Produced at First CRC of Detroit by Jennifer Peacock, Kelly Stevens, Kris VandeVusse, Melody Van Arragon, and Pastor Ben Van Arragon

Dear Mentor,
The purpose of this journal is to provide clear yet flexible guidelines for your mentoring relationship over the next year. The initial printed page includes a timeline and recommended schedule for your contact and shared activity. The following pages are included to aid you in tracking your contact and discussions with your student.
Because this is Year 1 of your mentoring relationship, your first priority is in getting to know your mentee and making yourself known. As you establish an environment of familiarity and trust, you will have increased opportunities to talk about your Christian faith, explore the Bible, share matters for prayer, and pray together. Although your mentoring relationship will have informal elements, it will be an intentional relationship. Your main goals will be to assist your mentee to grow as a disciple of Christ and for you, together, to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18).

Take Notes!

Use the journal to take brief notes for each of your contacts or visits. Record the date and type of contact. Record information you want to remember about your mentee. Record Bible passages discussed and faith questions raised. Record prayer concerns and answers to prayer. You may choose to format your notes according to the four discussion topics listed in the handbook. You may also choose to follow the structure of the four Building Blocks of Faith:

  • I Belong: What parts of the conversation contributed to your mentee’s sense of his or her place in the body of Christ?
  • I Know and Understand: In what ways did you help to expand your/their biblical/theological knowledge/insight?
  • I Have Hope: How was a fear/struggle reframed in light of God’s promises and Jesus’ presence?
  • I Am Called and Equipped: What unique gifts did you discover/affirm in your mentee?

These notes are for your purposes. The annual journals will serve as a chronicle of your mentor relationship over this multiyear process. It will prove a valuable record of your mentee’s growth, answered prayers, and milestones met.

Timeline and Checklist

Contact goals

  • Connect every time you’re at church together.
  • Make some kind of contact (text, phone call, email, note) at least twice per month.

September

  • Attend mentor training.
  • Review materials for kickoff (Oct.).

October

  • Attend kickoff.
  • Schedule at least one additional contact.

November

  • Discuss possibilities for in-person visits (attending game/recital; going for ice cream/coffee/soda; shared activity/service).

December

  • Send/give Christmas card (and optional small gift). Mention something you appreciate about the student and hope for them in the coming year.
  • Meet in person in December or January.

January

  • Meet in person if you didn’t in December.
  • Attend mentors’ check-in meeting.

February

  • Begin to plan another in-person visit for March or April.

March

  • Meet in person in March or April.

April

  • Meet in person if you did not do so in March.
  • Attend mentors’ check-in meeting.

May

  • Plan in-person meeting for summer.

June

  • Meet in person in June or July.

July

  • Meet in person if you did not do so in June.

August

  • Attend mentors’ check-in meeting.

Conversation Topics

These questions are for longer check-ins, not for Sunday mornings at church. As you talk, invite your mentee to ask you any of the questions you’ve asked him or her.

Knowing each other better (sample questions)

  • What’s been happening at school this week?
  • Tell me about one of your closest friends. How did you become friends? What does this friendship mean to you? (Update me on what’s happening for [friend]).
  • What tasks/activities do you find most fulfilling? Most challenging? What makes it fulfilling/challenging?
  • What books/TV shows/movies have you enjoyed lately? Tell me about them. How do they speak to you?

Talking about our faith (sample questions)

  • How does Christian faith (church activity) fit into the rest of your life?
  • What has made an impact on your faith lately?
  • Do you feel that God is at work in your life? What are some ways you have experienced his presence and activity?

Exploring the Bible (sample questions)

  • What did you read in the Bible/your devotions this week?
  • What is one thing you read/heard from the Bible this week? How did it speak to you?
  • Do you have questions or struggles with anything you’ve read?

Matters for prayer (sample questions)

  • What can I remember in my prayers for you this week?
  • What is one joy and one concern that has come up during the past week?
  • What answers to prayer have you experienced?

Mentor Journal

September

  • Attend training.
  • Review all material before the kickoff.
  • Make initial contact with your student.

October

  • Attend the kickoff.
  • What do I want to remember about my student that I learned at the kickoff?

  • Set a goal for what you would like to accomplish this year with your student:

  • Make at least one more contact with your student (text, phone, email, in person at church), and document it here:

  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

November

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Ensure you are connecting with the student at least twice this month. If you aren’t able to connect at church, then touch base via email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.
  • Begin to discuss how/where you can meet in person other than at church (coffee, ice cream, sports event, recital, volunteer together, etc.)
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

December

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.)
  • Send Christmas card (and optional small gift). Mention something you appreciate about your student and hope for them in the coming year.
  • Meet in person with your student in either December or January.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

January

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).
  • If you haven’t met in person yet in December/January, try to do so in this month.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

  • Meet with other mentors as a small group.

February

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).
  • Begin to plan another social outing.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

March

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).
  • Meet in person with your student in March or April.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

April

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).          
  • Meet in person with your student if you didn’t meet last month.
  • Meet with other mentors as a small group.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

May

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).
  • Begin to plan a social outing with the student for the summer.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

June

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).
  • Meet with your student for social outing in June or July.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

July

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).
  • Meet for social outing with your student if you didn’t in June.
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

August

  • Touch base with your student weekly at church when you are both there.
  • Connect at least twice this month (email, text, phone, card in the mail, etc.).
  • Notes about faith formation discussion:


     

  • Meet with other mentors as a small group for discussion.