Long before my five part mentoring series, people have been asking me about mentoring resources. There simply was not much out there that impressed me (particularly for women). By now you know, I highly recommend Mentor Like Jesus by Regi Campbell. Additionally, I am listing several books which have been recommended to me. Please note: personally, I am not recommending or endorsing many of these books simply because I have not yet read all of them in their entirety yet.
Sharing Wisdom: The Practical Art of Giving and Receiving Mentoring by Robert Wicks I have read this resource. It includes short chapters, each with a mentoring lesson learned. I would recommend going to the library and reviewing the appendixes which include common questions on mentoring and a summary of the mentoring lessons. Take notes.
Shepherding a Women’s Heart: A New Model for Effective Ministry to Women by Beverly White Hislop
That Makes the Two of Us: Lifestyle Mentoring for Women by Connie Witt and Cathi Workman
What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom From the Secrets We Keep by Anita Lustrea
I have read selections from this book and think the topics addressed, along with the discussion questions at the end of each chapter would make for a good book club or small group discussion. If you don’t mind doing a little extra work, you can go deeper in discipleship by searching the scriptures which accompany the practical topics such as loneliness, friendship, and brokenness.
The Art of Mentoring: Embracing the Great Generational Transition by Darlene Zschech
I am only on chapter two but I am thoroughly enjoying this book. It really speaks to the need for mentorship and discipleship within the church and how the neglect of these prioritizes negatively impacts us across generations.
Kitchen Table Counseling: A Practical and Biblical Guide for Women Helping Others by Muriel L. Cook and Sheely Cook Volkhart
A Garden Path to Mentoring: Planting Your Life in Another and Releasing the Fragrance of Christ by Esther Burroughs
Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and Not Be Overwhelmed by Carolyn Mahaney, Nicole Whitacre, Kristin Chesemore, and Janelle Bradshaw
This is a simple, practical book with a strong complementation approach. (All of the authors are stay-at-home moms.) If that is your situation or the situation of many women you minister to, I would highly recommend this smart book. With it’s quick messages of: rise early, sit still, sit and plan, consider people, and plan to depend, it’s particularly a good book for new moms and single moms to read.
In the article series, someone recommended the resource Women, Worldview, and the Word by Iva May. It’s a 52 week (year long) discipleship series meant to increase Bible literacy among women by sharing biblical stories. More information can be found at www.chronologicalbiblediscipleship.org.
I consider some of these books “leadership preparation” books. Some of the others are “mentoring type” books. While acknowledging the importance of helping women with the practical elements of their lives, and we have elected not to use “mentoring” or “practical or emotionally driven” type books. When using “emotional help” and “practical application” type books, we have observed the real temptation of individuals and small groups becoming too inward or “me” focused instead of beginning with their focus on the Lord. We begin by encouraging women to get their attention off “self” and firmly place their gaze on the Lord and then allowing him to deal with their heart issues. Only then can they enter into healthy God-honoring relationships with others. For us, discipleship does not begin or end with “me.” It begins with knowing and loving God and ends with loving our neighbors, and to do either of those well, we pay attention to the care of our souls.
So I presented a progressive ministry plan of: Knowing and Loving God, Knowing Who You Are in Christ Jesus, and Loving Your Neighbors. This ministry framework are the pillars that keeps us focused on God’s priorities and grounded in fulfilling the purpose of the ministry, which is to see lives changed through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit as we submit ourselves to the Lord. (If you use a ministry framework like this one, you will need to select the best resources concerning these areas and considering the women you are called to lead.) We are finding that providing a workable structure for the leadership has not hindered the personal relationships from developing, the personal introspection from happening, or the practical conversations from taking place. In fact, we believe over time, this solid biblical foundation will enhance those conversations within the group and individually.
Finally, the last question I am frequently asked on this topic is, “What about the younger girls (referencing middle school/high school age)?”
MENTORING YOUNG WOMEN
For the young ladies, I highly recommend anything by author Carolyn Custis James. I have mentioned Carolyn’s ministry and her work on several occasions in this blog. Look her up using the “search” block in the upper right hand corner. I also recommended her book, The Gospel of Ruth, here. The reason I recommend Carolyn’s resources is because she has important messages for women and for the entire church. She goes deep on conversations about being image bearers of God, women as ezers or strong helpers, the need and importance of solid women theologians in the church, the “blessed alliance” as God’s plan for men and women working and serving God together in unity, our true identity in Christ, and has expanded the conversation globally to include compassion and justice for oppressed women and children everywhere. Here’s the bottom line: Messed up girls grow into messed up adults apart from a miraculous encounter with God. I see no need to delay critical messages for young women when they are already receiving very real and deadly messages from the enemy on a consistent basis. We need to start having difficult conversations with our young girls and the time to do that is now!
I would also recommend:
The PeaceMaker Student Edition: Handling Conflict Without Fighting Back or Running Away by Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson
I have not yet read this particular version, but I have read and reviewed the adult addition The Peace Maker several times over, along with several other books which reference this resource. The Peace Maker is required reading for our mentoring leadership team. The reason I so highly recommend this resource is sin shows up most clearly in our personal relationships. None of us want to naturally forgive, confess, repent, or loving confront conflict; not only that, often times we simply don’t know how. This book helps with those realities and has a solid biblical foundation for helping us navigate and groom healthy relationships which glorify God.
So what resources do you recommend?
© Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 2012