Mentoring: Investing in Others
What does it look like to invest your life in others?
I’d like us to take a look at the first three chapters of 1 Thessalonians. Paul speaks for himself, Silas, and Timothy, giving thanks for the news about the church and their faith and love. He reminds them of the kind of life he and his ministry partners had lived while they were with them. Paul specifically points out that the congregation became imitators of them and of the Lord, and in doing so became a model to all believers in Macedonia and Achaia.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:8 Paul writes, “Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
I believe this scripture accurately describes what it looks like to invest your life in others. It’s evident that Paul, Silas, and Timothy discipled and served as mentors to this congregation. Throughout the text, he speaks to them out of love. He encourages them and their faith, while also sharing his own experiences and hardships of following the Lord, but notice that at the end of this letter he also gives correction where needed and instructions on how they should live their life for God.
Essentially, I believe investing your life in others is doing exactly what we have been created to do. Jesus gave us the commission to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” At its essence, mentoring is a relationship. It is a trusted partnership where people share wisdom that fosters spiritual growth and leads to transformation.
Unfortunately, we oftentimes make discipleship and mentoring much more complicated than it really is. We allow fears, insecurities, and comparisons to rob us of opportunities to share life alongside of our sisters. We need each other! So, I encourage us all to step out of our comfort zones and do exactly what God has commissioned us to do.
As you pray about a young girl or woman that God is leading you to simply do life alongside of, here are a few tips I believe will help:
Live unveiled before God. Before we go public in mentoring, we must first go personal before God Himself. Ask the Lord to sift your motives, prepare your heart, and help develop within you a spirit of submission toward Scripture.
Pursue cross-generational relationships. Mentorship is rooted in relationship. Women of all ages yearn to be known. One of the greatest strengths a mentor can possess is the ability to listen to and impart biblical wisdom to women of all ages. Building these cross-generational relationships guards you from favoritism and helps you see women as people, not projects.
Lay framework. A natural result of cross-generational relationships is women seeking out other women for discipleship. Pray about women God may be leading you to mentor. Some of these relationships may require you to build a foundation of trust, and others the relationship may already have depth to start the mentoring process. Maybe God is just calling you to be more intentional. Mentor and mentee relationship can look very differently. Some you may establish in the beginning the role in which you are playing in her life, and others it may be a slow process. But a very simple way to start is meet with your mentee to unpack her story, cast vision, set goals, and identify future times and places to meet.
Encourage and equip. This might be the area we overthink the most. You do not need a Seminary degree to mentor another woman. You simply need to loves Jesus, have a submitted heart, and walk with Christ daily in Scripture and in prayer. Get to know your mentee’s heart, teach her how to unpack the Word, and simply do life alongside of her.
Resource: LifeWay Women-Mentoring Made Simple