Prior to each meeting with a young person, please complete a pre-meeting form (access via the button below). This form will help us ensure the safety of our young people and ourselves while promoting a healthy accountability and transparency.
As you debrief the mentor sessions with your young person, here are some helpful questions to process:
- What did I learn about this young person today?
- What key events / conversations need follow up?
- How did I feel the Spirit prompting me during our session?
- What aspects of the session would I change?
- Do I have any concerns to escalate to, or questions to ask of Ben?
- When & where is our next session?
Safe space considerations
Meeting in safe spaces
It is important to meet young people in spaces that are safe for both young people and their mentors. Here are some considerations to take into account when deciding on when and how to meet.
- Create a level playing field – allow everyone to have a say in where to meet
- Meet in places that are visible to others & interruptable (e.g. cafes, parks, shops etc.)
- Avoid meeting in homes
- Avoid drinking alcohol whilst with young people
Electronic communication guidelines
While communicating electronically with young we need to be mindful of the position of trust and power we are in as leaders.
- Leaders must not transmit, retrieve, or store any communication that is: discriminatory or harassing, derogatory, obscene, sexually explicit, or pornographic, defamatory, threatening, for any pupose that is illegal or contrary to the code of conduct.
- Leaders must not attempt to hide or misrepresent their identity in communication with anyone else.
- Leaders will keep or ‘archive’ text messages where possible.
- Electronic communication should facilitate (not replace) in-person conversations. Pastoral care should be conducted in person to avoid miscommunication.
- Mentors are welcome to communicate directly with young people via most playforms including social media, phone calls, text messages.
- Video calls (Zoom, facetime etc.) are not ideal platforms for communication with individual young people. If this platform is needed, appropriate steps may be taken to reduce risks involved.
- Mentors are able to communicate directly with young people.
- Details about meetings between mentors and young people must not be hidden from parents/guardians if requested.
- We recommend mentors build rapport with parents of young people and make themselves approachable to parents.
Photography (including on phones)
- All children/young people must be appropriately dressed when photographed.
- Videos & photos may be published with the permission of people captured in the content.
- Ensure all photos/videos captured at gatherings are accessible to ministry leaders upon request.
Reporting child safety concerns
As a mentor, you hold a duty of care and are required to report concerns that you hold surrounding child safety. There are many reasons to hold concern for the safety of young people but one way to respond if you hold this concern – report it (in a timely and respectful manner).
How do I report my concerns?
- Speak with Ben Wilson immediately (Speak with Kathy Bates if your concern involves Ben)
- Take notes of your concerns & the reasons for that concern
- Don’t investigate the young person or their family
Once you report your concerns, we will strive to respond as a team with haste, grace and love for all people involved.
If in doubt, please speak with Ben Wilson or Kathy Bates. They will know how to respond and where to seek appropriate advice.
Vision & discipleship framework
Mentoring young adults into healthy, all-of-life discipleship.
What is an all-of-life disciple?
Our heart is for young people to grow as disciples in all areas and contexts of their lives.
Your personal walk with God
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself.” – John 15.4
As we grow as disciples, we must first remain in Christ. All areas of our life and discipleship will be affectev as our personal relationship with God deepens and matures.
Ideas on how to unpack this with a young person:
- Bible reading, devotionals – What are you reading in the Bible?
- Meditation, journalling
- Prayer – for self, for others etc.
- What has God been speaking to you?
- What are you doing when you feel most connected to God?
- Where have you seen God at work this week?
- What podcasts are you listening to?
- Sharing how you the mentor connect with God / your devotional rhythms
- How would you like to experience Jesus?
Growing into the image of Christ
How would those around you describe you?
As disciples of Jesus, we are being formed through the Holy Spirit into the image of Christ. This area of our discipleship is visible in how we live our lives but also concerns the unseen spaces of our life and discipleship.
Ideas on what to unpack with a young person:
- How would you describe a mature disciple of Jesus?
