How to Create a Mentoring Program
PHASE I: Identify Our Youth (Use coordinating group, Sunday School Teachers, etc.)
a. Identify names of children and young adults who attend (or have attended) your church. Age range of K through college age / beyond.
1. Gain correct name, address, birthdate, school they attend and a recent photo.
2. Create a church bulletin board or “youth wall” with photos and names.
3. Actively try to invite non-church youth to be involved in this to expand the youth participation.
PHASE II: Build Group Relationships (Adult SS class with Youth SS class)
a. Make it a group mission to:
1. Pray for the youth daily.
2. Meet periodically (bi-weekly , monthly, other).
3. Discuss any general news about the children that help identify common interests or helpful recommendations.
4. Create “Care mailings / packages” that are given / sent at regular intervals. (Containing school / other supplies, small gifts, coupons for activities, challenging / motivational messages, etc.).
5. Coordinate periodic events to bring people together (4 per year).
6. Create incentives around school performance (monetary / other rewards for good grades and / or “no F’s, C-grades or better, etc.).
PHASE III: Build Individual Relationships
a. When the group activities are established, plan events to match-up specific mentors with children/young adults for activities and quality time.
b. Plan regularly scheduled time to be together:
1. Adults should strive to listen as much as possible, versus our tendency to always teach, wait for teachable moments. Allow the youth to freely express themselves in a safe environment.
2. Make it a point to verbally praise the youth for all successes and for trying, even when no successful outcome occurs. Be a positive, motivational influence.
3. Participate in common interests / activities.
4. Play games / other.
5. Assist in homework / studying for a school quiz, test.
6. Create a variety of both physical and intellectual activities that you both enjoy to schedule together.
PHASE IV: Evaluation and Monitoring the Process (at least twice per year)
a. The adult SS class can complete a self-grading exercise (using this Process Description), to rate their own relationship with the youth.
b. An adult SS class period can be dedicated to a group discussion of successes and challenges to provide insight for improvements.
c. There should be no embarrassment or shame for adults who cannot maintain the commitment for whatever reason, but quickly identify a replacement adult-mentor for the youth.
d. Communication: Define and communicate recommendations for “process improvement” to the Resource Team and track the numbers of involved adults and youth for communications to others.