Mentoring is “doing what needs to get done.” That’s what mentor Bill W says.
About five years ago Bloomingdale Church launched a mentoring initiative, inspired by The Mentoring Project. We have learned and been challenged:
- Adolescents who are placed in an active mentoring relationship reap huge benefits.
- There remains a healthy interest among adults in our church to train as mentors. (We have already trained more than 75 people.)
- Successfully placing mentors with mentees is currently our most challenging road-block.
Because mentoring is “what needs to be done”, we have set the following program adjustments into motion:
- Revitalizing our “Introduction to Mentoring” training: We are placing quarterly training dates on the calendar, and actively inviting people from our church and community to “come find out how to be a mentor.”
- Adolescent matching at Bloomingdale Church: We are reconsidering how to more successfully match adult mentors and teen mentees from our church.
- Supporting community-based mentoring initiatives: We are building partnerships with local community-based programs (e.g. local schools) to provide them with trained mentors to help fulfill their waiting lists.
- Serving while mentoring: We are fostering a “mentoring culture” within our church programs in which adults who volunteer alongside adolescents view themselves as a mentor (e.g. an adult Awana Leader serving alongside a teen Leader-In-Training).
Go to mentor.bloomingdalechurch.org to find out more about The Mentoring Project, including expressing interest in being a mentor or being mentored.
Do you enjoy listening? Care about your community? Could you see yourself doing activities alongside someone else? You may be interested in an introductory mentoring training session.
Sat Mar 5, 9-11:30am. 264.Coffeehouse
By this time, your New Year’s resolutions may be getting stale. Maybe like many, you started the year thinking that you’d devote some time to Bible reading in 2016. Maybe like many parents, you wanted to start engaging in spiritual conversations with your children. Maybe like many, you don’t quite know where to start.
Fortunately, there are many tools available to help. Here are a few ways to start:
Set a time and place where it’ll become normal to talk about spiritual things.
It may be breakfast time, at the dinner table, or when you tuck your kids in at night. The important thing is that it become a routine. Kids thrive on routine. One simple way to accomplish this is to read a short passage from the Bible (using one of the tools below or one of your own) and then discuss it together. You might be surprised how even the youngest in your family will get into this. Choose a time when your whole family is together and decide that it’s a special time . It won’t take long for it to become your family tradition.
Don’t be stressed about it.
The more you get stressed about it, the less impact it will have. It should be real simple. Just be together, read out loud a little, and hear what the kids are thinking/feeling.
Praying out loud together as a family reminds everyone that God is with us and that He’s a normal part of our daily lives. One way to do this is to have each of the family members thank God for something, praise God for something, confess to God about something, and ask God for something. You could even memorize the Lord’s Prayer and say that together.
Here are some tools that you may find helpful:
The Bible App for Kids
The Bible App for Kids is a simple way to expose your young child to stories of the Bible.
Who is it good for? Families with young children.
Pros: It’s easy, free, interactive, and feels like a game.
Cons: It’s probably not going to be challenging for older kids and it may be too flashy depending on your perspective.
Awana Parent Guides
If your child is an Awana club member, the Awana parent guides are a great resource for learning alongside your child while also mentoring them.
Who it is good for? Parents with children in Awana.
Pros: It’s easy, coincides with the club books, and it helps you connect with your child.
Cons: It works best if your child is already an Awana club member. (Not a big “con,” because you can sign your child up today!)
The Gospel Project’s Family Bible Reading Plans or the Gospel Project’s App for Kids
The Gospel Project has a three-year plan for reading the entire Bible as a family.
Who is it good for? Families who want to start a Bible reading habit or tradition.
Pros: The three-year cycle means that you’re not rushed and you have time to create a family tradition.
Cons: The app content isn’t free.
Other Bible reading plans and resources:
The Bible App
A free Bible on your phone, tablet, and computer. YouVersion is a simple, ad-free Bible that brings God’s Word into your daily life. It has several reading plans too.
Start your day with the Bible in One Year, a free Bible reading app with commentary by Nicky and Pippa Gumbel.
Several different reading plans with an email reminder.
World renowned speakers, top musical artists, and thousands of other fun people your age. This is the LIFE Conference.