Mentoring doesn’t always come easy or naturally, but it can be such a huge part of spiritual growth and maturity. Chris Adams and Mary Margaret Collingsworth sat down recently to answer some questions that may be helpful as you seek out a mentoring relationship with another woman.
Chris to Mary Margaret
Chris: Mary Margaret, as a younger woman, what are you really looking for in a mentoring relationship?
Mary Margaret: Definitely someone who will invest in me and point me to a closer relationship with Jesus. It’s not my goal to take up all of her time, but I want to learn from a woman who is consistent in my life, honest and transparent with me, and who is a woman of great character.
Chris: What are the most important things you want a mentor to teach you?
Mary Margaret: At the heart of it, I want to learn how to be a Godly woman. I need someone who will speak truth into my life and just let me do life with her. I’m single, but I want to learn how to be a wife and a mom who follows hard after Jesus and is wise in how she lives. Those are things that I want to learn and begin to establish now. I am so grateful for women who let me be a part of their life/family and don’t try to pretend that they’ve got it all figured out. I want her to challenge me in my walk with the Lord and not let me stay static where I am.
Chris: What keeps you from approaching a woman you want to learn from?
Mary Margaret: It can be really intimidating! It’s so easy to think that they’re too busy or wouldn’t be interested in mentoring me. Unless I already have an established relationship, it’s not easy to just approach someone and ask. But if that’s what I need to do, I will!
Mary Margaret to Chris
Mary Margaret: What keeps you from mentoring younger women?
Chris: Time for the most part—at least in intentional, ongoing mentoring. But I want to be more intentional to mentor “as I go” and invest as I come across younger women on a daily basis. At this stage of my life and ministry, I really do think about how I am investing in the leaders who will take ministry into the future.
Mary Margaret: What are your expectations of a mentoring relationship?
Chris: I expect to learn from her as well as impart wisdom to her. I believe it is truly a two-way relationship. I also want to “be heard,” if you know what I mean. Though I may not fully understand the life of today’s young women, I have had experiences (many because I’ve lived many years!) that God has entrusted to me and wants me to share with others. I love nothing more than for a young woman to sit with me and just ask me questions! I am SO honored any young woman would want to know about my life.
Mary Margaret: Should a younger woman ask to be mentored or should she wait to be asked?
Chris: Yes and yes. I think if an older woman asks her if she wants to spend time together, go grab coffee, or have lunch, she should at least try! But if that is not happening, I encourage young women to be bold enough to ask an older woman to have coffee or go out for dinner. It must be a both/and effort if mentoring is going to happen on any level.
To read more from Chris and Mary Margaret, check out Women Reaching Women. You can also catch Chris and Mary Margaret at any 2014 YOU Lead—an event for women’s ministry leaders. Click here to see if they’re coming to a city near you!