A mature role model

Proverbs 27.17-19
17 Iron sharpens iron,
and one person sharpens the wits of another.
18 Anyone who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and anyone who takes care of a master will be honoured.
19 Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.

TUMC encourages teenagers and pre-teens to partner with an adult member of the congregation as a mentor. Mentors and mentees can go out for dinner, ride bikes in the park, attend sports events, volunteer together, discuss faith questions, bake cookies, or enjoy other activities and interests in common. It is a unique way for youth to discover new ways of living out their faith and making personal life decisions. Mentorship can develop into lasting friendships.

Students are invited to participate each spring when they reach Grade 5. Those interested in having a mentor consult with their families and confidentially submit three names as possible mentors. Mentoring coordinators contact potential mentors to ask if they would like to participate in the program in principle. The student’s name is not revealed until the adult has agreed to be a mentor.

To learn more about how your child can find a mentor, contact coordinator Erika Friesen. (For more details, check out the following links and the fuller description below.)

Expectations for Mentoring Relationships

Guidelines for Youth and Parents

Suggested Activities

Application for Mentor (printable PDF)

Why a Mentoring Program?

It is natural that during adolescent years youth begin to separate themselves from their parents. In this process youth can benefit from a relationship with other significant adults. Mentoring provides an opportunity for such a relationship in a nurturing and supportive church context.

There are a number of realities in urban church life that make it difficult for inter-generational relationships to develop spontaneously. And yet, now as much as in the past, part of being at home in the church as we grow and develop is being connected with the older generation.

Mentoring has biblical precedents. There are numerous examples of mentoring relationships in the Bible: Eli and Samuel, Paul and Timothy, Barnabas and Paul, Naomi and Ruth.

What is a Mentoring Program?

A mentoring relationship is an intentional one-on-one inter-generational friendship. Its purpose is to supplement existing youth programs within the church. Participation is voluntary.

All youth upon entering grade six are invited to choose an adult member of the congregation as their mentor. The mentor coordinator facilitates the selection process and communicates with potential mentors, effectively setting up mentor pairs. The youth and the family are encouraged to think of all mentor names selected as a possible first choice.

The adult-youth pair will determine the frequency with which they will meet and will choose their activities together. Mentor pairs will all meet together periodically for social events, times of reflection and other activities.

The mentor relationship can develop in a number of ways, from a simple prayer partnership – for example the mentor prays for the youth and expresses interest in the youth’s interests – to regular meetings for conversation and/or activities.  The relationship may also change over the course of the youth’s development. Having many interests in common is not required; however, a friendly interest in the youth is essential. Pairs are invited, if possible, to maintain the relationship for the duration of the youth’s high school years.

Youth who would like to begin participating in the mentoring program when they are older are invited to apply when they are ready.