One of the first questions we hear after a guy (or a church) has embraced the idea of mentoring younger men is, “Where will I get my mentees?” Even if you’ve led a group, there’s a little bit of angst. “Will anyone else want to do this?”
Well, unless God calls you away from mentoring, don’t listen to those doubts. We both know where they’re coming from . . . the enemy wants to paralyze you and keep you from anything bringing glory to God, especially making disciples who will become disciple-makers themselves.
So, move forward.
Think of this process like putting together a sports team.
There’ll be three groups of guys . . . prospects, players, and starters. You’ll start by identifying the biggest list of prospects you can put together. That group will get narrowed down into your list of players (applicants), and then from there, you’ll select your starters (mentees).
Here are some ways to identify men for your prospect list . . .
- Alumni – The best source of guys for your next group are guys from your previous groups. These guys know other guys, and who better to recruit for you than them? Send an email to your graduates. Start it with “I’m planning to put together another mentoring group starting _______. You know what this is about, so if you know any guys who might benefit from a Radical Mentoring group experience, shoot me their name and email address, and I’ll reach out.”
- Your pastor(s) – The guys on your church staff know the young men in your church. They usually have a good handle on who is in growth mode, who is new, and who could benefit from mentorship. Ask your pastor(s) to email them and suggest they reach out to you. Add those names to the list.
- Your circle of contacts – Over the years, you’ve met a lot of folks. Start thinking through the different venues of your life and pull up faces and names of younger men you’ve met along the way. Here are some memory joggers: work, neighborhood, ministries/non-profits, clubs and social organizations, friends of friends.
All you’re looking for is a name and an email address so you can invite them to apply.
Don’t be shy about casting a large net for prospects. God will bring you the men He has for you. Your job is to humbly but thoroughly sift through the people in your life looking for those men. Build the biggest best list you can and invite them to apply. Then trust God with the results.
Scripture: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.(Matthew 28:19-20)