by Teryl Cartwright, instructor of the Timothy Circle mentor training
Parents, your call is to guide and provide support for your children’s faith journey. Mentors are not meant to be like another parent added to a child’s life — or spies for you.
A mentor’s call is to partner with your youth or young adult to explore and discern their next steps toward God and their calls. For successful results, here are six simple ways you can help with others’ faith mentoring.
- Pray daily for your children, mentors, and their relationship together just as much as you pray for their current friends, teachers, church relationships, and future partners.
- Find and start meeting with a mentor for your own faith journey. If you already do this, ask for more advice on offering support.
- Encourage your child to regularly express gratitude and share any holiday greetings with their mentor. Don’t do this for them.
- Sit down with your family to plan weekly schedules and make mentoring times a priority. Discuss how to handle timing conflicts and allow your child to contact the mentor as these occur.
- Listen objectively and confidentially to what your child chooses to share about any mentoring session. Don’t pressure them to share.
- Offer opportunities for your child to be a mentor to someone who is at least three years younger, but also allow them to say no. As an alternative, you can ask if they would be willing to teach someone (even you) a skill or interest.