Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life
As a young professional in New York City, surrounded by stars and fashion, I often felt about two inches tall. Unseen by some, judged by others. Sure, I had friends, but I longed to find a woman who had been in my shoes and was a few steps ahead of me.
One Sunday, I mustered up the courage to talk with my pastor, who connected me with Jeannie. Her warm eyes and inviting smile put me at ease the first time we met. “I feel so incompetent. I’m way out of my league here.” It all came tumbling out. “Some days, I just want to stay in bed, pull the covers over my head, and drown out the noise of traffic with re-runs of I Love Lucy.”
Surprisingly, Jeannie wasn’t put off by my confession of how utterly alone I felt and how distant God seemed. She listened, really listened. She didn’t offer cliché answers or rush to give me advice. I felt known, heard, and understood. Little did I know the profound influence Jeannie would become in my life and how our mentoring relationship would significantly shape me.
Mentoring is, at its essence, just doing what Jesus said. The Bible references “one another” over 100 times—from “Love one another” to “Build one another up” to “Pray for one another.” I can’t imagine going through my young married years, my kids’ terrible twos, career transitions, the death of my parents, and countless other rattling life events without the support of mentors.
Now, years later, I have the privilege of mentoring younger women. Some are business executives, others teachers, doctors, musicians, or designers. Some have cute little apartments, others rambunctious little ones. As we sit and talk over lattes or hot chocolate or sweet tea, I am inspired by their courage and honesty. Their eagerness to grow and change and become. Their heart to love people and join God in doing good.
In one recent study, 82 percent of women agreed that having a mentor was very important, but only 51 percent had actually ever had a mentor. That’s a big gap! Younger women are hungry for the opportunity to connect personally and build a growth-oriented relationship with a mature Christ follower who can speak into their life.
In a world that is increasingly impersonal and systematized, face-to-face mentoring may be the missing link. Mentoring is a win-win situation: Younger women and men are encouraged and grow, and women and men further along in their walk with God, who share their story, find new purpose.
Perhaps you are longing to find a mentor, or you’d love to become one. Maybe God is prompting you to start a mentoring focus in your ministry. Regardless, it will take intentionality, planning, and prayer. But growth always happens best in relationships. God created us to learn from and support one another. To stick together in life’s darkest moments. To celebrate and cheer each other on. To be refreshed with godly insights and refocus on God’s promises and His Word.
Whatever season you’re in… now is a great time to begin a mentoring relationship!