In the last edition of The Mentoring Manifesto, we highlighted the importance of story in our mentoring process. Today we’re discussing how to build authentic community in your group, which can’t be done effectively without story.
Sharing our authentic stories is the master accelerator for creating authentic community in a Radical Mentoring group (or any group!) because it deepens our relationship with God and other people.
So, what are the key ingredients to creating an environment where we can vulnerably share our authentic stories and effectively build authentic community?
Trust: When we tell our full stories, it can feel like handing the group a loaded gun and asking them not to pull the trigger. For us to permit others to enter the deepest and potentially darkest places of our lives, there must be an understood and acknowledged level of trust.
Active Listening: Building and maintaining a sense of community requires mentors and mentees to be present and attentive to each other and commit to distraction-free active listening.
Humility: Sharing is the first part, but if we want to learn and grow together, we must also learn to humbly hear and absorb feedback, especially in some of the most sensitive areas of our lives.
As a mentor, it starts with you. If you vulnerably and honestly share your story and you work to create an environment where these ingredients are present, authentic community will follow. The resources below will help you and your group develop the “band of brothers” we all desperately need in our lives.
Question: What would you add to the list above? As mentoring practitioners, you are experts too, and we want to hear from you!
In this blog, RM founder Regi Campbell unpacks the importance of confessing our sins to other Jesus-followers. It connects is to each other’s humanity, but more importantly, it connects us in common gratitude for God’s pervasive forgiveness and amazing grace.
This video from Groupleaders.com reminds us that spiritual growth is relational and shares practical ways to cultivate authentic community in groups. The focus is on small groups, but the insights apply to mentoring groups too, especially the idea of encouraging interaction outside of meetings.
In this article, Morgan Snyder asks, “who will carry your casket?” which is a great framework for considering your community. Challenge your mentees to ponder this question during the season. Maybe the answer is right there in your group; that would be cool!
One of our favorite mentoring books is Bo’s Cafe, which may seem odd since it’s a novel, but it does an excellent job of painting a picture of authentic community and creating a template for where your Radical Mentoring group wants to go. We highly recommend it to use to kick off your season.
ACTIVATE THE MEN IN YOUR CHURCH
Small group mentoring can help you engage your men, build your core group of leaders, and transform your church. Our free resources equip you with all the tools you need to launch a sustainable mentoring program.