If you already have a groups model that’s working, great, Radical Mentoring isn’t meant to replace that, but rather to supplement it. Your typical small groups probably meet weekly or biweekly for an hour or two. Attendance isn’t required, and commitment is likely low. That’s okay, there’s a place for that.
Radical Mentoring is meant to be a next step up for spiritual growth – with higher commitment, longer, less frequent meetings, and more intentionality. It’s a place to dive deeper and engage with an older, wiser mentor, not just peers.
The result is that those who’ve gone through Radical Mentoring take what they’ve learned back to their small groups, raising the level of intentionality and vulnerability of those groups. They may even want to start leading a small group. It’s a win-win.
One of our partner churches uses this paradigm:
101: Events – periodic events (i.e., men’s hike, women’s gathering, etc.) aimed to inspire people and encourage them to take a next step and serve or get into a group.
201: Small Groups – weekly small groups aimed to help people “learn about God, pray, eat, laugh, and share life” with others in the church community
301: Mentoring Groups – high commitment groups that meet for three hours, once a month, for ten months, aimed to “yield a deeper walk with God and a biblical perspective on many aspects of life” under the guidance of older, wiser co-mentors.