Current Articles | Archives | Search

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Faith-based tutoring/mentoring strategies that any group can benefit from
By nsbyrer @ 4:34 PM :: 9325 Views :: Article Rating :: Planning
One person trained twelve human beings who went o­n to so influence the world that time itself is now recorded as being before (B.C.) or after (A.D.) his existence.

This quote was taken from the introduction of the book "Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom for Visionary Leadership", written by Laurie Beth Jones and published by Hyperion.It shows how much power o­ne person has to change the world. We hope it inspires church leaders to use there communications systems to change the future for millions of at-risk youth throughout America, and the world.

The Tutor/Mentor Connection's Interfaith Marketing Strategy

T/MC maps show neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of poverty in Chicago. They also show the locations of known tutor/mentor programs. Our Program Locator Directory includes contact information for these programs. Anyone who wants to help, as a volunteer, donor, business partner or marketer can call any of these programs.

The T/MC also has maps showing the location of Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Baptist and Presbyterian Churches in Chicago. Such a map shows which are in poverty neighborhood and which are not. We'd like to help faith groups develop evangelism strategies which would lead to a more active, and strategic, role of every church in every faith group in helping inner city kids be part of total quality, comprehensive o­ne-on-one tutor/mentor programs.

View this Power Point to learn how the TMC seeks to use maps.

1) Many tutor/mentor programs already operate in church buildings

2) Many churches are in neighborhoods where other programs operate and/or where more programs are needed

3) Every church has a weekly communications system which reaches its congregation, and through its congregation can reach throughout the city

4) Different faith groups have higher concentrations of churches in different parts of the city

5) Every city faith group has o­ne or more city/suburban counterparts who could be a source of revenue, volunteers, equipment, etc.

Every time a church confirms that it hosts a tutor/mentor program, we can put a flag o­n o­ne of these maps showing that this church hosts a program.. Every church who commits to a year-round communications program, and sends the T/MC a printed bulletin demonstrating its communications in action, can also be identified o­n a map with a flag.

Our goal is that over a year, we see a higher of percentages of flags o­n the maps, particularly in poverty areas. This will demonstrate how many faith groups are "evangelizing" from the pulpit and in their newsletters for effective tutor/mentor program development. By mapping this information we will also demonstrate, from faith group to faith group, which has been more responsive in taking ownership of this campaign.

Our challenge is o­ne of awareness. People who could be volunteers, donors, business partners, etc. have so many messages cluttering their busy lives that they don't hear the fragmented calls for help coming from hundreds of tutor/mentor programs and the children and families they serve.

Getting faith communities to present a "tutor/mentor message, with a web site entry point, such as " at least four times a year, can dramatically increase the reach, frequency and consistency of our call for help.

Four times a year, we invite the minister/priest/rabbi to include a ?support tutor/mentor programs? message in the sermon and in the church newsletter.

At the same time we ask that the minister/priest/rabbi encourage church members to take the message to their company, professional group, fraternity/sorority or alumni group, and to their local newspaper, to have it reprinted and redistributed to a larger audience.


1) late August (with a ?be a volunteer? message to support Back- to-School volunteer recruitment)

2) first Sunday in November (Tutor/Mentor Week - give recognition to students, volunteers and leaders who have joined such programs);

3) mid February - ( profile volunteers, tell of success stories, the need for volunteers to be leaders, the need for reinforcements, etc.);

4) late April (encourage participation in the Tutor/Mentor Conference); give praise for the work volunteers, students and programs have done over the past year, talk about the need for continuing this work during the next year

In each of these messages, include the T/MC web site of, because that is where their members can go for more information of what it takes to build and sustain a great mentoring program.

By sending the same message at the same time each year from hundreds of faith groups, media and other civic organizations we become like o­ne big choir. Because we're singing the same song, we make powerful, motivational, music, not just loud noise. The more faith groups and others who join in this message as the same time each year, the more likely our message will be heard and responded to by those we seek to engage in this effort or help through this effort.

Send copies of church bulletins to the Tutor/Mentor Connection, 800 W. Huron, Chicago, Il. 60622. The T/MC will collect copies of the ?bulletin/sermon? and report, by denomination, how many churches are implementing this campaign.


Most advertisers know that a single message, not matter how powerful, will not reach all the people who might respond, or cause those who are reached to change behavior. Faith leaders have understood this for two centuries. That's why they repeat the same message over and over to their communities.

The o­nly way we will ever reach and help the millions of youth in America who need extended families of support is to repeat our message over and over to those who would be part of this chain of support.

We look forward to receiving copies of faith community newsletters and bulletins to demonstrate this strategy in action.

"Before you launch a "program" in your church, parachurch, or other organization, take sufficient time to investigate and decide what mentoring strategy is right for you." This is advice G. Brian Jones and Linda Phillips-Jones offer in an article titled "Should You Implement a Christ-centered Mentoring Initiative?" This article is posted o­n their web site and the T/MC encourages every faith leader to read and reflect o­n what it says. Then build a strategy that create an understanding of mentoring in your congregation that leads to a more sophisticated strategy for mentoring support. The web site is

Faith Communities who Support Cabrini Connections and the Tutor/Mentor Connection:

This paper titled, "Chicagoland Youth and Adult Training Center: Building Strong Relationships is an example of an innovative Chicago partnership between faith-based organizations,business, government and education organizations.

These are churches who have made financial contributions to support the Tutor/Mentor Connection and Cabrini Connections. We thank them and encourage others to support this work. 

? St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Sycamore, Il. - The Margaret Connection 

? First United Church of Oak Park, Il

? Christ Church Benevolence Committee, Winnetka, Il. (Funds are raised through an annual Rummage Sale held in October. Visit the church web site for details

Resources for Faith-Based Tutor/Mentor Organizations: These are a few examples of what some faith based organizations are doing. Visit the Links section to add more.

United Voices for Children (UVC) -

Christian Community Development Association</FONT>

AC4, Association of Christian Community Computer Center -

Poverty Services of the Catholic Diocese of Southern Illinois


Faith based leaders are encouraged to launch a discussion forum o­n this web site to innovate strategies that engage more faith leaders in the evangelism needed to make comprehensive, volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs available in more places.


News by Category

Google News

In the National Media...
Dallas Morning News
- Feb 16, 2008
- Feb 16, 2008
She raised thousands of dollars to support tutoring and mentoring of poor, struggling students. Eventually, she started another nonprofit, the I Am That I ...
Southtown Star
- Feb 17, 2008
- Feb 17, 2008
"Being a tutor was interesting because I was able to help a student go from a D to a B in one of his classes," Ramirez said. ...
, UK
- Feb 12, 2008
- Feb 12, 2008
CLE professional staff members work closely with students to provide structured tutoring sessions, independent living skills training and social outings. ...
Chicago Tribune
- Feb 10, 2008
- Feb 10, 2008
Olcer learned how to prepare raw food at Cousin's restaurant in Chicago, tutored by the Turkish chef Mehmet Ak. On a trip to India, she brought greens that ...
powered by