Making The Most Of Your Story

men together; men retreat

How to Make the Most of Your Story Retreat

Posted by Regi Campbell on March 12, 2024

The Story Retreat is one of the most important and crucial times your mentoring group will spend together. It will kickstart your mentoring group, allowing your mentees to make deep connections fast. After you share your story at the first meeting, your group will gather for a Story Retreat, where each of your mentees will tell their story. It’s your job as the mentor to tee them up for this by authentically and vulnerably sharing your story. What you model is what they’ll deliver.

One of the main goals of this retreat is for everyone in the group to open up and reveal to everyone else where they’ve come from and where they are now from a spiritual perspective. As they tell their faith stories, they’ll reveal to you in real-time how much of the Gospel they really get.

The other main goal of your Story Retreat is to help your mentees understand and live out of their identity as children of God. This will be a season-long (and really a lifelong) endeavor for your mentees, but it starts at Story Retreat, which is why identity is the topic that pairs with Story Retreat.

After decades of intentionally mentoring the younger next generation in Radical Mentoring groups, I think two things are hardest to get across, and both are related to identity…

  1. God loves them so much that He chose to adopt them as His children. 

    Grasping this fact at the heart level allows them to relax in their own skin and to stop feeling like they must perform for their earthly father, their boss, or their friends. Plus, they can begin to relate to God in a different way. They’ll pray real, personal prayers. They’ll know we’re never alone, never unloved, never at risk.

  2. God forgave them when they became Christians. 

    He truly forgave them and gave them a fresh start, and they are truly different people on the inside. Satan will constantly try to convince them, “Hey, you’re still the same.” But they’re not. They are truly new creations in Jesus. They don’t just have a conscience that grabs them after they’ve messed up. They have the Holy Spirit, who will not only convict them when they’re about to mess up but will inspire them to elevate their thinking, their decisions, their values, and their relationships.

Keep notes on what each mentee says as they tell their story so you can help them see themselves clearly when you’re with them one-on-one. Part of being a great mentor is being a tape recorder, a mirror, and a translator, “Here’s what I hear you saying about yourself. Is that how God sees you?” “Maybe you could replace those lies with the truth of how God really sees you, right now!” These are the words of challenge from a great mentor.

As they tell their stories and you go through the Story Retreat, try to get these two main points across this month. Just these two:

  • You are God’s adopted son or daughter. He’s your Father, and He’s there for you.
  • You have been truly and totally forgiven for your past sins.

Mentor Tip: The last goal for your Story Retreat is to create space for your mentees to have fun together and bond, so leave room for some activities and time to just be together and enjoy one another’s company. It will pay dividends throughout your mentoring season.