At EDGE, we believe in providing the environment for transformational – not transactional – mentoring relationships to thrive. We serve the next generation of leaders who are seeking mentorship across all the major aspects of life, from relationships and careers to purpose and faith.
This guide will walk you, our newest mentor, through some of the components that make EDGE Mentoring unique, as well as our most commonly asked questions. You'll also find best practices provided by our current mentors.
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EDGE's framework is focused on building the mentoring relationship between the mentor and mentees over a period of time, usually a two-year experience with the option to continue past that mark. It is important to be consistent and faithful to the relationships with the expectation of varying degrees of engagement – on both sides – throughout your time involved in EDGE.
Important things to remember about mentoring:
Mentors can only provide help where and when the mentee would like to receive help.
By asking good questions, being patient and praying for your mentees, you will be able to see more clearly where God wants you to guide them. Another component of mentoring is being there just to be there. Sometimes, a simple email or text of encouragement may be exactly what a mentee needs.
Mentoring is different than discipleship.
Mentoring is walking alongside a mentee as they progress in their professional, personal and spiritual development – all while applying a Christian perspective to situations arising in the workplace, with family or in other settings.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
EDGE’s origin and name comes from the notion that Christians are actively, thoughtfully, prayerfully and encouragingly refining themselves and others.
“...and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Timothy 2:2
Considering the Great Commision, we are called to help one another grow in their walk with Christ. Such a calling extends outside of discipleship; that is, we are called to help one another grow in all aspects of life – at home, at work and in faith.
“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions... And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.”
Luke 2:46 + 52
Learning from others was fundamental to Christ’s time on Earth and is foundational to the spreading of the Gospel after Christ ascended. Today, we have the same opportunity to be teachers to those we guide.
“If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.”
There are many different ways to sharpen the edge of anything. Brute force is one way. Another way is to learn from those who have gone before – those with experience. There is power in imparting wisdom to others.
The way a mentor shows up can sometimes have more of an impact than the words they speak. A successful mentor assumes a posture that can be described as:
While every relationship will be unique, the common thread of EDGE relationships is that both people come to the table open and ready to learn from each other. This is the spirit that drives the transformational nature of EDGE groups.
One on Ones
Regular interaction between the mentor and each mentee in a one-on-one setting is what makes the EDGE experience. Texting, calling or meeting for coffee, lunch or dinner should all be happening regularly. This creates the opportunity for discussion during group calls and allows the mentee to dive deeper into specific areas or seek counsel where needed.
Each group should have one face-to-face meeting within the first six months of being a group. If possible, the mentor hosting the group at their house is preferred. If you have mentees who are not local, coordinating a chance for them to video conference into the event is an important consideration.
We ask the you open and close each time you’re together with prayer. Whether led by the mentor or a mentee, this time to focus hearts and minds on Christ is foundational to the EDGE experience.
Each call should have some time hearing from each member, mentor and mentee alike, sharing what’s going on in their world. Using some mnemonic device like those below can make this process quick and enjoyable for each attendee:
Roses, buds and thorns (good things, what you're looking forward to, and struggles)
Good, bad, God (where you saw good, bad and God in your life this week)
One word on the week/two weeks since last meeting
During calls, there should be a mix of personal, professional and spiritual components. That doesn’t mean there is equal time spent on each, but it does mean mentors lean into the Word when the Bible has authority on the matter.
Mentor and mentees share the responsibility of facilitating conversation and the direction of calls. Sometimes silence is good. It allows for processing and for mentees to prepare their thoughts. Each week doesn’t have to be prescriptive. If something happens in one of the mentees’ lives and that needs to be the focus for the week, that’s good. What you had planned can wait.
The first activity should be the lifeline activity. Plan to share first and have one to two mentees share weekly which means the group may be in this activity for two months or so, if you’re meeting every other week as expected.
The EDGE story is one that is created, curated, and carried out by each group individually. There is no set path to follow, and each group’s ending point will be different. Within that understanding, there is still room for mentors to carry out best practices that can ensure the ending point is one that makes the EDGE experience worth the time in inexplicable ways.
Things to Remember:
- Open and close each call with prayer.
- Hear updates from everyone early in call.
- Blend the dialogue and lean into the Word.
- Be okay with silence.
- Make yourself available.
Each call is designed to last 60 to 90 minutes.
Calls take place two times per month at a day and time that the mentor and group choose.
Video conferencing is preferred as it allows for a much more personal relationship to be established especially early on. Being able to share in emotional expressions and seeing one another in personal, physical spaces allows for a more committed sense of engagement.
- Some video service options include Google hangouts, Zoom, Join.Me, or Skype.
Scheduling your day and time
Using an online scheduling website makes determining when you meet very simple. There are many options out there. We’ve seen success and simplicity with doodle.com. You can find helpful how to guide on their website, as well.
The options for video conferencing seem endless and the different platforms have their own advantages and drawbacks. Below, we lay out some of the services being used by our current groups, but if you have another you prefer, please feel free to use it.
RightNow Media is like Netflix for Bible studies. It's an amazing resource for our mentors that provides content and curriculum for your group, while also serving as a source of personal development for both mentors and mentees.
The content covers everything from financial health and marriage to family, kids and teens. Those you invite will have the opportunity to listen, study and share the resource with friends and family as well. When other users are invited, our subscription cost does not change. The RightNow Media mobile app makes it convenient to listen on-the-go.
Getting Started with RightNow Media
- Accept the invitation you receive via email.
- Set up your login.
- Download the app to your phone (optional).
- Invite your mentees to RightNow Media.
- Let your mentees know the invitation is coming during your first call.
- Click CONTACTS in the upper right corner.
- A blue box will appear that says “Add New Contacts.”
- Enter the email addresses of your mentees.
- Choose their role as “User.”
When choosing LIBRARIES in the upper left, there are various categories of content including a channel for EDGE Mentoring. On this channel, there are subcategories and content that has been used or recommended by EDGE.
Launching Your Group
Mentor drives conversation, each member shares quick intro and background, set expectations for the group and establish preferred communication styles (text/phone/email); set up personal lifeline activity.
Next two to three calls
Developing your Personal Lifeline: Each member does the exercise and shares with the group; mentor goes first to model the example.
Note: During the lifeline activity, determine what common threads exists between your story and your mentees' stories. This connection will help direct where the group goes next. The thread could be something like difficulties at work, struggles with parenting or feeling distant from God. Whatever the topic may be, discovering it will give you a good place to start with your group. If you don’t know where to start, consider using the Topics Assessment tool.
After these first 3-4 calls, there is no set path you have to take. Each group is unique, and sometimes the mentees’ life experiences will drive what’s next. Sometimes the group will put whatever content was planned on hold to respond to a situation that one of the mentees may share with the group. All of these variances in paths are valid – and good! Ultimately, that’s what makes the EDGE experience. The mentor should try to connect the group back to the healthy group dynamics where possible.