As a Mindful Spiritual Christian Mentor and Recovery Coach, I share the responsibility of providing guidance and wisdom to those new to a mindful based Christian recovery program. Helping shape their behavior in order to assist them in making better choices. Look to others engaged in sponsoring newcomers, leaders, and ensure you have adequate support to help facilitate a healthy relationship. Here is a list of strategies to help those desiring to sponsor:
Follow Established Traditions
Understand that testing limits is a healthy part of a newcomer’s personal growth and development within the program. In order to effectively sponsor and mentor – we need to have a plan in place to assist when moments of crisis occur. Individuals who are new to living a mindful Christian life need to know clearly what is expected of them and what potential risks and harm may be. This is based on the spiritual disciplines for the Christian life. Taking time to review these with those who are seeking someone to sponsor them will reinforce our expectations and help all individuals raise awareness of their behavior.
Praise them Regularly
Genuine praise has a powerful effect on behavior and assists in building confidence/self-esteem. People crave approval and acknowledgment of their achievements. This includes their efforts to work hard at following wise counsel and instruction. Make it a point to inform them that you notice their good efforts. Seek out opportunities to praise them at each meeting or sponsored event.
Be firm and compassionate in speech
Develop a tone of voice that conveys compassion, concern, and is yet firm when voicing warning regarding risky behavior. This requires some mindful and active listening practices. Do not give advice. Listen. Paraphrase, process with them so they know you understand where they are and be mindful of not so much what you are saying but how you are saying it.
One of the challenges in early recovery regards boundaries. Helping those new to recovery to establish and maintain boundaries begins with us setting the example of setting and maintaining our own boundaries. We set these boundaries to protect our own recovery and by doing so sets the example to empower them to do the same. Setting and maintaining boundaries reinforces our expectations and sends the message that we believe they are empowered to follow our wisdom and guidance.
Redirect or Separate
Sometimes mentors may be called upon to intervene in order to resolve interpersonal conflict between individuals. This may require our ability to redirect attention. It may also mean that we separate those who are having personal conflicts with others. Bear in mind that each person who comes to faith brings their own core false beliefs. Our goal is not to prevent individual curiosity and expression. It is our goal to assist ways in developing healthier coping skills to manage and resolve interpersonal conflicts and transform the way one thinks and renews our commitment to enduring and genuine faith
Allow for Natural Consequences
None of us want to see another suffer adverse consequences for poor choices. However, it is not our responsibility to rescue them from the consequences of their poor choices. Sometimes, it is best to allow the natural consequences of an action to take its own course. This is how we all grow and learn. Attempting to rescue an individual from the consequences of their poor choices diminishes the individual’s ability to grow and learn from their mistakes. It is also an opportunity to help individuals learn valuable lessons from those consequences and ways to move forward.