Mentoring and Coaching

Take the time to listen, to be encouraging,
to be available, to be accepting.

Imagine a young child sitting alone in their bedroom at night reading the story of Samson slaughtering 1000 Philistines with the jaw bone of an ass. Or a young person reading about Ananias and Sapphira dropping dead because they were a little too liberal with the truth. Or a new adult Christian reading about God asking Abraham to sacrifice his son. We all need someone to talk with about these stories so as to help our understanding of God and His character in the light of these stories.

While some may have the benefit of a Christian’s mentors who may be able to process this, many do not.

In the everyday moments of life, stuff happens. Questions arise every day, small and large, about how life works and why it doesn’t work. One of the major reasons why young people choose to leave the church is because their questions about life and faith have not been answered. Life is not meant to be journeyed alone but together in community. Close, warm relationships are vital when we are exploring strange, sometimes threatening territory, when you want to ask some of life’s biggest questions, when you want to laugh or cry, or when we simply want to sit and wonder, but not alone.

Imagine if every one had someone who is journeying with them through life, in the same way as Jesus walked beside the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

Principles and practical ideas to inspire you as you implement this formational experience into your long term plan …


Life is not meant to be journeyed alone but together in community. The challenge of mentoring and coaching is that it requires time to listen, time to be encouraging, time to be available, time to be accepting….it requires TIME. Time is precious today, but spending time walking with someone else is what we are called to do.

Why ARE MENTORING and COACHING so important in the faith formation process?
Here are 3 reasons….
1 ONE significant person in a child’s life makes a difference
2 Unanswered questions are driving departures from the church
3 If we don’t walk with them….somebody else will.

Top 10 reasons why…

1.Different ages help. It is somewhere for them to have safe place to debrief and about home life/parents/spouses etc.

2.”Sticky faith” research says young people need at least 5 other’s input into their lives other than parents for faith to stick.

3.If someone hasn’t had a positive upbringing, they need to know there is another way of life and a God that loves them and cares for them.

4.It is two way “life on life” learning.

5.It is being valued by someone else who doesn’t “have to.”

6.If it can be connected with a like minded passion or hobby or gifting it can have greater impact.

7.It instils a belief that we continue to grow and learn throughout life and not just when we are young.

8.It takes a village to raise a child. The church needs to be reminded that they are the village.

9.Sometimes older people don’t have the confidence to be friends with younger people, being a “coach” gives them permission to be friends, which is what they really need.

10.There is strength if two voices are saying the same thing. Time is a precious gift to give someone, everyone needs someone to listen to them.

Practical ideas

Buddy system

1.Low key advice and suggestions.

2.Public places.

3.Monthly or 4 times a year.

4.Using technology for regular connection – facebook/text/Skype.

5.Create spaces where groups of woman or men of various ages can connect, socialise, learn together and pray for each other.

6.Create safe spaces for people to question and voice doubts.

7.Big Brother/Big Sister type covenants. Help young people understand that they can be great role models for younger children.

8.Ask young people to identify older people to mentor them.

9.KidsHopeAus – mentoring program in state schools facilitated by World Vision Australia. See Link

10.Connect children to an approved adult in the church for a semester or a year.

11.Families mentoring families.

Intentional Discipleship

1.Southern Cross Kids Camps is a camp that mentors hurting children one on one. See Link.

2.All age retreats for men and woman separately to be together across the ages.

Links to Excellent Resources for this Pillar:

RESOURCE: LiveLife123.org – Intentional, accountable, disciple-making relationships. Link

An introduction + 2 foundational principles

8 formational pillars