Description of Mentored Relationships for Leaders and Congregations


The program of Mentored Relationships for Faith Formation Leaders intends to help leaders gain professional competence, develop practical theological perspectives for teaching and leading, acquire more comprehensive and realistic views of ministry in the Church’s formation ministries. Mentorship attempts to guide the mentee to deeper grasp of one’s vocational identity. 

The CT Conference hopes to empower churches to identify gifts of ministry within congregations, develop one’s sense of call, and understand one’s equipment for that particular or unique work. 

Mentorship is a new offering, drawing together study, practice and ministry partners for reflection and honing gifts.  Faith Formation Mentorship helps practitioners in many roles develop or enhance the skills and practical wisdom required for the church’s ministry of cultivating and nurturing discipleship. 

Description

CT UCC Mentored Relationships takes an individualized approach to developing leadership among our Faith Formers.  Faith Formation Leaders and Mentors, with the support of a Supervisor, allow Mentees and churches the opportunity to create individualized mentorships that prepare them particularly for the work to which they are called and needed.

Mentorship partners are subject to approval by the Supervisor, Minister of Faith Formation and Leadership, and the Mentorship Team.

There are four essential components to these mentored relationships:

  1. best practices tied to the areas of intended focus;
  2. a mentor qualified to oversee faith formation ministry practices in the local church setting;
  3. theological reflection with a theologically trained mentor on that ministry practice;
  4. regular meetings with other practitioners being mentored.

Financial Considerations

A compensation guideline, number of hours and a few additional expenses are recommended by the CT Conference UCC.  All financial arrangements are finalized in covenant between the church and the mentor.                                                                                                                              

Mentorship Parameter Information 

  •  A Mentored Relationship is a professional and spiritual offering that equips the mentee with guidance in the faith formation field of practices.
  • Mentorship responsibilities are set out in a 4-way Covenant developed and established among the mentee, mentor, mentee supervisor and church.
  • Mentees must apply learning in a particular focus area of leadership as established within the covenant.
  • Mentees must participate in a regular peer group, commonly known as Community of Practice or CoP for short.
  • Healthy boundaries in all relationships are essential for leaders.  It is highly recommended that mentees take Safe Conduct or Boundary training during the time of their mentorship.  Resources for such training can be found on the Faith Formation section of the CT UCC website.

Mentors will be selected and recommended from a wide variety of churches and faith settings.  Mentor training will be held at least once in a program year and more often as demand requires.

Mentees bring a diversity of gifts and potential for the teaching ministry of the church:

  • Leading worship, teaching children, guiding youth, as pastoral care partners to church families, collaborating with staff and laity, etc. in church!
  • Assisting with creation of liturgy, curriculum, church communications, etc.
  • Conducting leadership training in churches for particular Faith Formation expressions;
  • Teaching religious practice to any or all ages of church goers and providing safe and sacred spaces for developing disciples.

 

Adapted by A. Grant (based on YDS Supervised Ministry) and K. Ziel, Minister of Faith Formation and Leadership