Importance of a mentor . . .
Ben Franklin may have said it best, “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Mentors are in the involvement business . . . taking important content that a mentee has engaged and helping process it usefully into the mentee’s life. In that arena, mentors are not so much tellers or teachers as they are processors. And in that processing role, it’s questions . . . good, insightful, challenging questions . . . that cause the mentee to productively engage the content before them in a potentially life-changing group exchange guided by the mentor.
Six Key Mentoring Principles
- For a successful CLD group experience, an active mentor is essential.
- The effective mentor uses content and questions (emphasis on questions) to process students toward important understandings.
- Effective mentors humbly embrace the reality God may use them in the life change of others, and they welcome it.
- Good mentors kick-start life processes that can prove invaluable for their mentees.
- Mentors break their mentees out of their comfort zones and take them beyond where they are (toward biblical maturity).
- Mentors love their mentees by being learners themselves, generous in sharing , expectant in outcomes, respectful in approach, direct in engagement, honest always, not the answer person and never fearing hard questions.
Getting the most from every session . . .
- Before viewing the session and/or processing it together, mentees should read the session intro, scan the notes and preview the questions at the end;
- Become familiar with the Bible passages referenced within the session;
- Make sure that they are in a comfortable setting with minimal distractions;
- Take notes. Old-fashioned note taking is still one of the best ways to help process content. The session guides are structured to facilitate note taking.
- Keep in mind that they can view the content over again; a second time through will reveal more than they might expect.
- The sessions will likely raise questions that are not answered. Jot those questions down for later study/discussion.
- Be mindful that 30-minute sessions cannot cover the topics in detail. Let them lead you to deeper exploration and talk.
- Pray before and after each session.
- If possible, discuss the session with another person soon after completing it.
Some final tips for mentors . . .
A quality mentor’s presence elevates the impact of the sessions exponentially. If you’re a mentor, here are a few more keys to building a mentor-enhanced experience for your course’s participants:
- Familiarize yourself with the prep suggestions provided for the students
- Write your own questions that each session may raise; make your questions growth-oriented
- Not that the instructors for many of the courses have provided potential questions for student interaction
- Identify questions you particularly want the students to engage and prepare an approach for helping them engage them
- Consider having the students watch the sessions individually and focus your group time on discussion/process (this is the most successful approach used among our many CLD study groups)
- Identify a clip or two from a session you may want to replay to stimulate the discussion process; use this approach strategically and sparingly
- Find biblical passages that lend weight to the context of your discussions
- Ask the students how-to-apply questions
- Ask the to expand on ideas or practices touched upon in the session
- Ask the students to reveal new questions raised from the sessions
- Bring copies of a related article as follow-up or enhancement to a session
- If you’re watching the sessions as a group, don’t be fearful of stopping the viewing once or twice (no more than that) to ask a question right then
- Lead the students in a summing up of each session
- At the end of each session, ask the students, “What did you learn from the session; how does it apply to your life; and what can you do to get started?”
- Be fully prepared every time . . . and don’t be surprised if you find yourself growing right along with the students.
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
A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.Zig Ziglar
Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.John Crawford Crosby
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.Jesus of Nazareth