Ok, I am not going to sugar-coat this at all :
Millenials in church today are desperately seeking a mentor & them not having one is one of the biggest reasons why Millenials vote with their feet and LEAVE church.
This is no different in their work life, according to Forbes …companies that are known for their great coaching & mentorship programmes are able to retain more Millenials compared to companies that do not invest in this. A millenial is more likely to job hop if they feel “not guided/ coached/ mentored” at work.
So why this sudden innate need for mentorship within Millenials?
Did our parents ever feel this need at all or did they just “Get on with it?” Now don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the fact that mentorship is one of the biggest keys to success! It is absolutely great to have someone coach & guide you but how really can we make this work with a generation (myself included) that have been called:
I definitely found myself in the category of precious. Reflecting on my own desire to be mentored, I realise now that I was a complete nightmare to mentor because I thought I was precious, special & knew it all!
So even though I begged for mentorship/ discipleship when it came, I in turn refused to be discipled. Blatantly rejecting authority & attempts to be discipled. How funny is that!
My arrogance shut the door to many great opportunities of mentorship.
Looking back I had the horrible combination of being insecure, needy, precious & seeking someone to rescue me and ALSO MAKE ME GREAT!
Simply put I was a hot mess and I fear that my generation seeks mentorship at times from a place of being in a hot mess & needing to be rescued rather than a true desire to grow. Millenials yearn for both affirmation & constant feedback and yet the question remains from whom do we get this from ?
So many of us unfortunately look to that ONE person whom we hold up on a pedestal and wonder why we end up utterly disheartened when they fail to meet our need! Trust me I have been there, done that and got the tshirt and that is why I would like to challenge Millenials to drop the fairytale dream of having that ONE person and instead pick up the concept of devloping their VoM (Village of Mentors).
We all know it takes a village to raise a child so why does that then change? I don’t believe it should! I believe now more than ever that with a generation trying their best to navigate through this crazy, unstable world that a VoM is more important now than ever before!
So how does one go about building their own healthy Village of Mentors? Here are my top 3 tips:
Books, E-books & blogs are generally mentorship on paper! I know we overlook them but maybe one of the reasons we feel we are not growing is actually because we are not growing because we are not reading. Commit to investing time in building your VoM by reading. Barack Obama, Phil Pringle, Dave Gilpin, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes could all be in your village via reading, reading, reading.
Just be around. The best form of mentorship is just being around. My friends tease me because of how observant I am but my greatest lessons have been learnt by just watching.
I live in a constant cycle of Watch – Listen – Learn !
So instead of asking someone to be your mentor, look around and chose people to add to your VoM & make a concious decision to just be around them. Watch how they do family, Listen to how they talk about money & Learn.
As you continue to do this and build a natural relationship with your VoM you will confidently progress into the next stage of asking questions which will then ignite an exhilirating relationship between your VoM and yourself!
ASK QUESTIONS & GIVE FEEDBACK.
Ok, let’s be real! Gone are the days of people having nothing to do & having 3 hours every week to sit & nurture you. That is as real in your working life as in your church life plus generally it is draining for any “CEO’s & Mentors out there! But this is what people have time for: people have time for answering specific questions & THEY LOVE IT. In my VoM I have:
- My Lead Pastors
- My friends who are going through the process of adoption / started a new business
- My friends who are building church in Ghana
- My best friends (one who is planning a wedding)
- My aunt who basically runs the world
- My team leader
- My safeguarding supervisor
My village is busy & I respect that! They are out there being awesome and doing the things that makes me want them to be in my village. So I have learnt to ask questions.
“Hey, can I just run a few things by you & get some advice?”
“Hey, can I see you for 30 mins next week to discuss my progress?”
“Hey can I FaceTime you after you put your girl to bed? Just need to chat through something?”
BOOM – straight to the point! Mentors love it & so do any mentees as we then get to have the real discussions that we really want rather than the 3hour fluffy soft talk.
So I guess to conclude I am today just really challenging us all to slightly change our view of mentorship. To stop us to looking to that ONE person but instead looking to the ONE (*Christ) as well as building our own healthy Village of Mentors.
Millenials in church NEED MENTORS! That is a fact of life today but how do we make it a sustainable, exciting & exhilirating relationship for both the mentors and the mentee ?
Let me know what you think in the comments below! Have you struggled with the concept of finding a mentor or have you struggled with being a mentor!
I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS & DIFFERENT OPINIONS!
Hope this article helps you,