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youth worker, youth ministry, system, mentoring

Having a Mentoring System

By Doug Franklin January 17, 2012

My friend Mac Lake is a genius at mentoring. Mac and I were talking about how to organize a quality mentoring sessions, a simple way for a mentor to walk a mentee through a comfortable conversation. So often we get into a mentoring relationship and we don’t know what to say. So Mac developed this Five P question plan and he is allowing me to share with you.

1. Personal

Start the mentoring sessions by talking about how the mentee is doing. What is happening in his/her life? How do they feel and what are their concerns. This will allow the mentor and mentee to connect and build community. This could also help each of them to remember the things they talked about the week before. This time is important for building trust.

2. Priority

What are the priorities and goals of the mentee for the week? Priorities give insight into the values of the mentee. They give the mentor good opportunities to ask follow-up questions and to dig deeper into the mentee’s life.  The answers to these questions will give the mentor indication of what the mentee needs to work on to grow in their walk with Christ.

3. Problems

The question the mentor wants to ask is “what problems are you facing and how can I help?” This question gives the mentee the opportunity to ask for help or seek advice. Often times the mentee comes to the mentoring sessions with questions and needs certain issues addressed in their lives.

4. Plan

This question is designed to help the mentee begin to think about a plan to reach his/her goals with the advice the mentee has acquired from the mentor. Discussing this plan gives the mentor the opportunity to ask questions about potential obstacles or road blocks the mentee might face.  Once a plan is put in place, the mentor needs to ask the mentee if they can hold them accountable for executing the plan. This part of the mentoring session is where the real growth will take place. The mentee knowing that the mentor will hold them accountable is more likely to carry out the plan and because of it experience growth.

5. Pray

Before praying together, take some time to share weakness and areas of life that need accountability. Then pray together. There is no better way to carry each other’s burdens then to pray with and for each other. Pray through the priorities, problems and plans the mentee has. Draw near to God and have him draw near to the both of you. Don’t just end your time in prayer, like it’s a check list item. This is a sacred time; be aware that God makes us for community and to share in each other’s struggles.

If you are not currently mentoring someone because you don’t know what to say, I hope these 5 P’s will encourage you to look for someone in your life who you can mentor. Mentoring has the power to guide people to Christ who are going through life’s ups and downs.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More