Who Initiates a Mentoring Relationship?

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We’re continuing our series with more of the information that came out of the Organic Mentoring Conference panel discussions. Most of the previous monthly updates addressed the millennials’ answers to one of the panel questions as provided by Sue in her book. This update will address questions asked by the attendees of the Organic Mentoring Conference.

The panelists range in age from 21 to 34. All are Bible-believing Christians who love God and are actively seeking Him in their daily lives.


Question: In your relationships in which you have been mentored as well as in circumstances in which you have been mentors to others, who initiated that relationship?

K: I’m currently being mentored by Kristi. That’s why I got chosen [for the panel]. We actually approached Kristi and Brian; my husband and I asked them to mentor us as a couple and as individuals. They had approached us with friendship many, many times before that, and we felt really comfortable with them.

A: I guess I can answer being approached. I was in a youth ministry position so the kids felt comfortable sharing things with me that they maybe didn’t feel comfortable sharing with their parents. Which, you know, I actually despised teenagers prior to getting involved in youth ministry. For years [my husband] volunteered at churches and he’d be like “honey, I’m going to go help with the youth group” and I was all “good for you! I am staying away from those self-centered creatures.” So, when we had the opportunity to get involved I thought “no, no, no” but eventually it was like Jonah … I got spit out of the fish and finally succumbed to what was to be. I found those relationships so fulfilling and I’m still actively involved in their lives even though they’re in their twenties now. And you know, one of our kids got arrested and spent a year in jail and he put my name on the list to visit him. And those things [remind us that] God really had a purpose for what we were doing. We still have a Facebook page with these kids and they’re not kids anymore; they’re adults. But we pop on there every once in a while, and “hey, how’s everybody doing? Love you guys.” They come over for Superbowl or for Christmas, gift exchange, things like that. So still very much a part of their lives but my husband and I are very relatable to teenagers; we both act like children, so it naturally suits us to spend time with them. So we can play charades with them and act silly and it’s good.

B: For me in both situations it’s been very organic. It’s never really been said, like “can you be my mentor?” It’s always been very much just the natural progression of how it went. And my relationship with my mentor is very distinctly different from my friendships, and very distinctly different from their friendships, and we would comment on that, and I would be like “don’t say that I’m your mentor because that might ruin things for you because I don’t care about the terminology but I know that you do.” But they never labeled it that so I was like “whew!” But it was very natural, the people who are my mentors. They were professors in my classes who just genuinely wanted to know more about me and showed interest in me and showed interest in what I thought, and thought that what I had to say was important. And they said those words to me which really, really made a difference because I’m terrible at writing but apparently I’m good at articulating what I think. Vocally, anyway. But it’s always been very natural, so it has just happened as it was supposed to and I was just trying to be there for people when they need me. I guess I just followed the example of my mentors. That’s what it was. Yeah. I just did what they did, basically. And so, it just ended up being very natural.

I hope that the insights of these millennials are helping you as you engage with the next generation!

Thank you again for your faithful prayers and your partnership in this important ministry!

Keep hoping. Keep praying. Keep loving.

Kristi, for WeConnect