Mission Critical: Women Mentoring Women

Anyone who speaks with me for 20 minutes knows that I am passionate about discipleship and mentoring in all its capacities. It is one of my favorite speaking topics and one I write about regularly on the blog.

I firmly believe mentoring is a responsibility of any great leader. Over the past two years, I have been blessed to pray with my ministry partner, identify and train leaders, and launch a Women’s Mentoring Ministry at our church. I shared the first official introduction of our launch event, a video of the mentoring lessons learned from the Gospel of Ruth, and the book, Mentor Like Jesus, which started it all.

As we developed the ministry and after formally mentoring the women in our church for over one year, I was constantly getting questions about “how to” develop a Women’s Mentoring Ministry at other churches. Since there was no resource to point women to, I consulted the women in our church and developed a series of articles on this topic for Christianity Today Gifted for Leadership blog. The series is as follows:

Who Wants Mentoring?  Counting the cost of following Jesus Christ

Answers the basic question of what is mentoring, particularly from the perspective of holistic discipleship in the church and the two-way commitment needed on behalf of both the mentor and mentee.

Mentoring and Multiplying Identifying, Training, and Equipping Leaders

Informs the reader of the importance of prayer to jump start and sustain this important ministry, the priority for ministry to focus on God’s kingdom and equipping the children of God for ministry, making disciples, and works of service

Building Bridges Through Mentoring Creating safe places for learning in community, through diversity, and across generations

Women need “safe places” and “safe people” in which they can be their true selves and share without fear of judgment or criticism. It is natural for us to only gravitate to those who are like us; therefore, we must be intentional about maintaining a spirit of oneness, unity, and harmony with all those God has called us to live and build relationships with. Through mentoring, we intentionally create safe and diverse environments in which women can share, pray, grow, and love.

Mentoring as Discipleship Through intentional relationships, everyone learns

This article picks up where the other left off and highlights the framework or three pillars of our ministry: Know and Love God, Know Who You Are in Christ Jesus, and Love Your Neighbors. It also states the obvious; mentoring in this context is challenging and may not be for everyone. I firmly believe everyone needs mentoring and discipleship; however, leaders must be discerning about ministering appropriately in the environment where God has placed them.

What Happens When You Don’t Serve Fluff on a Platter Lessons learned from the first year of women’s mentoring ministry

Covers six lessons we have learned this year while seeking the Lord in shepherding a diverse group of women, challenging them to go deeper in their walk with the Lord, and in loving relationship with each other.

In addition to “How to?” the next question concerning mentoring is “What resources do you use?” On Thursday’s post, I’ll briefly share dialog in response to that question, along with mentoring resources.

If you are mentoring and discipling women, I want to hear from you. What do you wish someone had told you prior to starting a discipleship relationship?  What have you learned?

© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2012

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