Mentoring Young Women
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.” —Amy Carmichael
A lot is heard in the business world about the need for mentors. We sometimes hear about it in church too, but probably not as often as we should. As Christian women, one of our roles should be to act as mentors for younger women and women who are new to our faith. We find this in Titus 2:3-5. But what exactly does “mentoring” involve, and how do we go about doing it?
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a relational experience in which one person empowers, encourages, teaches, and shares experiences and resources with another person.
Why Do We Need Mentoring?
Today’s society is “high tech.” Most of us rely on dozens of technological gadgets to help us to communicate with others and to streamline our lives. We use our telephones, our voice mail, our e-mail, our websites, our cell phones, our pagers, our personal organizers. In the middle of all this efficiency, it’s sometimes hard to find time to sit down across a kitchen table with a friend to share and show we care. Surrounded by all this “high tech,” what we really need is a “high touch” society in which people take time to care for and relate to one another.
Jesus, the Mentor
Jesus’ relationship with His disciples here on earth is our best model for mentoring relationships. Out of all his followers, Jesus chose twelve—the disciples—to benefit from an intensive mentoring relationship. Throughout the months and years He spent with them, Jesus:
- showed them by example how to live morally, how to care for others, how to speak out against injustice, and how to have a vital prayer connection to God. Matthew. 8:2
- taught them directly, both as part of the crowd and on private “retreats.” Matthew 5:7
- involved them in His work of teaching, healing, and miracle working. Matthew 10
- evaluated their performance, rejoicing when they did well, admonishing when they made mistakes, correcting when they got off course. Luke 10:1-24
A Mentor Should Be . . .
- People oriented
- Good motivator
- Secure in her position
- An achiever
- Able to give high visibility
- One who shows regard for another’s well-being
Christian mentors don’t need to be perfect or have all the answers. They need a commitment to their own spiritual growth and that of others, a willingness to give of their time and influence, and a genuine concern for others.
Mentoring: Getting Started
- Find someone to mentor—identify women younger in years, younger in the faith, or women who want to grow in leadership or experience.
- Look for someone with leadership potential whom you can nurture.
- Learn about mentoring—from books, or from people who’ve been successful in mentoring relationships.
- Set up a contract outlining when you will meet with your mentoree and what your goals will be.
- Build your relationship on Biblical wisdom. Nurture and support your mentoree’s spiritual growth.
- Invest your time in the person you’re mentoring—making sure you’ve been realistic about your priorities and other commitments.
- Find out what this person needs in order to grow and what you can do to help.
- Expose your mentoree to others who have been successful in reaching their goals and ambitions.
- Occasionally evaluate your mentoring style to see if you are effective.
Information from Women’s Ministries brochure, “Mentoring Young Women.”
Women's Ministries Resource Brochure
MENTORING YOUNG WOMEN is designed to help Christian mentors make a commitment to their own spiritual growth and that of others, a willingness to give of their time and influence, and a genuine concern for others. Order your copy today at AdventSource: www.adventsource.org