to walk with someone. Mentoring can be done in a small group or a Sunday school class, but it is always done by invitation.
Jesus ask, “Follow me and I will make you..”
What can you make of the students in your ministry? Jesus made fishermen and if you are wise, you will have a short list of three things you want to help kids with. For me it’s
Bible Literacy, Character, and Skill Based Training.
I had an awesome experience the other day with a recent graduate. He came by the church to ask me some questions. This is is the kind of kid who says they want to ask you a question and you have no idea what is about to come out of their mouth. So, I said come with I have a few errand to run.
When we got in my truck I asked him, “Well, what’s up?” He told me he was taking an online Old Testament Class. I was blown away,. This kids never struck me as one to take that kind of class. We ran from place to place and he ask me questions and we talked about his class. It was my kind of awesome.
I love to teach kids not just about a verse but about the context, the characters, the nuances of scripture. Students with a real depth of knowledge of scripture won’t soon be fooled by spiritual phonies or be weaponless in times of spiritual combat.
I don’t just want to make kids good, I want them to live lives of conviction. Having character and integrity is a learned process and so when there are times when a student needs to apologize to someone, I encourage them to make it right. If a student needs discipline, I offer it as a courtesy not as payback. Character is I Corinthians 13 lived out.
Kids need skills. Some of the kids I work with are slow on the skill building. They play a lot of video games and aren’t learning anything except how to win (at the time of this post) at Overwatch. Any time I can say, “Hey, let me teach you this…” I do if they will let me.
Mentor with a process in mind
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:2
What have you learned? Make a short list of the things you’d like to pass on to the students in your ministry. I have three, bur you may have five. It doesn’t matter about the number, only that we are always pouring out that which God and man have poured into us.
Find kids who have some sticky-ness to them. They come to every meeting, every activity, etc. These kids may have a choice of not bu if they are going to be present why not offer them a little bit more to motivate them.
Once you teach them, over time, give them a change to teach others. I am working with an intern right now and she is learning how I work, expectations, etc. and once I pour what she needs in tour her I am releasing her to our into others. It’s I pour, she pour without too much downtime.
“Show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.” — Denzel Washington
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20
I recommend Mentoring 101 by John Maxwell if you are looking for a place to start.
Who’s mentoring your students right now?
What are they being molded into?
How are you playing a part in shaping students?
If you’d like to here me talk through these points watch the FB Live below.