We have observed that as protégés graduate from Middle School and enter into High School there are often recurring themes in the nature of the advice that we give to their mentors. Here are “the Big Five” that our staff came up with in preparation for our 2015 High School Transition Meeting.
1. The gospel is core and foundational.
- In 1st Corinthians 15:3, Paul referred to the forgiveness of sins as being of first importance. While the implications of the gospel encompass other aspects at its core Jesus Christ’s substitutionary atonement (2 Cor. 5:21) which forgave the sins of Christians is of upmost significance. The world created perfectly was broken as a result of man’s rebellion. In order to reconcile the brokenness God became a man in Jesus Christ, lived a perfect life then died in our place to absorb the wrath that was right
fully due us (sinful humanity) and as a result those who rest in this sacrifice are able to have an eternal relationship with God. This message is core because it transforms the heart. Once the heart is transformed it will impact every other aspect of your protégé’s life.
- Application exercise: Using scriptures as a guide, write out the gospel message in your own words and regularly share with your protégé during your devotional time together.
2. Your protégé’s experience with education is in all likelihood very different than yours.
South Dallas (Fair – Park) Education Statistics
Education (SRC Demographics Now, 2007) (Taken from the “Learn to Serve” South Dallas Project)
- Application exercise: How do these educational statistics compare to the statistics in the area in which you grew up? How will these statistics inform the way that you talk about school/education with your protégé?
3. Get into your Protégé shoes.
While in many cases our mentors cultural backgrounds differ from that of our protégés there are often points of connection that transcend culture. In getting into your protégé’s shoes we ask that you ask the question what was I doing when I was my protégé’s age?…
- What was of highest importance to you?
- What were you being socially pressured to do?
- What was the person, place or thing that most influenced the pursuit of your vocation?
- Where did you hangout?
- How did you feel loved and or respected?
4. Start the conversation on relationships, sex and marriage.
- Of all of our 5’s’ (Salvation, School, Sexual Purity, Future Story and Service) the conversation towards sexual purity is typically the toughest for our mentors. When Champions of Hope partners with our families we intentionally let them know that we are a Christian organization. As Christian mentors we frame “God’s best” design for sex within the lifelong covenant of marriage between one man and one woman. We also make sure our protégé’s know that celibate singleness is not a second class designation. In our experience it is usually easiest to begin this conversation by sharing one’s own sexual testimony. Our hope is that you would give your protégé a biblical message on sex to thwart the many mixed messages that are given by the culture.
- Application exercise: If you have not done this before plan a time where you will speak to your protégé about sex in the next month. If you feel uncomfortable first talk with the parents for additional confirmation also consider writing out what you desire to say to your protégé before you begin the conversation.
5. Understand mentoring is mutually transformational (as a result your interaction with your protégé should be two directional.)
- Mentorship has a way of stretching mentors for our good and for His glory. So often mentors begin with a savior complex only to become better convinced that Jesus is the only real savior. We must rest in Jesus in the same way we desire that our protégé’s will be able to rest in Jesus. In that journey to rest in His rest we must understand that God will sanctify us in a way that can cultivate a deeper affection for others as we seek to Love Him.
- Application exercise: Pray that God will give you the grace to see how this mentoring relationship can grow you as a Jesus follower.
Zach Middleton and Monique Alleyene, Relationship Coordinators