Saturday 26th January 2013 – Mentoring Training Day 9:30am to 4pm with Sharon Prior.
Sharon Prior is a qualified trainer, mentor and leadership coach. She also lectures at Cliff College and is a co-founder of The Sophia Network – a ministry that seeks to support and resource women in ministry/leadership. Her work takes her all over the UK where she mentors girls and women of all ages and focuses mainly on mentoring for leadership. Over the past 4 years Sharon has been doing this full time and says she is more passionate about mentoring than when she started, mainly because she “sees the results.”
9.45am – 10.00am Arrive and refreshments
10.00am – 10.15am Welcome and introductions
10.15am – 11.15am Session 1 – Biblical Basis and Foundations of Mentoring (STILLTOCOME – link to audio) (video)
11.15am – 11.30am Refreshments
11.30am – 12.30pm Session 2 Key Stages in Mentoring (STILLTOCOME – link to audio)
12.30pm – 1.15pm Lunch
1.15pm – 2.45pm Session 3 Key skills in Mentoring (STILLTOCOME – link to audio)
2.45pm – 3.15pm Refreshments
3.15pm – 4.00pm Session 4 The Person of the Mentor (STILLTOCOME – link to audio)
Download the Mentoring Training Booklet (STILLTOCOME)
A bit more from Sharon about her journey into full time coaching and mentoring…
What exactly IS mentoring – as you see it?
In the words of Leighton Ford ‘Mentoring is a dynamic intentional relationship in which one person (the mentor) shares their God given resources with another person (the mentee), so that the mentee becomes all that God intended them to be.’ This is truly Kingdom work!
What’s your personal experience of being mentored and what impact has that had on your own Mentoring?
I have been mentored all through my life, although I may not have called it that. I can think of teachers in my primary and secondary school who worked with me to help me achieve my full potential for my age and stage of development. When I started work there was a person there who took time to invest in me on a one-to-one basis to help me grow and develop as a person and in my profession as a Medical Microbiologist. When I became a Christian I was given a mentor by my church leader and it was great to have her there as a sounding board who asked me the hard, challenging questions. So I am adamant that mentoring is not a programme that you go through, but a why of life and that is what I try to put across in all the training I do. I have experienced mentoring as a lifestyle and this is what I want to see happen in our churches and in society, so that people don’t think they can just tick a box to say they have done it, but that they will continue throughout their life to live this way.
What impact has that had on your own Mentoring?
The men and women who have taken the time to invest in me have had a profound impact on the person I am today. I grew up in a very supportive working class family and my parents encouraged me to do well and reach my potential, but they did not always know how to help me achieve all that I aspired to become, so I needed mentors to give me a helping hand to get there. We all need someone who will believe in us and that is what I experienced through my years of growing up, but I know that not everyone does, so I want to inspire and empower others to ‘go for it’ when they are hesitant. To have the confidence to go where others may not have gone before, but most importantly to go where God is guiding them.
What motivates you about seeing Mentoring grow across the UK?
Seeing the results in my own work I can see that the more mentoring is developed in our society and I do believe the church should take a lead on this, the more we will be able to impact the lives of others in a positive way. As a co-founder of Sophia Network I have been involved in the training we have run on mentoring and this has been done around the country. It has been amazing to see people come to those days and go away inspired and motivated to see lives change as a result of the training. I would like to see an army of people around the country who are being mentored and who are mentoring others, so that we stop entertaining people within the church, but truly disciple them.
What would you like to see happen in the next 5 years..?
More and more girls and women involved in a mentoring relationship themselves and in turn that they would then be mentoring others. I believe that intentional one-to-one mentoring relationships can change people’s lives. It is clear from the Bible that Jesus believed and practiced these types of relationships and the world changed because of it. I would like to see young people and the not so young, understand who they are in Christ and go on to reach their God given potential.
What have been the biggest challenges facing what you have been doing?
Time! Mentoring is labour intensive and so we need more people involved if we want to make an impact nationally. The other thing is that it is not an ‘up front – get the credit’ kind of role. Mentoring goes on behind the scenes and so we have to be prepared for this. Mentoring will not make you famous and in our celebrity culture mentoring is not always a popular choice for those Christians who want the limelight.
What advice would you give yourself if you were to do it all again?
Be confident and step out of your comfort zone much more. Trust that God wants you to be and achieve so much more than you can imagine – so step out and follow him.
What’s your favourite coaching exercise or mentoring question/ technique?
I don’t really have a favourite question or technique, as we are all individuals and so when I am listening to someone the favourite question will be the one that is right for them at that moment. I always pray for wisdom and discernment before a mentoring session and ask God to give me the right questions at the right time. It is very important that we are not treating people as if they are on a conveyor belt, but see them as an individual who God loves and has a plan for. So for me no two mentoring sessions are the same – at the end of the day the session is about the mentee and not about me, the mentor. The Mentor is only there to ask questions and help the mentee to think for themselves.
Is there a bible verse or something that God has said to you recently that has particularly encouraged you or informed your mission?
I think the verse that sums up what God has called me to do is Romans 12:1-2. My prayer is that the people I mentor will not be conformed by the power of the world, but will be transformed by the renewing of their minds and if I can play a small part in the mission that God is involved in here then I want to take every opportunity to work with him to see lives changed and people transformed. I believe this will happen not through another church programme, but through living a particular way of life and being involved in mentoring as I go about my daily routines.