Mentoring revisited: Peer mentoring, learning and support

This week I want to revisit the concept of mentoring on the back of the interest sparked by my previous mentoring post ‘Seeking Mentor: must be anointed!‘ and examine its importance as a tool to enhance growth in work and life.  As a learning and development professional, I have seen and used mentoring in a number of ways and know first hand how effective it is when implemented correctly and used wisely.  The chances are that we have all experienced mentoring at some point in our life, in our home, school, workplace or fellowship, mentoring works because it is personal.

What is a mentoring?

Mentoring is a form of informal support which is generally based on a more experienced, skilled or knowledgeable individual (Mentor) offering support, advice and guidance to someone who needs their assistance (Mentee).  Mentoring is not goal-focused but tends to be more person-centered, helping the mentee progress in a particular aspect of their life in a number of ways such as:

  • Facilitator
  • Sounding Board
  • Coach
  • Role model
  • Confidant
  • Motivator
  • Challenger
  • Expert

The value of mentoring has become such an effective tool for success that it has moved out of its normal home of state education and can be now found in higher education institutions and large corporations, yet even though the world has seen and is tapping into the benefits of mentoring the body of Christ still chooses to struggle to progress alone!

Mentoring does not have to be about business or even ministry but it should be about learning to be exactly what you have been called to be.  I have recently had the pleasure of making contact with Mentor and Discipleship specialist Rob Boyland who has seen the benefit of mentoring firsthand in his own life and in the life of those who he personally mentors.  I am honoured to share how God is teaching him to not only use mentoring to ‘disciple’ those who are lost but to help other Believers take on the mantle of mentoring and discipleship to change lives too!

My name is Rob Boyland and I reside in Pendleton, Indiana, USA. I am first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ! I have been married to my beautiful wife Lisa for 20 years, and we have been blessed with three daughters, Kayla – 19, Haley – 16 and Chloe – 9. I serve in my local church as an Elder and truly enjoy spending time mentoring young people and building relationships with everyone. I feel God is calling me to spread a message He has been teaching me, one that needs to be a driving force in all congregations and in every person who is a believer – to develop a biblical worldview, mentor everyone and make disciples! My vision is to see The Church as the crowning jewel Christ intended from the beginning…one that thinks less of themselves and more about Jesus and those who are lost and far from Him! A Church where the lost are found, and the found are grown up!

Rob and Family
Rob with his wife and three daughters

Matthew 28:18-20 is very clear…as followers of Jesus Christ, He expects that we will become disciples, and then we will make disciples. I believe The Church has missed the mark in what it means to make disciples. Jesus modeled how to do so very well…we build relationships with everyone in which we come in contact and keep Christ at the very core of who we are. We love God and we love others…we cannot do one without the other! As we build intentional Christ-centered relationships (which I call mentoring – relational discipleship, lifestyle evangelism, etc.) we open the door for many conversations of faith. Some will begin asking questions and will want to take the next step of faith, and once that baptize moment on the great commission occurs (salvation), they can take on the meat of discipleship, growing in their active response to God’s amazing grace…and as they do, they become disciples who make disciples!

This vision and passion God has been revealing to me for Mentoring, Discipleship and Biblical Worldview is what drives my purpose and really gets me excited about where and how God wants me to serve. I feel God has shown me many avenues to share what He is revealing to me through speaking it, using social media outlets (including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Blogging, etc.) and recently in sharing this message to an audience at the Raise Your Vision webinar conference. Connecting with people like Florence has been a real joy for me as we have shared a very similar passion for the things that God hold dear to His heart…relationships!

Join us on this quest to fulfill the Great Commission to Go, Baptize and Teach in order to build the Kingdom, one disciple at a time!

Rob Boyland
Rboyland01@gmail.com
www.MentoringANDDiscipleship.blogspot.com

Follow me on Twitter: @rboyland

When we think of mentoring we most often than not think of the definition of mentoring given at the start of this article, but there is another form of mentoring which is just as powerful and effective as traditional mentoring relationships – peer-to-peer learning relationships.

What are peer-learning partnerships?

Peer learning relationships are based on the concept of mutual and reciprocal helping between two or more people of a comparable status and who share a common or closely related learning or development objective from learning how to deal with relationship problems to finding out how to drive traffic to your website.  Unlike traditional mentoring, peer-to-peer learning and support is characterised by its non-hierarchical status thereby saving learning and development costs.

But there is so much more to peer learning and support than just saving on costs, by learning to develop mutually beneficial relationships you are also able to enhance your own skills, knowledge and experience whilst finding a friend.  To find out more about the benefits of mentoring or peer-learning partnerships please visit the Peer Learning page.

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