For those old enough to remember getting something in the mail other than political ads or credit card offers, I want you to think back . . . to yourself as a high school senior . . . running to the mailbox looking for a letter from the college of your choice. You see the school crest; tear into the letter, and read the words “Congratulations, you’ve been accepted.” There was a feeling of relief, accomplishment, and anticipation. I’m not comparing a Radical Mentoring group to a college application, but for many men, the experience described above is the last time they felt like they earned something.
In 2019, the Radical Mentoring team will be visiting cities across the country to share our story and process. During these events, a couple of questions will be asked every time, “Why do you have men apply?” and “How do we find mentees?” Let’s explore . . .
First, the application. I know it sounds a little old-fashioned, but we want your men to feel the weight of the mentoring process. You want them to understand that they’re signing up for something more than a weekly bible study or men’s night. The application should give them a sense of the mentoring process and the commitment level involved. And when a man receives an invitation to apply, it lets him know his church identified him as someone they want to invest in.
But how do you find mentees to apply? I have seen churches set up a booth in the lobby or announce the mentoring program up front or in the bulletin on a Sunday. But recognizing that all churches are different, we think the ideal situation is to solicit recommendations from your mentors or pastors or other church leaders and then send individual invitations to those men.
Think of it in fishing terms. The first situation is like throwing out a net, you may end up catching what you are looking for, but you may need to cast the net a few times. The more targeted approach is like using a radar, you’ve looked under the surface and know where the fish are, now you can drop the line and hopefully reel them right in.
You know your church and your men better than we do, but as you launch your mentoring season, I challenge you to remember the power of the invitation to be a part of something. And the power of the application to convey the commitment involved and also the significance the mentoring experience can have for the men, their families, and their walks with Jesus.
Question: What are your best ideas for identifying and inviting men to be a part of your church’s mentoring program? Tell us here.