This week Josh posted a great thought on mentoring students. You can read the whole post HERE. I loved the last two points and I would like to add a little bit when it comes into pouring into anyone younger than you, whether it’s a student, volunteer or staff member. Whether it’s the few or it’s the one, it’s important.
Here is what Josh mentioned:
Pour into a few
There’s a few of the students in your small group you immediately connect with. Maybe it is a share interest or a similar story — either way, you just click with them. So pour into them a little more than the others. When you’re running an errand, ask one of them to join you so you can turn the mundane into ministry. When you happen on a day you can sneak away from the office, try to sneak by and catch the end of their swim meet or pick them up for a life conversation over a Coke.
After a few weeks, ask God to show you the student who you believe He is calling you to mentor. Pray for them, give them extra challenges, ask them to step up and lead the group one night when you’re gone. Connect with them outside of group, meet regularly and share what God is teaching you. Allow God to speak through you to shape them into a great minister and future small group leader. Maybe it’ll be the church kid who needs you, maybe it’ll be the unexpected fringe kid. You’ll know!
Such solid thoughts right?
Let me explain why I want to add one thing. I have been the “few” or the “one” being mentored. It’s an honor. I think one of the most important things you can do for someone you are pouring into (students, volunteers, staff etc.) is letting them know your intentions with them. You can hang out with them and pour into them but one of the most valued things is actually knowing why you are being poured into. For someone to know that someone else, someone older, more experienced and someone they look up to see something in them that makes you want to pour out a little of your life to help them means more than you will ever know. Maybe the conversation doesn’t happen right away, but at some point verbally letting them know is huge and here’s why:
- They know they are valuable to you and your ministry.
- It creates loyalty.
- They will be more passionate about whatever it is you are raising them up in.
- They know they are not alone and have someone to go to with questions.
- They know they have a future stake in your ministry and will want them to stick around even more.
My point? Don’t only pour into them and be intentional with them, tell them why you are doing it. It is a big deal. How do I know? Because I have experienced it. I know what it feels like to have someone you look up to who has taken you under their wing and let you know why they decided to do that. It’s huge to know someone sees something in me that is worth building up and developing into a better leader and minister. Let your students know and see that look I’m talking about.