- The fruit of Spirit
- Honesty, vulnerability
- Living in step with the Spirit
- Areas of temptation and struggle
Initiating & stewarding healthy relationships
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” – Eph 4.32
Our relationships are important to Jesus and as His disciples they matter to us. Do the people around us experience Jesus in the way we relate with them? Jesus desires for us to intiate and sustain health, life-giving relationships where we are pushed toward Jesus and are leading others to Jesus.
Ideas on what to unpack with a young person:
- Do you feel any conflict / tension with people in any areas of your life?
- Resolving conflict
- Dating well
- How would your friends describe you?
- How do you make sure Jesus is a part of your dating life?
Prioritising health & wellbeing
How well do you balance all your life commitments?
As disciples of Jesus we are called to steward the life and many resources he has given us. Balancing our health and wellbeing not only guards us from burnout but also allows us to experience the fullness of life that God desires for us to experience.
Ideas on how to unpack this with a young person:
- Write out a week schedule and fill it out together. Where is energy being directed well? Is this sustainable? What needs to change?
- Rest / Sabbath
- How do you maintain your physical health? Is this a disipleship-issue in your mind?
- Which of your daily/weekly habits care for your mental, emotional and spiritual health?
- What are your hobbies?
- How do you relax and ‘switch off’?
- How is life?
Making a kingdom-oriented impact
As a disciple, Jesus invites us into both a relationship with Him and into His mission for the world. We are called to be salt & light, to be agents of reconciliation, to make Jesus known to the world. We are sent by the one true God to make a kingdom impact among the people in the places he has placed us.
Ideas on what to unpack with a young person:
- Spiritual giftings
- Leadership development
- Where are you intentionally serving others?
- Who is your person of peace? How are you making Jesus known to them?
- What ministry are you serving in or are you interested in exploring?
Here are some optional first meeting topics designed to help you ‘start well’.
- Get to know each other! (Have fun!)
- Expectations/hopes of mentoring: What do you hope to get out of mentoring? What is your experience?
- Discuss boundaries: Timing, availability, confidentiality (stays here unless it concerns someone’s safety or we ask to chat to someone else), respect for boundaries
- Values / guideposts for meetings: honesty, accountability, role of prayer, action planning, place of scripture, availability beyond meetings
- Communication: How will we communicate with each other? (SMS? fb? Insta? whatsapp? etc)
We want to do all that we can to honour God and mentor our young people well. We aren’t perfect, yet here are some helpful tips to guide our personal growth and investment. I wonder which of these will need your intentional investment?
Characteristics of an effective mentor
A living relationship with God
- The foundational quality of Christian mentoring.
- A life touched and continually renewed by Jesus Christ
- A life lived in the power & overflow of the Spirit of God at work in their lives
- Fruit of the Spirit
- Familiarity with the Bible
- Consistent in their lifestyle
- Integrity, spiritual maturity, wisdom
- Believe in the power of prayer
- Pray to prepare, during and between meetings
- Prayer is not an add-on for a good mentor
Active listening skills
- Sensitive, empathetic, concerntrated listening to discover what people are really trying to communicate is essential in a mentoring relationship. Indeed it is one of the most important aspects of good mentoring.
