Lorie Looney Keene shares a fresh approach to mentoring and play dates. Consider this when you are seeking ways to connect the generations of women in your church.
I have been comfortable teaching women’s Bible study classes, helping with events, doing young women’s mentoring for many years now. Recently, however, God has been redesigning my concept of ministering to women. He has been developing in me a love for older women.
We have several senior adult couples in my church who, for various reasons, do not have any biological grandchildren. Several of these couples have become very fond of Elijah. So, rather than just having ‘play dates’ with other young moms in the church, I have also been scheduling play dates with several of the older ladies as well. Recently, Elijah and I spent the morning at the home of an older lady who was so excited to have a child play in her yard again. We now go there once a month.
In addition, I’ve watched a couple of the ladies recently lose their husbands. I had been especially close to one of the couples and was caught off guard when I received a phone call in Kroger with her crying on the phone asking me to please ‘come over and see if her husband was in a coma because he wasn’t responding to her.’ I went to her home, held the hand of a dying man with cancer, and helped her come to grips with the idea of enlisting Hospice care. He passed away 5 days later.
All this to say, God is really growing me in my idea of what it means to love on women in my church. I am blessed with many women my age and absolutely LOVE them…but I’m realizing the added blessing of also building relationships with those of older decades.
As women in the younger generations, we have such a unique opportunity to minister not only to one another, but to women who have walked longer miles in similar shoes. We are wise to include older generations in our normal life routines. The wisdom and experiences gleaned from them is invaluable. Some ways that you may begin to include various generations in your life include:
1. Adopt an older lady in your church as a second ‘grandmother’ to your child. Children can never have too many people loving on them!
2. Take time to develop a real friendship with a woman at least a few decades your senior. Ask her to share her mothering experiences and favorite pieces of advice. You may be amazed at how much she can relate to you.
3. Schedule a ‘play date’ for you and your child/children to spend some time at the home of a senior adult woman.
Prayerfully ask the Lord how He wants to beginning tying together some generations of women in your church. You will become much the richer for the experience.
Lorie Looney Keene earned both a Masters of Divinity in Christian Education and a Masters of Theology (Th.M) from Southern Seminary, where she worked for three years as The Assistant Director of Women’s Programs. Prior to working at Southern Seminary, Lorie served in Poland with the International Mission Board and has over seven years experience as an ER nurse. She is the author of "Pull Up A Chair: You, Me and the Gospel of John (LINK)" by New Hope Publishing, as well as a contributing author to Journey Magazine . Lorie lives in Tullahoma, TN where her husband, Stephen is the Youth/Education Minister at Highland Baptist Church . She is a Sunday School teacher to HighSchool girls, leads a weekly women’s Bible study and teaches Biology at her church’s homeschool co-op. Currently, Lorie is enjoying the role of stay at home mom to her 2 year old son, Elijah.