Read part one here: Peer-to-peer Mentoring: What is it?
In 2005, I was serving in a church where my lead pastor, Kevin, said to me: “If we were a factory that made cars, how would we make cars?” It went on for a couple of moments, and then he told me to think about church in the same way. “John, we are a factory that makes disciples. How do we do that?” He rocked my world with the question. All of a sudden, my mission and task became very clear.
Jesus called the 12 men around him disciples. These guys did life together. The word “disciple” means “one who is a learner or understudy.” These guys were to be imitators of Jesus, and that’s why we are called Christians, today. Peer-to-peer (P2P) mentoring is a lot like that. Mentors are students whose character, attitude, and actions should be imitated. We intentionally place them in groups where they can help guide their peers.
Here are three steps to setting up peer-to-peer mentoring in your area:
- Understand the program. – The first step in setting up P2P is having a clear understanding of the program yourself. You will be the lead communicator for bringing this to your area, which means you are going to be telling a lot of people about it.
- Seek counsel. – Before you begin anything new or add another thing to your plate, seek out the counsel and support of your spouse (if married), your church, and other leaders you are accountable to. Write down questions as they arise.
- Bring it to school influencers. – After you have the support of those around you, take the conversation to principals and guidance counselors in your area. During the meeting with a principal, there are a few things you want to cover: You will need to let them know the mission of P2P, the time that it will require, the curriculum that you will use, and what content the curriculum covers.
With any program that involves a group of people, there are many moving parts. But no worries, I’m here to help coach you all the way through it. As an example, our P2P programs are 25 weeks long, directors meet with mentors for training, and then mentors meet with their mentee groups. We use the B.E.L.I.E.V.E. curriculum. It covers standards in character education, is built on the framework of human development (social/emotional, physical, intellect, etc.), and addresses topics like bullying, suicide, sexual abstinence, and drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.
There’s more after that, but getting the ball rolling is the first major step to setting up a peer-to-peer mentoring program in your area. You can connect with me for more information if you are interested in setting up P2P mentoring at a school in your area. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.