Jesus was a mentor for his disciples, just as Moses was for Joshua and Barnabas for Paul and Mark. Apart from their parents, young people in particular need adults who are relevant in their lives and serve as living role models. Therefore, churches not only foster informal intergenerational relationships, but specifically train mentors to be able to accompany others on their spiritual journey. “The classic definition of mentoring is that of an older experienced guide who is acceptable to the young person and who can help ease the transition to adulthood by a mix of support and challenge. In this sense it is a developmental relationship in which the young person is inducted into the world of adulthood” (Kate Philip, “Mentoring and Young People” in Encyclopedia of Informal Education, August 2000). Youth who have relationships with caring adults are less likely to engage in at-risk behavior, are more self-confident and more likely to help others compared to those who do not have such relationships. Consequently, mentors in the church can help children, teenagers and youth, as well as newly baptized members and interested guests to grow spiritually and master the challenges of life. In the same way, young people can also be mentors for older people.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.