Some time ago I did a radio interview with Melissa Rogers on New Day Cafe‘. The topic was “connecting the body through mentoring”. As I thought through the questions she asked, I was reminded once more how this is one of the most basic and obvious mandates from Scripture to women. I hope it will stimulate your thinking about this issue and how it relates to the women in your church.
Titus 2:3-5 gives us the foundation for this principle of mentoring. Take a minute to read that passage once more. How do you convey the meaning of mentoring to your women?
Many think its scary and they aren’t qualified to mentor but first of all it’s not an option, it’s a mandate from scripture. It’s not a perfect woman with a perfect life helping another woman, it’s real women sharing life, sharing victory and struggles, sharing whatever God has done in their lives with another woman. It’s watching to see what women God is bringing into our lives on an ongoing basis and intentionally doing life with them. It can be a scheduled time, but much is done as we “do life ourselves” and it should be a lifestyle we are developing as women. And it doesn’t end at a certain age.
It’s important to encourage peers close in age to connect but also to have those older more mature women to learn from. It’s spiritual age, not chronological that is most important, although that often means older chronologically. But what actually happens is mutual learning. I may mentor a woman in one area and she may mentor me in another. Our life experiences and spiritual journeys will be different but we can both learn from each other. It especially means that for new believers we intentionally help them know next steps in their growth.
If you are considering becoming more proactive in the area of mentoring for your women here are some ideas:
· Ask your women where in their lives and daily routines are intentionally spending time with younger women.
· If you want to begin a formal mentoring ministry, one resource is Woman to Woman Mentoring by Janet Thompson. It gives all details for how to do this intentionally and ongoing.
· You might want to start with a simple 6 week small group experience. Have some older women share weekly on an area of life, motherhood, being a wife, being in the workplace, whatever the focus would be for that group. Ask younger women what they want to learn and let them ask questions each week. Then perhaps ongoing mentoring relationships will develop as a result.
· Some mentoring relationships might be for the main purpose of discipleship, so they might choose a Bible study to do together.
· Mentoring also involves things like taking a young woman to the grocery store and showing them how to buy groceries on a budget. Practical things are important.
Women desperately need women. There’s a world of women seeking fulfillment in many ways other than seeking God’s purpose for their lives. Whatever God has taught us, not matter how much or how little, we can take that and share with another woman. Ask God who needs to know what He has taught you, pray for Him to bring you into contact with women who need a mentor, or if you need a mentor, pray and ask Him to place someone in your life. Women need role models of a woman after God’s heart.
What are you doing to make sure you are following the mandate to mentor women? Please share your ideas in the comment box.
Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level
Women Reaching Women
Woman to Woman Mentoring, Janet Thompson
Shepherding a Woman’s Heart, Bev Hislop
A Garden Path to Mentoring, Esther Burroughs