“Why did I spend so many years in this work without a mentor?”
~A Lutheran Pastor, Suburb of Chicago, Illinois
Questions for Pastors Seeking a Mentor
- Why do pastors typically seek a Mentor?
- Does it cost anything to have a Mentor?
- How much time is involved in the mentoring process?
- What happens if the Pastor doesn’t “click” with the Mentor?
- Where are the mentoring sessions held?
- Who sets the agenda for mentoring sessions?
- How does a Pastor get a Mentor?
- to improve their ministry as they seek confidence and competence not only in the fundamentals of pastoral ministry but also in their personal faith and lives
- to have a resource if a pastor is facing a concern and needs a safe, confidential, independent place to think out loud
Mentoring can also provide a place to be held accountable, take a proactive step toward avoiding stress that isolation brings, or just to test the mentoring concept that has proved so successful in a variety of professional and business settings.
Does it cost anything to have a Mentor? No. There is no charge to pastors for mentoring. Expenses incurred in providing this service to pastors are borne by those who believe that effective, healthy pastors are a good investment for The Church. Ministry Mentors is sustained by such individuals, congregations, denominations, and foundations.
How much time is involved in the mentoring process? The Pastor and the Mentor determine their own time schedules. Typically, the Pastor and the Mentor spend approximately one hour per month in conversation. In order to maximize the time together, the Mentor may invite you to do preparation work that will make the session more effective. Although occasionally short-term assistance is offered, the goal is to work with a Pastor for a minimum of six months.
What happens if the Pastor doesn’t “click” with the Mentor? Mutual respect, trust, and “chemistry” are essential for the mentoring relationship. If this does not exist, the Ministry Mentors organization, in consultation with the Regional Group Lead Mentor, will facilitate the forming of a new mentoring relationship.
Who sets the agenda for mentoring sessions? The Pastor sets the agenda. Circumstances may alter discussion of a planned topic in favor of the “crisis of the day,” as some pastors have described it. The goal is to assist. The Pastor tells the Mentor what would be the most beneficial way of offering that assistance.
Where are the mentoring sessions held? This is up to the Pastor. Often the initial meeting is at the Pastor’s office. This allows the Mentor to tour the facilities, appreciate the neighborhood, and generally have an understanding of the context of the Pastor’s ministry. Future meetings are held wherever privacy and uninterrupted time can be assured.
Envision a time when pastors feel
connected, confident, capable.