- Awareness and ear open to the Spirit and how He may be promting and guiding conversation & reflections
- Engaging with genuine curiosity and making no assumptions
- Playing with silence (we all process differently, some appreciate more space to think)
The ability to ask good questions
- The art of asking questions is one of the key skills of a good mentor or coach
- Asking good questions that explore the core issues, reveal insights, enable reflection, facilitate learning…
- not quick to give advice
Willing & able to invest in the relationship
- Have the time & desire to invest into the relationship
- Meet agreed commitments
- Available for extra contacts if a special need arises
Encouraging & affirming
- Gifts and abilities that build up and encourage others
- Ability to readily see potential in a person
- Believe in their mentorees – and tell them so
- Affirming, positive, accepting, empathetic, supportive
Understand themselves and others
- A high level of self awareness – a good understanding of who they are
- Is able to diagnose the mentoree’s needs
- Is concerned with the mentoree’s interestes
- Accept & enjoy differences in people
Patience & perspective
- Patience, knowing that time and experience are needed for development
- Perspective, having vision and ability to see down the road and suggest the next steps that mentoree needs
- Recognise potential
- Tolerance with mistakes, brashmess, abrasiveness, and the like in order to see that potential develop
- Flexibility in responding to people and circumstances
- Able to see the big picture
- Insightful, intuitive, gracious
Open & trustworthy
- Authentic, real, honest, transparent
- Able to create an atmosphere where trust and closeness flow
- Willing to share own personal experiences
- Keeps confidences
- Willing to speak the truth in love
Good at setting boundaries
- Being able to set boundaties in their own life and model this to others
- Clearly communicate & clarify expectations
- Know their limitations and be able to keep boundaries
Access to resources
- Has a netwoek of resources that can be drawn on in the mentoring relationship
- Able to point the mentoree in teh direction of where further opportunities for growth/learning/development exist
As we invest into these relationships preparation is key. Below are 3 different approaches to structuring mentor sessions. Merely adopting a structure may be ineffective but I wonder is there something that piques your attention or that you wouldn’t have thought of? Is there something super valuable to structure into every session with your young person? If so, steal it! Use it! Plagerism aint a thing in the Kingdom of God!
Meeting structure example 1
(thanks to Mission frontiers)
FIRST THIRD – Look back
- Pastoral care – how are you doing?
- Worship – what has God been doing?
- Accountability – how have you been an all of life disciple?
- Vision-casting – what has God designed for them to become & do?
SECOND THIRD – Look up
- All of life discipleship – areas for growth / planning
- Bible lesson/reading
FINAL THIRD – Look forward
- Set goals
Meeting structure example 2
(thanks to Rick Lewis)
- Current circumstances – how are things?
- Mentoree’s well-being – how are you?
- God’s fingerprints – What is God up to?
- Review action steps from last time – were they completed/effective?
- Revisit goals – do they need refinement/replacement?
- AOL discipleship – where do you want/need to grow?
- Action steps – What will you do by next session?
REFLECTION (after each session)
- Mentoring process – what is/isn’t working?
- Insights into the Spirit’s activity – what hunches do I have?
- Impact on me – what issues must I deal with?
- Location, date & time of next session
Meeting structure example 3
(thanks to John Mallison)
START WHERE THEY ARE
- How are you? (watch body language – if it doesn’t match verbal response ask…)
- But how are you really?
- How can I help you today? (problems, questions, issues the person wants to deal with)
- * needs which surface here may form the basis for much, if not all your time in this session
REPORT ON ASSIGNMENT
- How did you go with the assignment on which we agreed last time?
DISCUSSION OF ONGOING OR NEW AREAS OF NEED
- On what do you want to continue to work, or is there another area we should talk about? – ‘tell me about it.’
- What scriptural princiuples need to be taken into account here?
- What do you think you could do about …?
- Are there any other options?
BEGIN TO HELP THEM BUILD A PRAYER BASE
- Whom could you ask to pray for or with you about this?
AGREE ON A NEW ASSIGNMENT
- What do you think you could be working on for our next meeting?
- * Discuss – make your own copy
Mentor program logistics
Monthly mentoring meetings
1-on-1 | 1-2 hours | Monthly
Mentoring meetings between young people and their mentors at agreed times and agreed places.
Termly mentoring workshops
All-in | 2 hours | Once a term
All young people will gather on a Wednesday night each term (mentors are welcome if available). These workshops are spaces designed to equip young people to grow in specific areas of discipleship – e.g. resolving conflict, how to sabbath, sharing faith etc.
Once off meeting
1-on-1 | 1-2 hours | once off
Later in the year each young person will meet with another mentor (Ben or another leader), to debrief the mentoring process. This is designed to help young people reflect on how they’ve experienced and grown throughout their mentoring.