youth worker, youth ministry, student ministry, student driven learning

Student Driven Mentoring

By Doug Franklin June 8, 2011

I believe that mentoring is the most effective way to do youth ministry. What could be better than a student in a deep relationship with a mature believe who has their spiritual growth in mind? My mind goes to Jesus and John, or Paul and Timothy. These relationships are beautiful examples of the power of mentoring. As I have been observing mentoring programs in youth ministries I have noticed that most mentoring programs rely on the adult to ask the student to start a mentoring relationship. I don’t think this leads to long-term, healthy mentoring relationships. When adults ask, students don’t have any currency in the relationship and tend to devalue the experience. The adults tend to take students on their journey and don’t discover the journey that the student is on. When students ask to be mentored, they want mentorship, they are willing to share and participate, they want growth. The hard part of this for the youth worker is getting the students to the point of being able to ask and preparing the adults for when they will be asked. This work is high risk – high reward. You may work with 20 students but only 5 may enter a mentoring relationship. This is a low success rate but remember the power of mentoring, John and Timothy went on to do amazing things for the Kingdom of God.

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