Young people crave mentors, but not the formulaic mentoring styles that worked in the past. To create thriving relationships with next-generation believers, ditch worn-out mentoring models.
Be encouraged. Next generation young adults don’t envision a strict weekly commitment. Nor are they looking for the Bible-answerperson. And a natural rapport must replace artificial matching.
Young adults yearn for a more experienced person to help them apply biblical truth to the challenges they face. They want honest mentors with whom they can process life when the need arises, and people who won’t try to remake them into some preconceived mold. They are looking for a reciprocal relationship, expecting that both people will benefit.
Moses instructed parents to speak of their love for God in everyday moments—sitting together at home, walking from place to place—taking advantage of teachable opportunities when questions naturally arose (Deut. 6:5–8). The same instruction applies to mentoring now: casual and natural. In ancient biblical wisdom we find a mentoring model that works today.
Dr. Sue Edwards is Associate Professor of Educational Ministries and Leadership at DTS and coauthor of Organic Mentoring.