In light of the many stories we hear about youth who are abandoning the church, CAYM is helping the Church of God in South Carolina develop their Mentor1 program where teenagers desiring to become Christian leaders will be mentored by pastors and other church leaders. Research indicates that youth stay connected to Christ if they have intergenerational relationships and are involved in intergenerational ministry.
This denomination is seeking to reverse the trend of losing youth by mentoring young men and women at an age when they are making key decisions that may effect the rest of their lives. CAYM and the Church of God designed a pilot project utilizing best practices to make mentoring safe, effective, and sustainable. This first step involves mentoring 25 youth who attend camp this summer with the long-term goal of instituting mentoring in their 300 congregations throughout the state.
Many denominations struggle to recruit young ministry leaders and, often, those who feel a call from the Lord lack access to ministerial experiences during their youth. Mentor1 is an attempt to bridge the gap by allowing exposure to meaningful practices within the confines of a safe, relational experience. These are exciting days for South Carolina youth who are the state’s future Christian leaders and we expect to see growth and learning for both mentor and mentee through these relational matches.
Mentor1 will target 16–18 year-old youth who sense a calling to serve our Lord in ministry. Each young person will be matched with either their pastor or a ministerial leader from their church to discover the mentee’s calling and practice that calling in real life experiences.