Are you a woman who leads? Maybe you don’t see yourself as a leader, but God has you leading someone right where you are. Maybe it’s your kids, your friends, or the teenager next door. Maybe it’s a Women’s Ministry, a team at work, or a small group. This series—led by our women’s ministry specialist, Kelly King—will help you no matter where you lead, and whether you’re leading one or one thousand.
I like variety in my life. Whether it’s ice cream or salad dressing (but not at the same time), choices and options make life more interesting. Maybe you’re a plain vanilla kind of girl, but I personally like a few chunks of chocolate or cookie dough mixed in just to make my ice cream more flavorful.
The women who have influenced my life and served as mentors in my spiritual leadership journey also reveal diversity in ages, gifts, talents, and life experiences. Just like the varieties of ice cream, some are a little salty, some are a little sweet, and some are even a little nutty. But in the end, all of them point me toward the goal of looking a little more like Jesus and satisfy a hunger to reflect His image.
What about the women who are mentoring you? Are you aware of their influence and how they are making a lasting impact in your life? Take a moment today and consider how a variety of mentors can add spice and variety to your leadership. If you can identify a mentor who has made this kind of impact on your life, send them a quick text, email, or personal note and thank them for their contribution.
The Discipler: A mentor who disciples you, who is a more experienced follower, and who imparts knowledge and skills that are basic to growing in Christ is a discipler. These women are instrumental in the life of a new Christian, and they influence a woman’s character and behavior to look more like Christ. They teach women how to spend time in God’s Word and in prayer.
The Spiritual Guide: This type of mentor is generally for women who are further in their spiritual walk, teaching women how to study Scripture more thoroughly and develop additional spiritual disciplines. They provide accountability and insights into the mentee’s spiritual growth.
The Coach: Do you desire to learn a new skill from someone who can communicate how to do it? Then you need a mentor who is a coach. A coach allows the mentee to learn from them but challenges them to develop disciplines and answers. Just like an athletic coach, this woman may challenge you and push you toward greater growth, but it’s up to you to implement the instruction.
The Counselor: Are you making a major life decision or going through a difficult circumstance? A counseling mentor will walk the mentee through transitions and decision-making skills. They will provide structure and boundaries through the lens of Scripture. They are comforters, but not enablers.
The Teacher: The difference between a teacher and a coach is that a teacher generally concentrates on conveying knowledge and perspective. This might include a Bible teacher or a pastor who is investing in the growth of your spiritual knowledge. Consider teachers from your past and how they shaped your life. In the same way, teachers shape our thinking in a way that eventually results in actions.
The Sponsor: A sponsor has positional credibility or spiritual authority within an organization, which enables a mentee to develop and advance within that organization. These types of mentors provide influence, offer protection, and can often influence future opportunities. This type of mentor may be someone who is in authority over you at work or in your local church. They can serve as catalysts for future leadership opportunities.
The Contemporary Model: This type of mentor is an exemplary person who indirectly imparts skills, lessons for life, ministry, and value. You most likely don’t have a personal relationship with this type of mentor, but they influence your leadership.
The Historical Model: This type of mentor is a woman who serves as a model through history, biographies, and autobiographies. You can be mentored by their past example as they impart their faithful legacy. Great historical mentors like Elisabeth Elliot or Amy Carmichael have influenced generations to live more like Christ.
The Divine Contact: This type of mentor is a woman whom God brings into contact with another at a critical, unplanned moment. Divine contacts provide new insight or discernment at the most unexpected times. Consider a moment in your own life when the Lord brought just the right person at the right time to spur on your leadership or encourage you in your calling.
We are all made better when we recognize the influence of a variety of mentors. Look through the list once again and identify someone that fits each category. Be grateful for their influence and investment in your leadership, and consider how you can become a mentor to another leader in your life. The result is found in Psalm 145:4: “One generation will declare your works to the next and will proclaim your mighty acts.”
Are you ready to lead well? Sign up for the ministry to women newsletter to get monthly content specifically for leaders here. Get training at events like YOU Lead around the country and Women’s Leadership Forum this November in Nashville, TN.