Our goal is to help students become disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus. At pursueGOD, we tend to use the word “mentoring” to describe the process of making a disciple. If you want to accomplish the goal of youth ministry, then you must learn to focus on mentoring students.
Mentoring isn’t a concept that we created. It is the way that God has chosen to help people pursue him. We see examples of mentoring everywhere in the Bible, like in 2 Timothy 2.
2 Timothy 2:2 You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
This verse gives us the goal of mentoring. We want to create generations of people who pursue God, and this happens through mentoring.
In order to help you, we encourage every youth leader to go through Mentor Training. Take this series with a mentor in order to prepare you for mentoring others. Along with what you learn in mentor training, put into practice these principles in order to become a great mentor.
Mentor a few
You probably won’t have time to mentor everyone in your small group. With your small group co-leader, choose the students that you will focus on mentoring. Get to know where these students are at on their pursuit of God. Get to know their parents. As you sense that these students have areas where they need to grow, find conversations in the library that you can have with them.
Keep moving students forward
Being a mentor is not the same as being a friend. Friends might spend most of their time talking about things that don’t really matter. We want to be intentional in helping our students pursue God. This means that we want to see them live out the three truths of Foundations. Encourage students to take the next step in their pursuit of God, whether that’s trusting in Jesus, living to honor God, or maturing through helping others. Make it a goal with the students you mentor to see them grow in their pursuit of God throughout the school year.
Empower students to lead
As you see your students growing, give them opportunities to lead. This could involve having a student lead the prayer time in your group, summarizing the content of the video your small group is going to discuss, or leading the discussion question time. As students grow in this, encourage them to mentor other students. Challenge them to invite their friends to small group. Challenge them to lead their own small groups, or serve as mentors to younger students. Take your students through mentor training, and show them how to mentor others.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- List some of the mentors that you have had in your life. How did they mentor you?
- Do you feel qualified to mentor students? Why or why not?
- Read 2 Timothy 2:2. What is the goal of mentoring according to these verses?
- How many students do you feel you can actively mentor at one time?
- Do you believe that students can mentor other students and kids? Explain your answer.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.