Encouragement for Today
“Mentoring - Moments or Meetings?”
Renee Swope, Director of Proverbs 31 Speaker Team, Speaker and Author
Mark 3:14, “He appointed twelve ... that they might be with him and that he might send them …” (NIV)
Just “talking” didn’t seem like a good way to mentor someone, but that is all we had done. “I wonder if she’s disappointed in the lack of spiritual depth I brought to our conversation today?” I thought to myself as I pulled out of the parking lot.
I had just met with Lisa, a young mom and friend who had asked me to be her mentor a few months earlier. We hadn’t really talked about God much that day, and I didn’t remember sharing any verses to encourage her. We had talked about our marriages. I listened as she described what she was doing that week to prepare to sell their home. She explained how God helped them find a new owner for their dog. Our boys played on the slides and climbed through tubes for at least two hours, but Lisa and I just talked. I drove away feeling like our time together wasn’t “productive.”
That’s when God grabbed the measuring stick out of my hand, whacked me on the head, and said, “Renee, this is a relationship. It is about being together.” Okay, He didn’t actually hit me on the head, but He did get me in the heart.
For weeks, He’d been showing me how important relationships are to Him. Reading through the Gospels I had noticed how much time Jesus spent with people. He wasn’t nearly as task-oriented as I tend to be. In fact, His highest priority was being with people. Mark 3:14 says, “He appointed twelve…that they might be with him and that he might send them.” Notice, before He sent them, He wanted them to “be with him.”
Even when Jesus did have somewhere to go or something to do, He often changed His agenda to be with someone who was seeking Him. This happened after Jesus met a woman at Jacob’s well one day. She went home to tell her family and friends about Him, but hearing about Jesus wasn’t enough. “They urged Him to stay with them and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves and we know this man really is the Savior of the world.’” (John 4:39b-42, NIV)
Those men and women’s lives were changed because they had been with Jesus. That is how Jesus mentored people. He didn’t have agendas for these meetings. He was simply available in everyday moments that became the chalkboards for everyday life-lessons. Jesus asked great questions and listened for answers that gave insight into the lives of His friends and followers.
If we want to be like Jesus (and I hope we do), we will imitate the way He lived. We will be available for “mentoring moments” by looking for natural ways to share our lives through relationships. There will be times when God leads us to discuss Scriptural truths and days when prayer needs to be priority. Sometimes there will even be circumstances that call for admonition. But the effectiveness of our mentoring won’t be based on how “spiritual” our time is or how much Godly advice we give. It will be based on how well we are getting to know the woman God has called us to mentor, and how well we are letting her get to know us.
I recently saw my friend, Lisa, at a church event. She has blossomed into a gifted woman and is growing beautifully as a wife, mother and child of God. I watched her from a distance and wondered if our times together had made a difference. God answered my question when she came up to me with tears in her eyes and said, “I don’t think I ever thanked you. You’ll never know what a difference you made in my life.”
More than anything, Lisa wanted a friend who would listen, a heart that would pray, a life she could watch and a shoulder to lean on. Isn’t that what every woman needs? Perhaps God is calling us to be that for someone today.
My Prayer for Today:
Lord, is there a woman in my life who needs a friend and mentor? Is there someone who wants to go where I am headed, who is willing to follow along, who I can lead toward the place You are calling her? If so, please show me who she is, and how you want me to share my life with her.
Read Titus 2:3-4. Reflect on God’s calling for women to mentor women.
Make a list of three women you know who are at earlier phases in their journeys.
Pray for each of them about: their relationship with God, marriage, parenting, ministry, career, etc.
Ask God to show you if any of them need encouragement that you can offer.
Wait for God to show you the next step and be ready when He does.
Do I think God’s instructions in Titus 2:3-4 apply to me?
Am I spending regular time in God’s Word so that I can speak with wisdom and have faithful instruction on my tongue?
Does my life reflect priorities where God comes first, my marriage second, my children third and caring for my home fourth as described in Titus 2?
Are there changes I need to make in my life so I can better help others as they pursue a life that pleases God?
Ephesians 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (NIV)
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (NIV)
John 15:15, “I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father.” (The Message)
Divine Secrets of Mentoring by Carol Brazo
A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes
The Art of Helping, by Lauren Littauer Briggs