What do you actually do when you meet with the person you’re mentoring? We address that here, in conjunction with another video called The Three-Thirds Meeting Plan. FLEX is an acronym that describes a method for how to use a lesson or topic.
Find a Topic.
How do you find a topic for study and discussion? There are several sources to choose from. You can try a book or booklet. You can read through a book or section of the Bible together. You can find a presentation on YouTube. We strongly recommend the content library here at Faith After Mormonism. This is content that has been put together by former Latter-day Saints specifically for former Latter-day Saints. It’s easy to use. You don’t have to be an expert on the content, because the video does that for you. Related topics are suggested so you can easily find more content for follow-up conversations. And it include discussion questions to help you know what to say.
One good place to start is with our Core Series. These short series deal with some of the most typical issues former Mormons are facing. (There are other series available as well.) You can also find individual topics, by browsing through the basic Categories:
Or you can use the Topical Index. At some point, It’s a good idea to let the person you’re mentoring do the browsing and choose something they’re interested in.
We also recommend reading the Bible together, topically or book-by-book. The Word of God is living and active and has its own intrinsic spiritual power. Even if you use a topic from the Faith After Mormonism library, be sure to take time to read the Bible verses together.
Whatever source you use, early on, you will probably most address your mentoree’s felt needs and life journey. There’s always a place to address those things, but over time, you will transition to topics that move the person forward through our four mentoring goals.
- Establishing a relationship with Jesus.
- Helping trust in God through the Bible.
- Developing a lifestyle of obedience to Jesus.
- Becoming a mentor / disciple-maker themselves
Of course, all of this assumes that as you choose topics, you are listening to your mentoree and you are listening to God.
[Related: Introduction to the Mentoring Process]
Learn About the Topic.
Whatever topic you choose, both of you will learn about it on your own time, in advance of your meeting. This helps you make the most of your meeting time. More than that, it involves your mentoree actively in the process. They take ownership for their own study, and everyone comes prepared.
If you’re watching a video, send them the link in advance. If you’re reading an article or book chapter, assign it before you leave the meeting. The same goes for a chapter or section of the Bible.
EXplore the Topic Together.
When you get together, it’s easy to get the conversation going because you’ve both done the work. (This fits into the Look Up portion of the Three-Thirds Meeting Plan.) During the conversation, ask a lot of questions. Listen carefully to the concerns and questions your mentoree has.
[Related: The Three-Thirds Meeting Plan]
You don’t have to follow the discussion questions in the lesson exactly. They help to provide some structure, and to keep things moving. They make it easier for you to prepare. But it’s up to you to learn to use them skillfully and with discernment. You don’t have to use all of them, or in the order given. You can write your own. A formal question from the list might lead to a series of informal questions. Don’t be afraid to go off on tangents – within reason. Often it’s the tangents where the most dynamic learning takes place.
Be sure to find ways to practically apply the topic to your lives. You should be applying what you studied just as much as your mentoree.