Young Adults & Mentorship….a Rebuttal

So, a friend of mine and a well-respected person who works in youth/young adult ministry (my older sister!) brought up some interesting comments and quote on the subject.  The stance here is this:  Young adults don’t necessarily need or crave mentoring from older adults.  Young adults are looking for and desiring something above that – perhaps validation, which is what I think these the following two ideas suggest.  I, of course, see the merits and downsides to both.  While being valued and validated for one’s contribution and abilities, I am not so sure that such a standing within a community or society should be merely a given because, ie. “You have something to say.”  A simpler, and perhaps more clearer, way to say this is, “What value do we place on wisdom based on experienced gained through the years?” 

Thought #1:  “Young adults are not interested in receiving mentoring from older adults – are boomers open to ‘reverse mentoring‘ from millenials?” – Matthew Bolz-Weber (Via Adam Butler’s blog on

Thought #2:  “Interesting… I need to think about it. Our consultant talks about providing leadership opportunities, and being uber clear about values up front, so young adults immediately know what it is that they might beleive in or belong to in the church. Mentoringis an ok idea, but they are more ready to contribute and work as a team. They have been mentored as teenagers and in college.. they are ready to do.” – Amy Fuller (Director of Youth Ministry, Woodbury/Peaceful Grove UMC, Woodbury MN)

The conclusion I draw then, is that young adults should be put in leadership positions that have them intentionally working along side and with old adults.  And so in today’s church and society: “How do you see that playing out?”  “Can it work and how?”

Another note: Sad news in the North Minneapolis community I live in.  A 76-year old woman, a known peace activist in the neighborhood was found dead in her home.  Authorities are ruling it a homicide.  Lots of thoughts in my head, which I will share here in the next day or two, but for now, I remain with a heavy heart.  The Minneapolis StarTribune has the stories here:


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Filed under Children, Youth, Family & Young Adult Ministry, Leadership

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