In late 2011, I posted that one of my goals for 2012 was to start a mentoring group for young adult guys. I had a couple of guys who were somewhat interested, but it did not materialize.
But I really wanted to do this, so I changed how I approached asking guys to join in. Instead of a wide-open, anybody can apply approach, I started keeping a list of guys I specifically wanted to be part of the program. They are young men in whom I see a great deal of potential. I have a true passion for seeing younger men grow and mature into strong leaders for God and for family.
It has worked. Four accepted the invitation to be in the program in 2013, and a couple others are looking at 2014 already.
What Do We Do?
These guys agree to a very strict code of participation each month. They must do three P’s each time we meet: be prompt, be prepared, and participate. I provide them with a discussion outline for the next meeting, and they must have it ready to go. Honestly, I am blown away by how frank and open the discussions have been.
Part of that openness comes from one very important aspect of the group: what happens in the group stays in the group. (By the way, that is why I will not talk of any specific discussions in this post.)
Each month, the members (including me) are required to do the following:
- Read one assigned book and make notes on the sheet I give out for that book. While reading provides us with the background for our discussion, this is far more than a book club. It is highly personal. We make life applications and challenge each other to be better men, workers, husbands, fathers, and students. [The list of books is at the end of this post.]
- Memorize two assigned Scriptures. The passages from the Bible are fitting for the subject for that month. Sometimes it is only a verse or two, while other times it is several.
- Participate in the discussion.
Besides these monthly requirements, each participant is required to do the following:
- Attend Spiritual Renewal Weekend (part of Polishing the Pulpit) in August. While there, they must keep notes from at least 3 of the sessions they attend and turn them in at our September meeting.
- Meet one-on-one with me for a meal twice during the year. We recently amended this slightly, so that those who are married could meet “two-on-two” with Leah and me if they wanted. These are simply informal meals to get to know one another a little better and to help with specific struggles or decisions.
- Agree to lead a mentoring group in the future. It does not have to follow this same way of doing things, but the participant has signed a form saying he will do this in the future at least one time.
We meet each month for a meal at our house, then we have our meeting, which usually last 90 minutes. The time truly flies, because there is so much discussion, and we are truly having fun.
I really can’t express to you how much this group is helping me, and I know it is helping the guys who are involved. If you would like more information about this program, contact me with any questions you may have.
Books we are using in this year’s program (all links except January’s book are to Amazon print version of the books. For this program, I do not recommend Kindle, because you will want to make a lot of notes):
- January: Creating Your Personal Life Plan by Michael Hyatt (free ebook)
- February: Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood by Dennis Rainey ($12.23)
- March: Who You Are When No One’s Looking by Bill Hybels ($12.41)
- April: When Work and Family Collide by Andy Stanley ($10.39)
- May: Fighting for Your Marriage by Markman, Stanley, & Blumberg ($12.77)
- June: The Barnabas Factor by Aubrey Johnson ($8.99)
- July: Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is) by Joshua Harris ($11.19)
- August: The Servant: A Simple Story about the True Essence of Leadership by James C. Hunter ($14.98)
- September: Point Man by Steve Farrar ($10.19)
- October: The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz ($10.87)
- November: Samson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood by Nate Larkin ($11.19)
- December: Finishing Strong: Going the Distance for Your Family by Steve Farrar ($10.94)
I also highly recommend the book Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell if you are thinking of leading a group like this one. It is a quick, but excellent read. You can get it for $11.35 here.
QUESTION: What are your thoughts on this sort of program? What other recommendations do you have? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Photo credit: Ryan Li on Creative Commons
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