Mentorship is a word that, within the Christian culture, we hear often. But if we are honest, many of us are unsure what it actually means. If we do know what it means, we’re unsure where to begin or find a mentor.
What Is Mentorship?
Growing up, I had the privilege of seeing my parents model discipleship and mentorship. I watched as my mom invited young women into our home, teaching and showing them what it meant to be a godly wife. My father spent time with younger men and simply did life with them. I witnessed the impact this had on both the individuals who were receiving the mentorship and my parents, as well. It was transformative.
As an adult, I joined the College Park Church family. I recall being overwhelmed at the size of the church at first, wondering if it were really possible to find the one-on-one mentorship that I had seen firsthand in my home. My heart ached for it.
Finding a Mentor
I realized that I could either sit back and wait for someone to come to me—which is not usually how it works—or I could pursue a discipleship relationship myself. To help with that, I made the decision to get involved at the church by leading a Small Group of women in their 20s. I was placed with a Small Group Coach and I began to meet with her. After a few times of connecting, I knew that she was someone I wanted to follow as she followed after Jesus. In other words: she was someone I wanted to mentor me in my faith.
My Mentorship Experience
My time as a Small Group leader did not last long, but I made the decision to ask my Small Group Coach if she would continue meeting with me. She happily accepted. What started as a formal relationship quickly grew into so much more. Her mentorship was not meeting up at a coffee shop and discussing a book. Rather, she welcomed me into her home and allowed me to become part of her family. I had an insider view of her walk with the Lord, her love for her husband, and how she pointed her three children toward Jesus as she parented them. I got to see her heart for other women as well. She embodied Paul’s exhortation for “older women to train young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure…” (Titus 2:4-5)
Through her life and her friendship, this dear friend has helped mold me to look more like Jesus. She’s spoken the truth to me in love. She knows my heart. She knows the joys and the sorrows that I have walked through. And she knows my struggles—not shying away from pushing where I have needed pushing.
She has allowed her family to become my own family and has walked with me through seasons of loneliness, faithfully encouraging me in contentment. And as she has walked through my seasons of dating, engagement, and now marriage, she has shown me what it looks like to make disciples. By following Jesus herself and coming alongside me, she has modeled mentored me and discipled me in a tangible, beautiful way.
All of her investment and intentionality has allowed me to replicate this. I am discipling younger women because someone has discipled me and shown me how and why this type of relationship is so vital.
The Benefits of Mentorship
Mentorship is a risk. It can feel vulnerable and messy. But we were not meant to walk alone. The benefit of doing life alongside others as God intended is a beautiful gift.
Some of you reading this may be worried or nervous about asking someone to mentor you. You wonder, “Will he or she be too busy for me?” We are all busy (or we were at one time). Don’t let that stop you from asking.
How to Find a Spiritual Mentor
My encouragement to you is to step out and ask! And if you don’t know who to ask, begin observing the men and women around you. If you don’t know any, look at your church. For instance, College Park Church has a unique discipleship program for women called Titus 2 that pairs a small group of younger women up with a team of spiritually mature women. If there isn’t a program like that at your church, consider placing yourself in environments where you can meet spiritually mature individuals (Ex. Bible studies, worship events, serving roles).
Whether they’re in your family, your church, or your neighborhood; godly and spiritually mature men and women are out there. And I’ve no doubt that these Christians have had (and still have!) other men or women mentor them.
My prayer is that God would help us be people who are willing to risk opening our lives that we might enjoy the reward of being known.