Today, I want to address a challenge that if ignored often leads to more challenges in mentoring. For many mentors poor communication or lack of relationship with parent/guardian has been the cause of many pitfalls and strains in their mentoring journey. We do not expect you to be best friends with your protege’s guardian but it is important to have a relationship and show respect for their authority in the child’s life. Communicating with the guardian is also something you committed to when you began this process. We know how important that communication is to establishing a solid relationship which is why it is part of the mentoring commitment. That being said, we know and understand it is not always easy. We can easily get discouraged when plans change or phone calls are not returned. I just want to remind you it is not personal. Our families experience everyday challenges like managing work, kids and busyness just as we do. Sometimes though the family loves you and the impact you have had on their child, it may not be their highest priority to get back to you. Be persistent, keep calling and demonstrate Christ’s love and grace not only to your protege but to the family as well.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58
As a mentor with Champions of Hope you are laboring for the Lord. You are pressing into a relationship with a child in South Dallas in order to spread the Gospel and advance the kingdom. This task is far from easy. We just ask you to stand firm and continue to press on even during the challenges. A specific area of communication I want to address is protege’s and cell phones. At one point or another your protege will inevitably get a cell phone. When this happens we hope it will increase communication between the two of you but it should not end communication with the parent. It is great to develop a deeper relationship with your protege but do not sacrifice the relationship with the parent in the process. Parents and guardians know the child’s schedule and are also the final authority for hangouts, so they must be consulted before decisions and plans are made. Continuing communication shows respect to the parent or guardian as well as showing interest in the entire family. We desire for you to become a part of your protege’s family as much as they are willing, so showing interest in other family members, attending sporting events and school award ceremonies is a great way to engage and show you care for the entire family. It is also helpful to start the sharing process by being open with your own life and bring your friends and family in as well. If your family is in town make it a point to visit your protege so they can begin to take part of your life also. Remember, this is about mutual transformation.
I am so thankful for each of you and the ways you are already going above and beyond as mentors! Keep up the good work!