Meet Lloyd Rindels

As the Director of Training and Leadership Development, Lloyd Rindels leads the Shelterwood Mentor program. “Working at Shelterwood with the entire staff, teachers and residential directors has been such a rich and rewarding experience. Everyone here loves God and loves what they do even when it is hard.” Meet Lloyd Rindels, and learn how he works to cultivate Mentors at Shelterwood.

What he loves most about Shelterwood: “I love the impact that Shelterwood has on the lives of teenagers who are struggling and how we help their families,” Lloyd says. “I really believe in what God has us doing, and it makes a difference.”

Before Shelterwood: A veteran of the United States Air Force, Lloyd earned his degree in education from the University of Arizona, and then he worked in the Arizona House of Representatives. In 1987, Lloyd made a career shift and went into vocational ministry as a pastor and served at a church in Phoenix. Upon relocating to Kansas City, he and his wife, Brenda, started a discipleship training program at Kansas City Fellowship church called Master’s Commission, and Lloyd went on to become the Director of the All Nations Training Center at that church. Lloyd and Brenda even lived in Belfast, Ireland, for a year, recruiting for the training center. Back in Kansas City, they planted New Day Church, where Lloyd is the Senior Pastor today.

What brought him to Shelterwood: Lloyd and Shelterwood CEO Jim Subers have a long history together, initially meeting each other while on staff at the same church. “I have been involved for most of my vocational career with training young adults and leadership development,” Lloyd says. “I have not only directed training programs, but built them from the ground up.” So when the opportunity to assist with the Shelterwood mentor program arose in 2014, Lloyd gladly accepted. In 2016, Lloyd became the Shelterwood Director of Training and Leadership Development.

The Shelterwood Mentor Program: Mentors, who are also called Direct Care Staff and Teen Mental Health Staff, are at the heart of Shelterwood’s relational approach. As they work with teens, Mentors lay the groundwork for the social, academic and spiritual growth of the students. For Mentors, this is not just a job or occupation. This is a calling, and Mentors make a profound impact on the teens in their care.

Day in the life: Lloyd is focused on the development of Shelterwood Mentors. “I am very involved in the ongoing training and leadership development with our mentors, giving them both advice and career counseling,” Lloyd explains. “I make sure that they are able to learn and adapt to the roles they have as they mentor teens.” His days involve giving advice, coaching, helping Mentors think critically, problem solve and, ultimately, minister Jesus to the Shelterwood teens.

How Mentors grow at Shelterwood: While Mentors help teens grow, they are growing too. “Mentors grow both spiritually and professionally during their time here,” Lloyd says. “Whenever we serve, we always grow as well, maybe even more than the people we are helping.” Spiritually, Mentors can be involved in Bible studies and life studies and work with teens who are struggling with their faith. Professionally, Mentors receive extensive training. “Mentor training includes everything from becoming state certified to issue medication, to first aid and CPR training, to how to work with people who have behavioral and social challenges. Mentors’ professional development includes a whole list of skills and competencies.”

When he was a teen: “I grew up in a non-Christian home,” Lloyd recalls. “I had a difficult childhood and I am a Shelterwood kid without having the Shelterwood experience — but God found me. So I have always wanted to serve young adults and help them. In a sense, my whole life in ministry is giving back.”

Family: Lloyd and Brenda have been married for 43 years — “I could not have done anything that I have done without her!” Lloyd smiles. They have three children and five grandchildren. Their oldest son is a fighter pilot in the Air Force, their daughter is the Vice President of Strategic Development at Balance Point Corporation and their youngest son teaches English in Hamburg, Germany.

Outside work: “I am an avid fisherman, and any opportunity I have, I love to go fishing, especially when the weather is nice,” Lloyd says. He fishes at most of the regional lakes around Kansas City but also enjoys fishing in Iowa and Minnesota.

Best part of his role at Shelterwood: “I enjoy being able to watch our Direct Care Staff and our Mentors grow and successfully help our teenagers who are struggling. The end result of that is seeing teenagers restored to their families. I do not know of a greater reward than seeing parents and their child back in a good relationship, loving each other and loving God.”

Interested in becoming a Mentor? Learn more about Shelterwood Mentors and apply today!

Shelterwood Mentors: Serving Teens, Growing Spiritually

Shelterwood Mentors dedicate a year of their life to serving our teens as they journey towards restoration. Serving teens is a life-transforming experience, yet comes with unique challenges. For this reason, spiritual development is crucial in the mentoring journey. While mentors are developing teens, they are growing in their own spiritual walk.

“It can take an emotional toll doing this demanding work, so spiritual development is where we grow and find the strength we need to continue serving,” explains JJ Francis. He serves many roles at Shelterwood but most importantly is the Spiritual Development and Community Facilitator to our mentors.

