Book three of my summer holiday reading was Models, Mentors, and Messages: Blueprints of Urban Ministry by Rene Rochester. Mentoring has been a buzz word in youth ministry over the last few years and whilst there are many variations on what is mentoring, the concept of deeper relationships with young people that take them further certainly makes sense.
The book is written from the perspective a African American women in an urban ministry and that means I found some bits harder than others to translate across. Dr. Rochester presents a vision for how communities can change this pattern and plant redemptive and sustainable urban ministries, by looking at the developmental stages of Jesus’ life, focusing on how family, his heavenly Father, the Jewish community, and neighboring nations were used to shape his holy destiny. One of her big concepts is that the most authentic models are individuals who have wrestled through life’s challenges and learned to trust God in difficult situations, and so by empowering urban students today and showing them how to nurture one another in faith, you can help create sustainable ministries in which each generation will model for the next how to follow Jesus.
I’m glad I’ve read the book, but it won’t be one I’ll be putting near the top of my list for others to read, it spoke more about community work than mentoring itself.