As Iron Sharpens Iron: A Series on Mentoring
Part 3: What We’re Gonna Do About It
If you’ve stuck through the first two parts of this series, I commend you. I got some A’s in English class growing up, but that’s the extent of my writing experience. If you’re just joining us, you can check out Part 1 and Part 2 under the “Teen” section of our website.
If you haven’t heard (and I don’t know why you would hear), a group of rhinoceros is called a “crash.” Also, rhinoceros have terrible vision. These two facts go hand in hand, because as you can imagine, a group of enormous semi-blind mammals running forward has a tendency to crash into things. That might sound clumsy, but I’d bet that just about anything that stands in the way of these hulking creatures is bound to have a bad day. As long as they’re moving forward together, they’re going to get through just about anything.
You might be wondering where I’m going with this. We are beginning a mentoring program here in the church. While we’ve gotten advice, and had a number of conversations with people, and prayed fervently, we’ve not really done something quite like this before. It’s brand new territory. We are a bit like a crash of rhinoceros – not the sharpest group around – but I believe that if we stick together and move forward together, there’s a lot of power behind it.
Based on a number of conversations with staff, teens, teen leaders, teen parents, Jesus, and my wife, here is how I propose we move forward.
Here are the guidelines for our mentoring program:
- Each teen can have only one official mentor. Likewise, each mentor can have only one teen.
- Staff and elders are off-limits.
- We ask that you get together with your mentor at a minimum of once every three weeks, with a strong nudge to make that once every other week.
- Let me (Matt Rollins) know who it is you asked to mentor you.
- Be willing to commit to at least one year. Wait a second! A whole year? Yes, that’s right. A year.
- That’s it. Pretty low standards, eh?
If you are a teen, here’s how you go about selecting a mentor:
- Sit down with your parent/parents.
- As a family, come up with a list of three people whom you would like to mentor you. It is important to do it as a family so you can talk it over, and everyone involved is comfortable with the choices.
- Within two weeks, you, as the teen, approach the first person on your list and ask them to be your mentor. If that person cannot do it or has already been asked by someone else, ask the second person on your list (but don’t tell them that they’re your second choice, because that’s mean). If they’re unable, go down to the third.
- Inform me (Matt Rollins) of who you got to be your mentor.
If you’re a parent:
- Help with the process listed above. Provide what assistance you can, like suggesting names.
- Do everything you can to set your son/daughter up for success.
If you’re neither a teen or a teen parent and want to be involved, let me know. There will undoubtedly be some teens who want a mentor, but don’t know anyone well enough to ask. We can set you up in those cases.
So, we’re here: the grand finale. Or, really, the great beginning. In just about a week, I am going to lovingly cast you all off on an adventure to find yourself a mentor in the Seattle Church of Christ. Or to be one, depending on how old you are. Our goal is to get every teen in our church in a mentoring relationship. Yes, that means you, if you’re reading this. And mentoring isn’t just a disguise for Bible studies – it’s a call to real relationship that will change the lives of everyone involved.
Let’s all pray that God will grant us great fruit and vision as we crash forward together!