Equip, a new mentorship program at John Brown University, launched recently in Mayfield dormitory. 23 mentees and 12 mentors have signed up to take part in this semester-long discipleship program.
About three weeks ago, participants found out whom they had been grouped with and met their new mentorship partners. Since then, mentorship groups of two, three and four have been meeting regularly.
According to an Equip factsheet, the vision of the program is “for Mayfield to grow into a wonderful community of women pouring into other women and creating accountability.”
Meagan Ranz, a senior family and human services major and assistant residence director (ARD) of Mayfield, and Haley Maguire, a junior communication major, co-founded Equip.
“God has given me a passion for discipleship over the past year, and last semester I was praying about how I could bring discipleship to JBU. One day, Meg and I were talking in her room and the idea of a discipleship program in Mayfield came up,” Maguire said.
Ranz said discipleship is something she has been passionate about for several years. She made it one of her goals as ARD to bring discipleship to Mayfield.
“It is vital that we always have a hand out to someone further along than us and behind to someone not quite as far along,” Ranz said.
When Maguire mentioned mentorship to Ranz, they realized they had a shared desire and started planning and praying about how to foster God’s plan for Mayfield.
After sharing their vision with Mayfield residents and creating an online application for those interested, Ranz and Maguire prayerfully paired and grouped mentors with mentees. All the mentors and mentees then met in the Mayfield basement to get to know each other. Here, Ranz and Maguire passed the baton on to them to begin meeting on a regular basis.
Mallory Spangler, a sophomore family and human services major, is in a mentorship group of four. She is both a mentor and a mentee. Spangler said she believes God calls Christians to train younger Christians and seek advice from older ones.
“It’s pretty necessary for community to be happening among believers,” Spangler said.
Spangler said she was initially concerned that the assigned grouping would feel forced, but said it hasn’t been an issue.
“I feel like we click,” Spangler said about her group.
Jason Lanker, assistant professor of youth ministries, did his doctorate thesis on mentoring. Lanker applauded Maguire’s and Haley’s efforts to create a mentorship program in Mayfield.
Lanker said research shows that the most important factors in mentoring success are whether a mentor and mentee are attached by a bond of emotion and shared activity.
Mentee Abigail Danley, a freshman art and illustration major, and mentor Tori Hodge, a sophomore marketing major, said they both already had an emotional connection and a shared activity when they went into their mentorship relationship.
They were good acquaintances and had an art class together, but now that they are in a mentor relationship, their primary shared activities are getting coffee together, studying the same book of the Bible and going through the same daily devotional book. Both Danley and Hodge agreed they are enjoying their mentorship relationship. Hodge said because they know each other well enough, she feels confident that “this is going to work.”
Ranz said she and Maguire are excited to see God work in each group.
“We are just excited to be a part of what He is doing in Mayfield and where it might go in the future,” Ranz said.