Preaching Mentors & Sponsoring Churches
The Academy of Preachers is a national, ecumenical organization working to Identify, Network, Support and Inspire young people in their call to Gospel preaching. To accomplish this mission, we must make sure our young people are connected to a network of support on a regular basis. This is why we encourage each Young Preacher to enlist the support of a Sponsoring Church or Institution as well as a Preaching Mentor or Coach.
What is a Sponsoring Church or Institution?
The Sponsoring Church or Institution is the gathering, ministering, worshipping community where a Young Preacher is welcomed, affirmed, supporting, and encouraged. This group of people love you and pray for you. Every Christian needs this kind of faith community, especially those pursuing God’s call to a vocation of Gospel preaching. Some Young Preachers are more closely connected to an institution (college, university, seminary, monastery, or abbey). This is often true during educational years when the institution includes a worshipping community. Such an institution may also serve as a sponsor to the National Festival of Young Preachers.
As you prepare for the National Festival of Young Preachers, we ask that you contact the Sponsoring Church or Institution that you name in your registration and ask them to endorse your participation. This endorsement may come in the form of a public setting (like a church service) or in an official setting (such as a meeting of deacons, trustees, council, or committee).
We also encourage you to ask your Sponsoring Church or Institution for financial support to fund expenses for the National Festival. This financial support may come in the form of a scholarship, offering, or special funds to which your Sponsoring Church or Institution has access.
The Academy of Preachers will also reach out to the Sponsoring Church or Institution you list on your registration form and encourage them to support your participation in the National Festival of Young Preachers.
What is a Preaching Mentor or Coach?
A Preaching Mentor or Coach is a person who provides instruction, guidance, and support to the young person pursuing a call to Gospel preaching. This person may be a friend, parent, grandparent, professor, pastor, bishop, or minister.
We encourage all Young Preachers attending the National Festival of Young Preachers to find and secure a Preaching Mentor or Coach. This person should help you prepare for the National Festival by helping you understand your selected preaching text and listening to your sermon and providing feedback; accompany you to the National Festival and introduce you when you are called upon to preach; and provide you with immediate feedback on your preaching at the National Festival.
We hope this coaching conversation will occur both at the Festival and intermittently after it concludes. Your Mentor can function as an on-going coach and advisor as you develop into the Preacher God has called you to be.
What do other Young Preachers have to say about Mentoring? Check out our Features Blog for thoughts on Preaching Mentors from past National Festival Participants.