About three months ago, I told my small group members during a meeting that I was looking for a younger guy to mentor. I expressed my desire to be a prayer warrior and big brother, and emphasized I had no desire to control the person or tell them what to do.
A few weeks later, a guy named John asked me to mentor him. We had lunch, and I asked him where he wanted to go in life in the next six months. He shared a couple of financial goals, goals for relationships with his ex-wife, son, and the women he knew where he saw potential for a greater-than-friend status.
We meet every other Monday at my office to eat lunch and pray together. We're also emailing quite a bit now and of course, we see each other at our small group meetings and on Sunday.
John's also in accountability with two other guys his age from our group, so I'm not the only other man with whom he's relating on a deep level.
All this to say, mentoring John has been great for me. I'm seeing God use me powerfully in his life. Training? I've had no training! I've just been on the planet 15 years longer than him and that's all the training I need. John needs someone who will pray for him, actively listen to him and challenge him to process aloud and make good decisions, and be an older brother in Christ.
The American church is very, very weak on mentoring. We don't even do it with our own children! One thing is for sure: if we don't create a culture of mentoring in our small groups or across small group lines in a small group ministry, the value of multiple generations will be wasted.
Etna and I purposely left our very comfortable small group of people our age for a group of much younger people. This is one of the fastest ways to start intergenerational mentoring. Just being in the same room with younger people is powerful.
If you have empty nesters in groups that aren't doing much in the way of mentoring, invite them to host a singles group or newlyweds group in their home in September and promote them naturally into the role of mentor.
How have you implemented mentoring into your small group ministry? I'd like to know, and many followers of this blog would love to know as well! Comment below and share your story or process...