Importance Of A Mentor . . .

Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.

Ben Franklin

Mentors are in the involvement business.

The joy for an effective mentor is watching that collision between content and process bring about growth in the mentees’ lives. In that arena, mentors are not so much tellers or teachers as they are processors.

Five Keys For Effective CLD Mentoring . . .

  1. Effective questions are the mentor’s most important tool for processing students toward key understandings and personal outcomes.
  2. Effective mentors humbly embrace the reality God may use them in the life change of others, and they welcome it.
  3. Mentors break their mentees out of their comfort zones and take them beyond where they are (toward biblical maturity).
  4. 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.
  5. Mentors prepare carefully including praying for all their mentees.

Additional Tips For Effective Mentoring . . .

A quality mentor’s presence elevates the impact of the sessions exponentially. If you’re a mentor, here are a few more keys to remembering a mentor-enhanced experience for your course’s participants:

  • Familiarize yourself with the preparation suggestions provided for the students
  • Prepare your process questions in advance for each session
  • Make your questions growth-oriented; instructors for many of the courses have provided potential questions in the study notes to help with this
  • 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 application questions
  • Ask the students to expand on ideas or practices touched upon in the session
  • Create an environment in which students raise and explore their own questions
  • 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; ask the students what they learned from the session, how it may apply to their lives and what further questions the session may have raised
  • Be fully prepared every time . . . and don’t be surprised if you find yourself growing right along with the students

Creating Effective Process Questions . . .

In his book, POWER QUESTIONS, author Andrew Sobel wrote, “Good question are often far more powerful than answers.” Let’s let Jesus from His words in Matthew 16 teach us about powerful questions. He is, after all, the Master at asking them. So here’s His power questions: “Who do people say that I am?” (v. 13)

What can we learn from this question and how He processes it with His disciples that will help us create strong questions that stimulate thinking, learning and understanding? Well, like a good mentor, we’ll ask you some questions rather than telling you the answers:

  • Is the question open or closed? What does this tell us about good questions?
  • How does Jesus handle the incorrect answers?
  • How does He focus the question and what’s the outcome?
  • What does He teach from the eventual right answer?
  • What’s the importance of that answer, the related teaching and what will that mean for the disciples in the future?
  • In what ways did the question surface bother final answers and future building blocks for other answer to other questions?
  • What was the context for the question, and why did He need to ask it?
  • How does all of this relate to Jesus’ followers today and the context in which they live?

Get the idea? Let’s have Christian author and leader Bobb Biehl sum this up, “Questions are like intricate brass keys which unlock the boxes of people’s minds, hearts, hopes and dreams.”

Fellow mentors . . . let’s create a context with some telling along with lots of those brass keys that will help our students unlock those boxes of faith, life and following Jesus.

Some final words on the power of mentoring . . .

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 (Christian leader/author)

A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.

Zig Ziglar (Businessman, Coach, Motivational Speaker)

Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.

John Crawford Crosby (American Politician)

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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 (Creator, Lord, Savior, Master Mentor)
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