Encouraging each other to seek God’s wisdom in our personal and professional lives in order to be good stewards of the gifts and abilities he has given us and to glorify Him in all we do.
Mentoring relationships have been a significant part of the CSKLS organization from its inception in the late 1980s. Professional colleagues have come together to support each other through prayer, encouragement, wise biblical counsel, and friendship. This program was initiated to provide a more formal system for structuring and encouraging the formation of mentoring relationships among CSKLS members.
This mentoring program is designed to provide an opportunity for CSKLS members to walk alongside others and provide counsel, friendship and Biblical guidance in four key areas:
Spiritual – growth, faith integration
Vocational – work decisions, professional development and opportunities
Relational – networking, godly counsel
Personal – family, wellness
Biblical guidelines for mentoring:
- God calls us to do this! Matthew 28:16-20, Romans 12, 1 Corinth. 12, Gal. 6:1-10, Mark 1:35 – 2:12. These passages tell us discipleship and mentoring are not an option, but a command. We must follow out of obedience, and mentor in a multigenerational lifestyle, caring for the total person. It will move us from “just” praying to praying with care.
- Maturity rose out of webs of relationships of older people interacting with and discipling the younger (John 1:36-52, Acts 10:10).
- Acts 11-15 tells us leadership is about discipleship as Barnabas was with Paul.
- The Gospels demonstrate the models Jesus used in mentoring and small groups.
- John 15 tells us discipling and mentoring are lifestyles of personal dedication by our obedience; we see people being taught and equipped to live for Christ physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally, as well as spiritually.
Requirements for becoming a CSKLS mentor:
- Involved in and member of CSKLS for at least two years
- Demonstrated commitment to service to the profession
- Desire and commitment to work with others in a mentoring role for at least one year.
- Recognition by peers for her/his level of personal and spiritual maturity as evidenced by demonstration of fruits of the spirit and service in CSKLS, local church, school, and/or other Christian organizations.
- A commitment to meet with the mentee at CSKLS conferences and/or related events at least annually.
Requirements for becoming a CSKLS mentee:
- A professional in a CSKLS discipline
- Desire and commitment to develop a relationship with a mentor for at least one year
- A commitment to meet with the mentor at CSKLS conferences and/or related events at least annually.
Types of mentoring relationships:
- Formal scheduled relationships. Mentor and mentee formally agree to meet according to a predetermined schedule to address a topic or work through a curriculum.
- Informal, organic relationship. Meetings take place when the mentee desires a mentor’s input on everyday life. The content of the meetings varies according to the mentee’s needs or interests. Although unscheduled, many turn into ongoing relationships that last for years.
- Discipleship focused relationship. Meetings focus on specific spiritual disciplines to be developed by the mentee.
- Coaching relationship. A mentoring coach provides practical help for the development of specific skills. The coach trains, identifies harmful habits, oversees opportunities for practice, and provides feedback. Once the mentee demonstrates competency the relationship concludes.
- Group mentoring. Several people may desire to spend time with a particular mentor and address a specific subject such as perseverance, fasting, disciplining children, or leadership. Group mentoring is usually short term.
- One-time mentoring. A mentee seeks a mentor’s input to process a situation or solve a problem. A single conversation is adequate to move the mentee forward.
- Passive mentoring. This mentoring takes place during serendipitous encounters or conversations. One person makes comments or performs actions that teach another.
- Distance mentoring. Those who don’t even know us sometimes serve as mentors. An author, a conference we attend, a large group teacher, or the pastor who faithfully teaches each week can mentor from a distance.
- Counseling relationship. This mentoring addresses deeper heart issues that hinder a mentee’s growth. It might focus on subjects such as recovery from a past abortion, marriage conflict, pornography addiction, grief recovery, sexual abuse, etc. Depending on the extent of the problem, a professional counselor may be the best choice. However, trained lay people can also offer substantial assistance.
Beginning the process:
Once the mentor program has been introduced at the 2016 Conference, CSKLS members are invited to participate as either a mentor or mentee, or as both. Interested participants will submit their names to the CSKLS Mentoring Coordinator to be compiled. The list of mentors will be published on our password protected website with the list of mentees so that mentees can contact a mentor of their choice. The mentee will need to communicate the level of mentorship they would like to pursue. If the mentor agrees, they will begin the relationship. If the mentor cannot commit to the specific relationship or is no longer available, the mentee can choose from the list of other mentors. Mentors may decide how many mentees they would like to work with in the given year. The mentor/mentee relationship will be established as a one year commitment. This relationship can be continued informally at the discretion of both parties.
Developing the mentor-mentee relationship:
The mentoring relationship is best facilitated through regular interaction with the mentor and mentee. Here are some suggestions for creating a strong relationship:
1. Keep communications open.
Mentee: Be up front. Let your mentor know what your goals are and what you hope to take away from the program. This includes both spiritual goals and professional goals.
Mentor: Help your mentee set realistic expectations. Also, if you know you will be unavailable because of business or personal travel, let them know.
2. Offer support. This is the strength of mentoring.
Mentee: Remember that your mentor is there for you, but is only a guide.
Mentor: Encourage communication and participation. Help create a solid plan of action.
3. Define expectations.
Mentee: Review your goals. Make sure your mentor knows what to expect from you.
Mentor: Help set up a system to measure achievement. Identify this in your own life.
4. Maintain contact.
Mentee: Be polite and courteous. Keep up with your e-mails and ask questions.
Mentor: Respond to your e-mails. Answer questions and provide advice, resources and guidance when appropriate. Provide Scriptural answers and principles.
5. Be honest.
Mentee: Let your mentor know if you don’t understand something or have a differing opinion.
Mentor: Be truthful in your evaluations, but also be tactful. Speak the truth in love.
6. Actively participate.
Mentee: Listen. Ask if you can observe your mentor’s practice if he/she is local.
Mentor: Engage in your own learning while you are mentoring, collaborate on projects, ask questions and experiment.
7. Be innovative and creative.
Mentee: Offer ideas on what activities and exercises you can do together.
Mentor: Share your ideas, give advice and be a resource for new ideas.
8. Get to know each other.
Mentee and Mentor: Remember that people come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Get to know each other on an individual basis. Share prayer requests and praises.
9. Be reliable and consistent.
Mentee and Mentor: The more consistent you are, the more you will be trusted.
10. Stay positive!
Mentee: Remember that your mentor is offering feedback and not criticizing.
Mentor: Recognize the work the mentee has done and the progress made.
Wayne Jacobs (WayneJacobs@letu.edu), Coordinator of mentoring program