Tips – Styles – Models

Tips – Styles – Models

Chris and Mary-Jane Konings


Nine tips for would-be mentors from Mary Jane and Chris Konings.

Tip One: Get started

Find a mentor for you and someone you can mentor. Do it now. The sooner you start the sooner you will reap the rewards.

Tip Two: Be creative

Regular times and days suit the chronologically challenged but there is always room to include something different. Go out for coffee, meet for breakfast, stroll through the botanic gardens, hit the local Lazerforce, drive to Tirau for a hamburger…

Tip Three: Share a hobby

There’s no point stressing yourself out by cramming in yet another appointment into an already over full schedule. What are the things you can share ∆ tramping, running, mountain biking, cooking, bungee jumping ∆ with a young person? Christian mentoring isn’t about being intensely spiritual all the time, it’s about building relationships.

Tip Four: Share a task

One switched on youth-worker I know makes a point of sharing nearly every task he performs with a young person. This can involve training, modelling, listening, sharing or simply enjoying their company.

Tip Five: Listen

The good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth as a sign that we should listen twice as much as we natter.

Tip Six: Be real

Honesty makes you vulnerable. Much as we like to present ourselves as having it all together, most of us don’t. And that’s OK. In Christian mentoring, the grace of God gets the job done, through us and despite us sometimes. That’s not to say we can be slack – but who knows, perhaps your mentee can minister to you.

Tip Seven: Experiment

Who knows what is going to work? You and your mentor, you and your mentee are unique individuals. So have fun working out what works as you seek to encourage each other to grow in God. Listen to music together and talk about it. Go to movies and tear them apart afterwards. Help out at a food bank one weekend.

Tip Eight: Keep a record

Write down what you talk about each week, prayer needs, suggestion action, topics discussed. Every now and again read back over what you have written. You will be able to track progress or perhaps track recurring themes. Written records help when you are evaluating and are useful when you come to the end of a mentoring relationship.

Tip Nine: Celebrate

Celebrate when you begin and celebrate when you end. That can be difficult when a relationship doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and it is easy to feel like a failure. Finding ways to celebrate the ending of a mentoring relationship brings closure and can be a way of encouraging each other to develop new mentoring relationships.