Is anyone involved in a congregational mentoring program?

  569 views

Is anyone out there involved in a congregational mentoring program?  I am trying to help a church set one up and would sure like to hear about others that work well or even those that are not working well.  Thanks!

Posted in:

The Network hosts user-submitted content.
Posts don't necessarily imply CRCNA endorsement, but must comply with our community guidelines.

Let's Discuss…

We love your comments! Thanks for your help upholding the Community Guidelines to make this an encouraging and respectful community for everyone.

Hi jack,

You Might want to post this in the deacons section. There is a lot more active leaders over their . Karl is the guide and is a  person who has keen insight.

Community Builder

Jack, are you thinking of linking congregational leaders to young folks?  or to new leaders?   or what?    At this point I am not aware of any program like this.  Grace CRC in GR (my church) tried it with youth elders and deacons many years ago, but it sputtered out pretty quickly.  I believe that the youth had high expectations, but the council members didn't sustain it meaningfully.

Hi Karl,

This is to link congregational leaders with young folk and younger leaders. 

One church has recently started a program whereby this is being done on an informal basis with mentors being assigned mentees and being encouraged to make regular contact, but with no clear guidelines.  Another church wants me to help them set up a more formalized or structured program.

Community Builder

I'd really like to learn about any program out there that describes a program for members to mentor youth, especially neighborhood youth.  Maybe like existing community programs, but tailored for local congregational use.   Anybody out there got any good resources? or advice?  Thanks.

Participant

I am also interested in hearing about any churches that have mentorship programs for young adult leaders or have made a commitment to involving young adults on major church committees (Building & Grounds, Worship, etc.).  I'm part of a group of young adults seeking to encourage and transform young adult participation in the CRCNA, and this kind of mentorship opportunity is exactly the kind of thing we'd like to see expand among local congregations.  Speaking from experience as a deacon just finishing my first year on council, until last year I had absolutely no idea what deacons did besides take offerings.  I've been blessed to have some more experienced deacons informally reach out and help me learn as I go, but I think a formal mentorship program would be really helpful in engaging young adults and getting them involved in church leadership.

On a related note, the Leadership Exchange hosted a meeting of young adults in August, and I highly encourage everyone to take a look at the document that came out of that meeting.  Comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome!

Amy, that is a great Leadership Exchange report.  And it certainly lays out the need for more mentoring.  I have not seen this report before, but it should be read by all church leaders.  GREAT WORK!

Perhaps mentoring can be the next wave that sweeps across the church...

One suggestion on the LE report though: Even the black and white version takes a lot of memory.  A simpler or no background will help significantly.  It is surprising how many rural leaders cannot get high-speed internet.

Another church has a GREAT IDEA, well a great question anyway!  Is there a web-based program similar to DATING WEBSITES that can be used to match mentors and mentees?  Can Facebook be used for that?

We should form one Karl, We could call it" Intergeneraltional joint mentoring''. We could survey church for skills, hobbies and commitment for all adults and youth. Then match up the joint interests. This could open the door mutual trust and respcect between youth and adults. Mentoring works when we accept that we learn that mentoring is mutual.

Just some intial thought Karl, and I love this idea you brought up. The secular world has programs we could particpaite in but there are restrictions. (Big Brothers/Big Sisters,Boy scouts, The boys club and the girls club) to name a few.

Community Builder

I really like the "survey idea" as a way to get started.  I hadn't thought of that.  What do you think of the idea of giving neighborhood youth a form to fill out that asks them if they would like a mentoring relationship, what their interests are, and stuff like that....  Then of course we could have a survey for church members, asking them what they are interested in, and how much time they'd be willing to give, and stuff like that....   

We have just been notified of acceptance into the Sustaining Congregational Excellence program to provide a coach to help us (Anchor of Hope in Silverdale, WA).  I wrote the grant request but other members of our board are the primary coaching folks for our side of the coaching relationship.  I am very hard of hearing which makes telephones difficult for me.

In any event we should have coach selection happening soon and I thought I would create a new topic and post entries as we go through the experience to perhaps help others as we jointly seek to grow.  Spotted your post and thought you are looking at the same thing but from a perspective on the opposite side of the mirror.