A New Concept for “Specific” Mentoring
This article was originally published as a part of the series titled “Just A Thought”
Frankly, mentoring is an idea that should have taken off by now. It hasn’t.
Why is that?
Mentoring the way I’ve heard it presented is a difficult idea. The idea overwhelms men because it seems so all-encompassing and pervasive. Older men feel inadequate for the task. They may not believe they have much to offer, that they’re not really wanted, or they fear being turned down. Younger men may be intimidated or feel like older guys are not really that interested in their challenges.
New concept: Move from “general” mentoring to “specific” mentoring. Don’t ask a man to, generally, be a mentor. Instead, ask a man “to mentor (name) for (number) weeks about how to be a Godly husband and father (or other topic). Share what you’ve learned through trial and error, pitfalls to avoid, and best practices.”
First, have your younger men fill out a card during church that asks. . .
- Would you like to be mentored?
- In what areas? (list spiritual, husband, father, work, church, civic, and other with places to check)
- How many weeks would you want to meet? (list once, twice, three times, weekly, monthly, long term with places to check)
- What’s the best time for you to meet?
Second, have the older men in church fill out a card at the same time (same card, two sections). Ask. . .
- Would you like to be a mentor?
- In which areas do you feel confident to mentor? (same list as “b” above)
- What times are out for you?
Third, collect the cards and let the church secretary or a competent volunteer who knows most of the men pair them up.
When I talk to older men they say, “I’m looking for something to do.” When I talk to younger men building families and careers they say, “I have too much to do.” We should be able to get together on this! I believe we can, if we get “specific.” What would your church look like if younger men were being mentored by older men?
For the glory of Christ and no other reason,
© 2003 Patrick M. Morley. All rights reserved. This article may be reproduced for any non-commercial use with proper attribution.