“Let’s imagine what it would be like if our young people were growing in Christ-like character, equipped to lead well in their churches, in their schools and colleges, and in their homes.”
So the author summarises the impact of mentoring to “change a generation and renew leadership in the church and the nation”. The premise for this book is John Maxwell’s assertion that everyone has some kind of leadership ability, which the author believes can be achieved with the help of mentoring.
The book is practical and helpfully illustrated with the author’s own experiences of mentoring. It contains an excellent appendix leading you through the objectives for a mentoring relationship and the questions you may wish to use during your meetings with a mentee. It is challenging on a number of levels such as the statement, “We are all called to be a mentor and to find mentors”. A closer look at the characteristics needed for a mentor encourage constructive reflection on your own spiritual growth, recognising that we are all far from perfect.
Structured in four parts, the first lays a solid foundation by exploring a biblical perspective and models for mentoring. Further sections consider the world of teenagers, putting a mentorship scheme into action, the characteristics, tools and skills required as a mentor and a valuable chapter on how to implement principles of child protection when mentoring. The final part explores ways to identify young leaders and seek to support their discovery of who they are using the SHAPE acronym as developed by Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life.
Using this practical book as a resource, we can develop our understanding of mentoring and abilities as mentors. For the young people we support, this book will take us a step closer to a relationship that challenges, offers encouragement and shares with them the journey they are on.
Anna Troughton is an occupational therapist who attends The Bridge Church in Bolton. She's passionate about discipleship, growth and supporting development of people.