What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is an on-going structured one-on-one friendship between a trusted, caring adult and an eager young person with similar interests.
Shepherd’s One-2-One Program
From the beginning of Scriptures we see a call for God’s people to be parents to the parentless. This overflows directly out of how God is described: “He defends the cause of the fatherless.” (Deuteronomy 10:18). The reality for neighborhood youth that Shepherd serves is that 2 out of 3 grow up with no father or an inconsistent one. Consequently, their mothers have to work hard to raise them and maintain the household – an emotionally draining lifestyle. As a result, the James 1:27 call to the Church of Indianapolis has never been more relevant: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress.” It has been stated that children of the next generation are becoming less and less interested in a personal relationship with Christ and are therefore abandoning the church for good. Because of this daunting reality, it is estimated that each child should have five positive role models, within their lifetime, who will instill in them, a love for Christ and a desire to follow His Will. Mentoring a Shepherd youth provides a tangible opportunity to respond to this need and pour out the love of Christ to them.
“To provide youth and adults the opportunity to cultivate lasting and enjoyable relationships that demonstrate to youth the unconditional love of Jesus.”
“Shepherd Community’s One-2-One Program envisions a community in which children experience multiple, nurturing relationships with loving adults, which in turn, inspires them to develop into their God-given potential through a relationship with Jesus.”
What does it mean to be a mentor?
Shepherd’s One-2-One Program believes that the best strategy to develop lasting mentoring relationships is once a week, at least one hour. We ask for a minimum of one year commitment to the mentoring program, as we’ve discovered that the greatest impact happens through long-term mentoring relationships. This meeting will be time spent one-on-one between the mentor and the mentee outside of any other programs or services in which the youth may be involved.
The main purpose of the Shepherd’s One-2-One Program meetings is for the mentor and mentee to grow in relationship with one another. Mentoring sessions are meant to be enjoyable times and can include activities like going to the Zoo, throwing a baseball, enjoying a hot chocolate together, visiting a museum, or finding a long-term art project to complete. Through these times together, trust is built, and youth become more willing to open up about their lives in conversation.
Church-Based Mentoring Initiative
Shepherd’s One-2-One Program desires to serve greater Indianapolis churches to be equipped to mentor and disciple the youth in their church body as well as the youth involved at Shepherd Community. We are striving to develop lay-led church teams who will oversee the process of developing and maintaining a safe and effective mentoring ministry. We are partnering with the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring (CAYM) who has developed church-based mentoring teams across the country. Visit their website at http://www.caym.org/ or by clicking on their logo for more information.
Could this be your opportunity to serve?
Is God calling you or your church to invest in youth mentoring? If so, consider joining us to help fulfill Shepherd’s mission to help break the cycle of poverty through mentoring relationships.
For more information on our One-2-One Program and the Church Based Mentoring Initiative, please contact:
Jessica Gardner at JessicaG@shepherdcommunity.org
Click on the image below to visit the Christian Association of Youth Mentoring website.