Our aim in the Lightbearers Discipleship Communities is to connect students with Jesus, His people and His plan for the ends of the earth. Mentoring is an important ingredient in this process as the mentoring relationship provides a caring relationship but also a vision and a challenge. Our students can see the way faith plays out outside of a college context, and men and women further down the road in following Jesus can give strategic counsel, encouragement and rebuke to students during a pivotal year in their lives. Finally, our hope is that a mentorship relationship effectively connects a student to a local church, thus serving as the vehicle for the local church to disciple its younger members and as an “on ramp” for the student to become an active member of a church.
We expect you to spend time with your student every 1-2 weeks (7-14 times per semester). Outside of this regular time, one of our staffers will communicate with you regarding their interaction with you throughout the year to provide coaching and receive feedback.
How do I get started?
We ask all mentors to begin their year with student by doing two things: 1. Studying a Lightbearers Bible study; and 2. Inviting the student to meet your family (as appropriate). Our goal for the Bible studies is threefold: 1. Introduce students to the value of Scripture; 2. Ensure that every student has heard the message of the Gospel; and 3. Allow mentors the chance to gauge the personal and spiritual maturity of the student. These Bible studies allow you to accomplish these goals, however, you are free to study these books in a manner that you feel is appropriate and true to the message of the text. Alternatively, if you have a standard discipleship plan in place that you want to take your student through, please let us know. Students enter the Lightbearers Discipleship Community at widely varying levels of maturity. Some students are excited about the prospect of meeting with a mentor while others enter a bit nervous and very quiet, having never done something like this before. Please use the conversation around Scripture to gain relational footing with the student and to ensure that the student grasps and believes the message of the Gospel. Our experience is that most students would “check the Christian box” but many students’ faith is either shallow or non-existent. In addition, we ask you to have the student meet your family (if you have family at home). It is valuable for them to see you “in real life,” and watch you interact with friends and family. Accomplishing these two goals will likely take a couple of months, and at that point, we encourage you to set a course of activity based on what your student needs. If you haven’t done so already, swap your stories of faith and life and then aim for a combination of serious, directed conversation and “as you go” discipleship. Keep reading for specific ideas.
What should we talk about?
The Gospel touches every area of life, so you can talk about any area, but focus on the things that would bring the student to maturity in Christ. In that vein, we’d ask you to at least check in with your student on things that often slip for college students:
- Relationship with roommates, family, girlfriend/boyfriend
- Ability and commitment to sharing their faith
- Spiritual disciplines (Bible study, prayer, confession of sin, giving, service, etc.)
- Ability to apply Scripture and keep in step with the Spirit
- Victory in defeating sin and growth in the fruit of the Spirit
- Biblical manhood (fighting passivity in life and lust) and womanhood (striving for contentment)
Keep in mind that we are after their hearts, not their actions, but the heart often does have fruit that we can see, so look for that. If you sense that a student is not a believer, state the Gospel clearly and appropriately.
As appropriate, exhort them with the Gospel and confront them if they are in sin. The two great commandments are to love God and to love people, so see how they’re doing in those two areas. Ask lots of questions and do a great job of listening.