by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey (Indianapolis: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2010), pp. 194-195.
(In other postings I’ve discussed more specifics of “Apprenticeship” and “Formal Training” for church leaders. For more on this topic see these postings which are also excerpted from Spiritual Waypoints: Helping Others Navigate the Journey).
1) Organically link experienced leaders and new leaders. This means the mentors and trainees should have a great deal in common, not just job descriptions. If feasible, leaders of similar backgrounds, cultures, and affinity groups should be linked, because communication and connection is best fostered when social and cultural barriers are minimal. For example a young assistant pastor might best mentor a youth pastor, rather than requiring the senior pastor to mentor the youth pastor. Though youth pastor and senior pastor are involved in similar pastoral functions, the cultural gaps between a middle-aged senior pastor and a twenty-something youth pastor may be too great.
2) Communicate both ways. The mentoring process must include clear and candid communication that goes back and forth between the mentor and the trainee. If communication is only one way, primarily from the experienced leader downward, the trainee will not be able to question for clarification, indigenize for their local context, or evaluate for improvement. If this occurs, communication will cease and frustration will ensue.
#StMarksTX mentee mentor