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I’m developing a mentorship program for YOU

Part of what I really enjoy doing through Life in Student Ministry is encouraging and resourcing youth workers in ways that other organizations aren’t. I have no desire to repeat the ideas that are successful for others — I want to do things that are unique and help you guys in ways no one else is. That’s why I offer weekly devotionals specifically for youth workers and why I don’t offer a youth ministry forum.

For a while now I’ve had the idea of developing a one-on-one mentorship program for new youth workers. Then I heard from some of you rookies asking for it, so I knew there was a need. I searched and couldn’t find anyone already doing it, which seemed kinda odd to me. Why don’t the people who are mentoring youth have mentors themselves? With all the Web 2.0 stuff that’s being developed, this should be easier now than ever before, especially over great distances.

I’ve talked with some people I know and have decided to put together a mentorship program for youth workers and offer it online. There’s a potential that some of the mentors who come on board will be youth ministry college and seminary professors along with some other life-long youth workers from a variety of backgrounds. I’m very excited about all the experience that will be on the mentorship team!

Right now I’m in the process of developing the program, which is very difficult since every mentoree will come with different needs, different values and different gifts in ministry. The trick is to make it flexible for each individual, yet still take each individual from goal A to goal B by whatever path is appropriate.

As I work on all this, I need two things from you all:

  1. Leave your thoughts and ideas about a mentorship program for youth workers in the comments below. What would you like to see in this program? What outcomes would you expect from it? What specific issues should be addressed?
  2. If you have been in youth ministry for two years or less, I’m looking for two people who would like to go through the mentorship program as “guinea pigs” to be mentored by me personally.

Posted on March 12, 2008

  • Greg Guiles

    I am a Sr. High Youth worker with no youth pastor, 5 other leaders and 40 youth. I started receiving your newsletter and it has been awesome. I appreciate the resources and insight. you are a God send to volunteers and paid clergy alike. keep it up! thank you for your dedication.

    Greg.

  • Thanks for the encouragement, Greg! Glad you find it helpful. If you think of anything else that would be beneficial for you and other youth workers that could become a part of this site, please let me know!

  • Aleshia

    Hey Tim,

    I love the idea of a mentorship program! I would definately love to help those just starting out as well as recieve insight from those above me! Iron sharpens iron right? I guess what I’d be looking for is someone to call or email at least once a week, sharing ideas as well as sharing our worries from the past week or for the future. Sometimes it’s good to just have an ear ya know! Those are my thoughts!

    I look forward to signing up when you’ve put it together!

    God Bless You

    ~Aleshia from NY

  • Evelyn

    Tim,

    I’ve been letting this mentorship idea program simmer inside of me for months now. Now as I was online, searching for info for the area that I’d like that I lived in, I notice that they don’t have one. As you said, that boggles my mind that no one hasn’t already thought of this?!? :)
    I want to reach out, educate, and provide that to others as well as receive above myself! Neat idea!!!! HIS workers….. we never stop!

    Evelyn

  • Tim,

    I think it’s a great idea. I was telling a friend the other day I thought this was on the horizon for youth ministers. It’s been a key in church planting and I’ve seen it for senior ministers and worship guys. I thinks some focus should be put on the things that most of us youth guys struggle with like administration, time management, family life and also teaching calendar planning, dealing with parents. You know all the stuff they don’t teach in college.

  • @ Ben Boles: Every youth workers has different strengths and weaknesses. The mentors help determine some of those from the very beginning of the mentorship and then go from there. So the issues you raised could very well become a part of it for people who need help in those areas, but it’s not specifically planned into the mentorship program, if that makes sense.

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