Developing a Marriage Mentoring Ministry
Stage 1 – Leadership Education
Leaders need to discuss mentoring as a way to serve and strengthen marriages. A decision should be made regarding the type of mentoring program and curriculum that fits their needs. Assuming the decision is made to use Marriage Mentoring: Twelve Conversations, a leadership kit should be purchased at this time.
Stage 2 – Coordinator Selection and Assembling a Committee
Having decided upon the type of mentoring program, a chairman or program coordinator needs to be designated and a support committee recruited and familiarized with the mentoring program. These individuals will become the working committee to implement the mentoring program. Decide how the mentor training will be conducted. Options include: the minister or member who has been through a training workshop; a talented speaker/teacher; or a facilitator using the DVD training workshop conducted by Dr. Ed Gray.
Stage 3 – Advertising
Set a date two months in advance for the mentor training session. Bulletin and website articles need to appear prominently. Announcements need to be made. Any other standard advertising methods can be utilized such as mailings, PowerPoint announcements, bulletin boards, fliers, and letters.
Visits from the coordinator or committee members to target classes for both recruiting mentor interest and mentee participation in the program are essential. During these weeks of advertising, have couples sign up on one of two lists, one for those interested in being mentors and those who wish to be mentored. It is important to start your program with a core group of respected mentor couples. It is a good idea to invite these core mentors by letter and personal invitation.
Stage 4 – Mentor Training Workshop
Conduct a three-hour training workshop in a relaxed atmosphere. Provide light snacks at a break time. Make this a festive and enjoyable time of training. Decorate the training room to celebrate marriage. Mentor couples could bring a photograph of themselves from their wedding or early years of marriage. Order from the www.12Conversations.com website an adequate number of training manuals for those who have signed up for the training workshop.
(Optional training workshop format – Some groups have prepared dinner for couples and had the couples engage in “Conversation One – Thankfulness” for 40 – 45 minutes just as they would do over dinner with a mentee couple. This conversation is one of the workshop training exercises and occurs during the middle section of the 3-hour mentor training workshop.)
Stage 5 – Matching Mentors and Mentees
Within two weeks after the mentor training, the committee should provide mentors with their mentee couple name and contact information. It is important to do this promptly to capitalize on the momentum, interest, and excitement about the program.