Shelterwood Mentors are young adult men and women who are passionate about helping struggling teens and have a desire to grow in leadership and service in their own personal journey. Mentors, nicknamed “Bigs,” commit to the year-long life-on-life discipleship and hands-on ministry with teenagers. “We give teens grace when they mess up and teach them that they are not a failure and that they are well-loved. We are both their best friend and counselor,” JJ adds.

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While mentors work to develop teens, they are also growing in their own faith.

Rewarding work, certainly — but it isn’t easy, JJ explains. “Coming alongside our brothers and sisters as they face a myriad of issues, we also face our own challenges. In the process of serving and giving to others, mentors learn that God can use our service to build us in the process.”

Having served as a “Big” himself, JJ knows the unique challenges our mentors experience. The spiritual development program is designed to address the one-of-a-kind trials mentors face on the journey. Spiritual development for mentors includes Bible studies, small group discussions, recreation and more. In every aspect, mentors find encouragement from every member of the Shelterwood Team.

“We call each other to a higher standard, and when you have brothers and sisters in the same struggle, you realize you’re not alone in this,” he says. “This is a challenging role, so we need to nurture each other. We lift each other up in everything.”

To guide mentors through their journey, JJ and his team recently developed the “Mentor Discipleship and Leadership Program Guidebook.” The first portion of the guidebook outlines the stages of their journey, from orientation through completion of their Shelterwood year. The second portion of the guide focuses on spiritual resources, including a spiritual gift assessment, spiritual disciplines and tools for personal development. Practical guidance is also offered, as mentors plan for their career post-Shelterwood.

All of the support given through the Leadership and Discipleship program builds a group of mentors who make life-changing impact on the lives of our students. “You see the difference mentors make at every graduation,” he says. “Parents testify that if it weren’t for them, their child would not have made the progress they have.”

“For mentors, this is not just a job or occupation. This is a calling,” JJ says. “Mentors really invest in these students. They are the backbone of our program, and Shelterwood would not be the special place it is without them.”

Goal Setting

images 37 Goal SettingNothing makes my wife and I fight (or laugh) more than when we are forced to ask for directions. Many good comedies have been based on this premise of having a goal and then struggling to attain it. While working with your child to establish a destination or a goal might feel like a comedy of errors at times, it is critical to their development as students and adults.

Chad Smith, the Academic Dean of Shelterwood Academy, has identified four fantastic tips for heading in the right direction when it comes to goal setting.

Set Goals Early

While goal setting might feel intimidating and even unnecessary for young children, learning how to break down a task into bite-sized steps is a critical life skill. As parents, we often get distracted with adult-type goals. Even when our kids are young, we are tempted to establish our own goals for their lives, large cumbersome goals that overwhelm them, are not useful and our kids will often rebel against these directives. Instead, start talking to them about their interests and help them break down their goals in life into smaller steps. Enabling them to experience success early and often will create the motivation necessary to continue setting goals later in life with much more difficult tasks. It will also help them learn to navigate the ups and downs of life they will inevitably experience when trying to attain their desires.

Guide, Don’t Dictate

To have ultimate buy-in from your student, goals need to come from them. The good (and maybe sometimes difficult) part of this is that often they will develop goals based on values they have caught from their parents/guardians. If you have modeled hard work, integrity, education, life-long learning and goal setting, your student will have that as a basis from which to build a vision for his or her own future. Parents that speak often about the benefits of working hard, and focusing on education then have a platform to suggest goals that revolve around achievement in those areas. You may be surprised to find your student sets much tougher goals for himself or herself than you might set for him or her.

Introduce Mentors

Something that can help students gain a vision for their future and a desire to set goals, can be introducing them to people that have accomplished goals themselves. If your child wants to be a doctor when they grow up, set up a meeting with a successful doctor. Perhaps your student wants to be an artist; put her in contact with a successful graphic designer. Maybe your child is questioning whether advanced education is right for them. If so, get together with someone who may have attended college later in life because he or she didn’t realize the importance of education until they had to work without one. Real life contact with people who have walked down the path can be invaluable in giving kids a vision for their own future.

Break Through the Brick Wall

images 36 Goal SettingIf your student refuses to set goals or think about the future, you might feel like banging your head against a brick wall! Kids that don’t want to think about the future are often labeled as “lazy” or even “rebellious,” but in fact, may just feel insecure or anxious. When a student is dealing with doubt about their own abilities, it will often seem as though they just don’t care. Parents can help kids in this position by recognizing relative success. If a student has struggled turning in homework, setting a goal of successfully turning in all work for a week can set up an achievable bar for initial success. This in turn will build confidence, and foster their desire for more success. Eventually the internal narrative playing their mind may begin saying, “Hey, I can actually do this!” At this point, helping them think about bigger goals becomes much more manageable.

