by Dan Kriel

Mentoring is a great way for us to help many students while also bringing new adults into our ministry for a season.  I have both the student and the adult complete an application to be in a mentoring partnership. With that comes an expressed commitment to attend our Mentor Youth Dinner Night on the first Wednesday of the month. This serves as a great way for me to do a “set-up” for the month and set-the-table for the theme. For instance, with this being “Meeting 2” month, I did a short talk on Paul and the many relationships he had in Acts. I also made some sports references … Like the relationship with MJ and Dean Smith. (Y’know, less and less kids know how revolutionizing MJ was to the game of basketball- sad.)

We invite all our youth to the dinner and some use the night to invite friends. I ask mentors and youth to eat together. It becomes a very natural environment for interaction. Before going home, they try to set-up when they’ll meet again. I ask them to try to meet twice on their own off church grounds. One of those meetings is using “Be With” and the other is whatever the mentor and student can agree on.

Also, before our dinner, I ask the mentors to come 30 minutes early for a quick huddle of sharing some victories and it gives me a chance to coach them up a bit and pray. The huddle has a little bit of a locker room feel. We just started this in January and we plan to go to August. We’ll plan some special Mentor Youth outings a few times too … I’m hoping those become more organic and a few mentors take the lead with helping plan an event.

Student Playbook CoverThis is our 2nd season of doing a Mentor Youth program. Last year, I didn’t have any printed guide and basically wrote out my own theme and questions for mentors each month. I really like the “Be With” material and putting that in both sets of hands. It took some of our mentors a little bit to figure out how to use it … even with great explanation on my part, but I think they’re catching on now. Mentors reported to me that the students came prepared and understood how to use their journal.  I can already tell the game plan is bringing new energies to our youth ministry in both students, parents, and leaders.
To order Be With Mentoring Playbooks for your student ministry, visit

DANDan Kriel is a Youth and Associate Pastor at Gettysburg Foursquare and is a Coach with LEAD222.  He is married and has three children.