God works in each person’s life in unique ways, and rarely leads individuals down the same exact path. While one alumni may be working through loneliness once starting their career, another may be facing the challenge of an unfair boss, while another is still on the search for a job.
In each (scenario – we need a different word here), God has a specific work He wants to do in their life showing them His power, His presence, and His work. Adherence to a curriculum often muddies the water and often hinders real growth.
(Somewhere I want to include a thought: a curriculum fosters an interesting dependence on something else rather than personal responsibility. This needs to be developed more.)
Everyday Work Provides the Curriculum for Spiritual Growth
Let’s consider David, who was able to learn many significant things about God’s power through his “entry-level job” as a shepherd that prepared him to become king of Israel and be called a “man after God’s own heart.”
David didn’t need a curriculum to develop his knowledge of God. Work provides an excellent context to learn skills that serve others and about the Lord himself, as well as see His direct involvement in our lives.
God used everyday experiences in David’s early years on the job to build his faith and skills in preparation to be king of Israel. God will certainly use the everyday experiences in our alumni’s lives to do the same.
Through the work of the Spirit and a relationship with a mentor discussing their daily word-related challenges, alumni learn to trust God to work in their day-to-day lives.
So where do you start as a mentor?
Mentors usually lean on a curriculum to guide conversation and growth, but building a deep friendship should be the first priority.
- If an alumni is facing a real challenge at work not addressed by the curriculum, it can lead them to think God doesn’t have answers for their life now.
- Curriculum does not guarantee results. While the lessons often come across as “Do X and you will get Y,” that’s not how God works in individuals’ lives.
- If your mentee has specific questions, take the full time to discuss that issue instead of a lesson that doesn’t meet their needs.
- Give specific examples from your life where the Lord met your needs
God is doing specific work in each alumni’s life, and a predefined curriculum can’t adapt to fit their situation. When used, it wastes precious time covering topics not relevant to one alumni’s life, or glosses over what is critical for another. Formulas don’t give you wisdom, teach you to walk by faith or help you navigate new challenges.
Daily life is enough content for discussion, building a personalized “curriculum.”