Research and Biblical Support

Research Supporting 1:5 Circles of Care:

Our 1:5™ Circles of Care is not made-up out of thin air. It is a program that is supported by outside research. We believe in this program enough that we have recently entered into a partnership with the Fuller Thrive Center in order to conduct our own research at VCS. More to come on this new research.

Search-Institutes 40 Developmental Assets[1]

The framework of Developmental Assets combines a research-based approach to child and youth development with practical, actionable ways that communities can work together to prepare young people for success in some type of college, a career, and citizenship.

The Developmental Assets are broken into two major categories; External Assets and Internal Assets. The External Assets lists four major categories: support, empowerment, boundaries & expectations, and constructive use of time. Three out of four of these major categories that are needed for an adolescent to develop into a person who thrives require the presence of mentors in the adolescent’s life.

  1. Support through Other Adult Relationships are needed. Research tells us that in order to thrive a “Young person receives support from three or more nonparent adults.”
  2. Empowerment comes when a Community Values Youth. In order to thrive a “Young person perceives that adults in the community value the youth.”
  3. Boundaries & Expectations are essential through Adult Role Models. In order to thrive a “Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.”

Search-Institutes Thriving Indicators[2]
The Search Institute has developed 15 Thriving Indicators based on positive outcomes rather than negative ones. In this list that deals with the “constructive behaviors, postures, and commitments that societies value and need in youth”, we can see how research promotes the need for positive mentor/support relationships. The Thriving Indicators tell us that adolescents need support in the following areas: Family, Friends, School, Neighborhood, Youth Organizations and Religious Congregations. In other words, having adults that support the student from all areas of life is beneficial.

The 14th Thriving Indicator speaks of the active role a person can take in shaping their life context: “Young person seeks and acts on adult guidance, studies or practices, and takes other actions to develop their sparks and fulfill their potential.”

The 15th Thriving Indicator addresses the active response needed from adults to further a student’s “spark” in life:“How often adults do concrete things to motivate, enable, and push young people to develop their sparks and connect them to others who can help.”

Sparks & Mentors
“What we found [from research] is this: compared to youth without sparks, youth with sparks who also have several people who know and support their sparks.”[3]

  • Have higher grades is school
  • Have higher school attendance rates
  • Are more likely to be socially competent
  • Are more likely to be healthy physically
  • Are more likely to volunteer to help other people
  • Are more likely to be good stewards of the earth and its resources
  • Are more likely to have a sense of purpose
  • Are more likely to report that “I am on the road to a hopeful future”
  • Are less likely to experience depression
  • Are less likely to engage in acts of violence toward others

[1] See “40 Developmental Assets.pdf” for more info or visit them on line at

http://www.search-institute.org/what-we-study/developmental-assets

[2] See “thriving-indicators.pdf” for more information.

[3] Sparks; How Parents Can Help Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers. by Peter L. Benson (pg. 12)

Biblical Examples of Mentorship

Mentorship began long before we had modern research. The idea of mentorship, or as the bible terms it, discipleship, is something that is reflected throughout scripture. Below are some mentor relationships & scriptures to help.

Mentor

Mentee

Scriptural Reference

Notes

Jethro

Moses

Exodus 18

Father-in-law advises his son

Moses

Joshua

Deuteronomy 31:1-7; 34:9

Passing along the “torch”

Eli

Samuel

1 Samuel 3

Following in his footsteps

Samuel

Saul

1 Samuel 15

Neglected counsel

Samuel

David

1 Samuel 16

Revealed purpose/calling

Nathan

David

2 Samuel 12

Difficult counsel

Elijah

Elisha

1 Kings 19:19-21; 2 Kings 2

Revealed calling & continued mentoring

Daniel

Nebuchadnezzar

Daniel 2

Wisdom from all ages

Naomi

Ruth

Ruth

Loyalty & pursuit of a mentor

Mordecai

Esther

Esther

Difficult counsel

Priscilla/Aquila

Apollos

Acts 18

Married couple as mentors

Jesus

Disciples

The Gospels

Numerous examples

Barnabas

Paul

Acts 15

Mentorship & disagreement

Paul

Timothy

Acts 16; 1 & 2 Timothy

Long term mentorship

Paul

Titus

Gal. 2; 2 Cor. 8, 12; Titus

Mentee is sent out w/ purpose

Scriptures promoting mentorship

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Proverbs 1:5 “Let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance.”

Proverbs 9:9 “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still;
teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.”

Proverbs 13:20Walk with the wise and become wise,
for a companion of fools suffers harm.”

Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.”

Proverbs 22:6Start children off on the way they should go,
and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

Psalm 71:18Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.”

Matthew 28:19-20Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Luke 10:1After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.”

Romans 15:14 “I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another.”

Philippians 4:9Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Hebrews 10:24-25And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.”

Hebrews 13:7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”

1 Peter 5:1-3To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.”