Parents want the best for their kids. Helping them set up their future for success through goal setting can be one of the greatest gifts that parents can give!

Our Mentor Mindset

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I was reading a book called Mere Disciple by Jeff Strong the other day in which he described the difference rujon copy e1421970220322 150x150 Our Mentor Mindsetbetween being a follower of Jesus and being his disciple. His metaphor was powerful. He talked of those in Bible times wanting to be so near their rabbi that the dust from his robes would kick up onto theirs and make them dirty. Shelterwood’s mentors are dirty. These young men and women, like the disciples in the New Testament, give up their lives and livelihoods to get closer to Jesus and to become LIKE Him, not just to follow Him. Jesus came to love the broken-hearted and to transform lives. This is exactly what our mentors do each and every day with the students at Shelterwood. My question for the rest of us is how dirty are we?   Are we following Jesus so closely that we can hear Him, talk to Him intimately and trust His leading even when it doesn’t make sense? Or are we following at whatever distance we are comfortable with, content to be selective with His teachings and only hearing Him occasionally when it suits our interests? Jesus calls us to be his disciples, under His mentorship and guidance. We can learn a thing or two from these young adults who want to get dirty with the Rabbi’s dust.

Give us a call to learn more about our Our Mentor Mindset

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Mentoring Relationships

Susan Jekielek, M.A., Kristin A. Moore, Ph.D., and Elizabeth C. Hair, Ph.D. (2002) have spent a great deal of time studying the effectiveness of mentoring relationships. They have found significant improvement in mentees:

  • Significant reductions in school absence
  • Higher college participation
  • Better school attitudes and behavior
  • Less drug and alcohol use
  • Less likelihood of hitting others
  • More positive attitudes toward their elders and toward helping
  • Improved parental relationships and support from peers

Jekielek and others found that higher-quality mentoring relationships were built upon structure and planning. Success was much more likely when there was an effort to provide pre- and post-match training and support with some direct supervision of the matched relationship. It was also important for the mentor/mentee interests to be considered during the matching process because shared social activities where critical to building trust.

couch reading sm 300x196 Mentoring RelationshipsEffective mentors should be willing to commit to a long-term relationship and make regular contact with their mentee, as well as participate in ongoing training and communication with program directors. Through an in-depth, nine-month study, Morrows and Style (1995) identified two main types of mentoring relationships and the outcomes they produce. “Developmental” volunteers were adult mentors who held expectations that varied over time in relation to their perception of the needs of the youth. In the beginning, the mentors devoted themselves to establishing a strong connection with the youth. They felt satisfied with their mentee’s progress and with the relationship overall; when doubts arose, they were more likely to consult caseworkers for reassurance or advice. The youth in these relationships reported feeling a considerable sense of support from their adult friend. Further, many of the youth in developmental relationships demonstrated a pattern of seeking help independently and voluntarily divulged difficulties in their school or personal lives, allowing the volunteer to provide guidance and advice.

Prescriptive” volunteers viewed their own goals for the match (usually these are “good” goals, e.g., academic achievement) as primary rather than the youth’s. Some prescriptive volunteers required the youth to take equal responsibility for maintaining the relationship and for providing feedback about its meaning. The prescriptive volunteers ultimately felt frustrated. The youth were similarly frustrated, dissatisfied with the relationship, and far less likely to regard their mentor as a source of consistent support. Often, these prescriptive relationships developed growing tension, which led, at least in part, to their frequent demise. Two-thirds of the prescriptive matches no longer met nine months after the first study interview, whereas only about ten percent of the developmental relationships had ended.

Grossman and Rhodes found that matches involving volunteer married persons 26-30 years old, were 86 percent more likely to terminate their relationship each month compared with matches with 18-25 year old volunteers, and far more likely than non-married 26-30 year olds (who were less likely to terminate relationships compared with 18-25 year old volunteers). At Shelterwood, we have also found that single mentors between the ages of 21 – 27 are incredibly committed to the task of mentoring and are less likely than all other age groups to end their relationship with students. While, society has deemed this age group as selfish and uncommitted, at our Academy we have found our mentors to be incredibly committed and trustworthy. They demonstrate an eagerness to learn and share their lives with younger students. This age group tends to be more open to supervision and training than older volunteers and they have the disposable time necessary to invest deeply into the lives of their mentees.

Good quality mentorship programs like Shelterwood use structure and planning to facilitate high levels of mentor-mentee interaction. In her research, Jekielek has found that those mentors who received more hours of training had longer-lasting matches. At Shelterwood, training and supervision is an ongoing part of our program as we bring teens into relationship with recent college graduates. This type of intensive mentor care has been part of the Shelterwood experience for over thirty-four years and often continues long after our students have graduated from our school. Avenues such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have allowed us to maintain a significant level of investment, even if the distance between the mentor and mentee expands over time.