We can’t predict every issue and incident that may arise, but we can put some guidelines in place that can reduce the number of issues we might face in our Mentoring Ministry.
To prevent as many pitfalls and problems as you can:
- Print out this list and bring it with you to your next Mentoring Ministry meeting.
- Have the team decide in advance what you’ll do if these issues arise.
- Brainstorm ways you can set up some guidelines before your program begins to address some of these issues.
Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
- You may have a couple of team members check in with every mentee and mentor at the one month and six month mark so that any issues can be addressed.
- You might create a mentoring contract that addresses gossip, confidentiality, and number of suggested meetings.
Here are some things to watch out for:
1. Women don’t connect and stop attending
2. It’s too programed to meet some women’s needs
3. The “required” reading doesn’t meet the needs of the women
4. Time frame doesn’t allow for relationships to develop – it’s over before it really starts
5. Confidentiality is broken
6. Too much emphasis is placed on age differences rather than spiritual maturity
7. Too many required meetings or not enough required meetings
8. Closed program – new women must wait a year
9. A shortage of mentors/mentees
10. Lost focus – forget the purpose is spiritual growth
11. Gossip prevails
12. Professional counseling is not sought/recommended
13. No process for ongoing mentor training/encouragement
14. Honesty is lacking on either or both sides
15. Mentors view their mentee as a “project”
We may not be able to guarantee a smooth and fruitful experience for every woman involved, but we can try!
Your turn: What issues have you seen or foresee that may be pitfalls in your Mentoring Ministry?
You may also want to read:
A Fresh and Much Needed Perspective on Mentoring
How to Minister to Angry Women
Why Women are Running From Mentoring
Mentoring Programs and Resources
Changing False Assumptions Women Make About Mentoring