Have you ever wanted to share your faith, disciple someone, or help lead someone closer to Jesus but didn’t know how to get started? Online mentoring can be a great way to get your feet wet and get started with evangelism and discipleship while having training and supervision to help you do the job well. “We give you evangelism training wheels,” says Sheldon Koytk, Director of The Life Project at Power To Change.
The Mentor Center is an exciting strategy implemented by The Life Project to mobilize volunteers in digital ministry. When someone finds content linked to the Mentor Center, which can be an article they found through a Google search, a video shared by a friend, a testimony on IssuesIFace.com, and more, they have the ability to speak to a mentor by submitting a form that is then routed to an appropriate mentor depending on the context.
The mentor who receives the communication reads what the person has to say, prays about it, and responds. Through the course of their conversations, the mentor offers resources that will help the mentee move to the next step in their spiritual journey. When possible, that journey involves connecting the mentee with a local church (see more about their church strategy at tmm.io/church). The mentor-mentee relationships can last anywhere from a single message to years.
The Life Project provides new mentors with training on how to read, pray, and respond to messages as well as how to share their faith. They are given simple templates that they can use to start conversations and keep them going. “In five minutes, they become a missionary,” Sheldon says.
The first few messages sent by new mentors are vetted by supervisors, who give feedback to help the new mentors grow. Throughout the journey, community leaders give feedback and give more training so mentors become more comfortable, confident, and experienced.
Online mentor Priscilla says she had long been “focused on putting God’s Word into the hands of other people, but becoming a mentor has taken it to the next level, where you are a little bit more into people’s lives and focusing on their needs and helping them to grow.” (Be sure to watch Priscilla’s video below about mentoring a drug-addicted prostitute).
Priscilla: Online Missionary from Power to Change on Vimeo.
“One thing I’ve learned is to never assume,” Sheldon says. “We’ll get messages that are hostile where the person has zero interest in God and is swearing at us. Within a week, they’re praying to accept Christ. Your goal is to take them to the next step, not necessarily to lead them to being a Christian right away.”
There are a few ways to get involved with the Mentor Center. If you’re interested in being a mentor, fill out an application at tmm.io to start the process. If you’re interested in using your tech skills to bring new functionality to the Mentor Center and take its platform to the next level, check out this project.