Mentoring is a one-on-one relationship between a Peer Learning Group participant (mentee) and a experienced clergyperson (mentor) who has completed the Thriving Mentor & Facilitator Training course. Thriving in Ministry intentionally combines elements of coaching and elements of mentoring, fusing them into one role that supports the professional and personal growth of the mentee. The mentoring relationship runs concurrently with the two-year peer learning process and seeks to enhance the deep and transformative insights participants will develop as a group. The Thriving Mentor serves to benefit the growth, development, integration of learning, and skill practice of the mentee.
Throughout the course of this relationship, the mentor will serve in the following roles:
- Occasional expert who proposes solutions from her well of experience
- Consultant who helps the mentee work out a problem—providing the mentee still takes accountability and responsibility for resolving the issue
- Trainer/educator who shares her own experiences so that the mentee can explore and apply that learning to her context
- Coach who delivers probing questions that help the mentee synthesize her experiences in ministry with the principles of Deliberate Practice and Fierce Conversations
- Challenger who prompts the mentee toward deeper learning and growth
- Supporter who recognizes when changes are taking place and helps mentee navigate these times of transition
- Spiritual friend who encourages the mentee in her encounters with God—both in the lifelong arc of transformation she is undergoing and her daily response to the Divine.
While conversations between the mentor and mentee explore particular situations and contexts of ministry, the process is not limited to situational coaching. Rather, it is an integrated, continuous process built through successive conversations. At times, mentors will need to shift roles to unravel the factors that are blocking their mentee from thriving.
Mentees are responsible for:
- Identifying their learning goals
- Integrating new information from their peer group
- Sharing experiences and challenges openly with their mentor
- Reflecting on their practices in ministry
- Committing to the discipline of regular mentor-mentee discussions
- Displaying a readiness to bringing both the mentee’s inner life and leadership formation with God as well as the mentee’s outer life of self-presentation and leadership to the mentor-mentee relationship.