We All Need a Mentor
“Yeah, you know it’s all over the Bible to have older people pouring into younger people. Older women teaching us how to love our husbands with wisdom that has only come through living life with God for more years than me. But you’re right. I’m not sure who to ask. And I think that’s a problem.”
These are the words my friend texted me one morning. We had been carrying on a conversation about life, marriage, careers and our uncertainties surrounding it all.
As young twenty-something women, we’ve often discussed how life feels really overwhelming on most days simply because we have no idea what we’re doing.
We’re new to marriage, new to the workforce, new to the adult responsibilities that stare us in the face every single day.
Do you feel the same way? As though you’re traversing a mountain trail countless others have hiked before you, but no one bothered to hand you a map? Yeah, me too.
I don’t know about you, but when I mess up or get stuck – whether it’s a poorly handled argument with my husband, a dry season in my faith, an overwhelming financial decision – I just want to shout for help in hopes that someone further along the trail will come back, grab my arm and guide me on. Except when help doesn’t come, I start to believe I must do it all, be it all and figure it all out myself.
I stop asking for help altogether. I just continue to wander with no map, in hopes of reaching the destination with my marriage, career, relationships and faith in one piece.
When Paul wrote his letter to Titus, found in the New Testament, he explicitly wrote that “older women are to teach what is good, and so train the young women.” (Titus 2:3-4, English Standard Version, paraphrased) Paul, who had seen many communities succeed and many struggle, recognized the key elements for success when it comes to following Jesus. He outlined mentorship as a vital component if a young woman is going to have a meaningful relationship with Jesus and life in which she thrives, not simply survives.
I texted my friend back that morning: “Yeah exactly. I wish there was a program at church or something to help get connected...”
I didn’t realize when I hit send that God was already at work creating a program to connect young women to older women to link arms and walk through life together in mentoring relationships. But it wouldn’t come through my church. It would come through me.
As I thought about our conversation that day, I found myself wondering why I was relying on the church to meet this need; why I couldn’t just meet it myself. With plenty of friends on both sides of the spectrum – both young women in need of mentors and older women to serve as mentors – I knew without a doubt that God was calling me to make something happen, to make an impact in the lives of the women around me.
With a simple post on Facebook, The Mentoring Co. was born.
The Mentoring Co. exists to connect women in various life stages to one another for support, encouragement and community. Through The Mentoring Co., younger women are given the opportunity to be guided, challenged and poured into by older women who have wisdom and insights to share. In turn, older women are given the opportunity to walk alongside younger women and pour into them from their own life experience. Women are mentored in the areas of marriage, relationships, friendships, parenting, motherhood, faith, career, budgeting and finances.
So far sixteen women have been paired into a mentoring relationship. That’s sixteen women who have decided to link arms and walk that mountain trail together. They meet anywhere from once a week to once a month, sometimes in person over lunch or coffee, sometimes via Skype or FaceTime. Some live close together, others live far away; some have strong relationships with Jesus, others are struggling in their faith. No matter their differences, they all have one thing in common: to impact one another through meaningful and intentional community.
As I’ve been managing this program – sending resource emails to mentors, building camaraderie among the women in our Facebook group, praying over mentor/mentee pairings – I have been overwhelmed at the impact this program has made and has the potential to make in the lives of women throughout the body of Christ everywhere. There is joy in the faces of my friends who have been desperate for some guidance when they tell me they had lunch with their mentors that day. There is a sense of worth that emulates from the mentors who are now realizing they are not finished yet. Life is better for all of us when we’re doing it together, and that’s exactly how Jesus intended it to be.
If you’d like to get involved with The Mentoring Co., visit this page for more info (and get a free gift while you’re at it).