Just a few years ago, a young woman came to visit my church for the first time. I was a greeter that morning, and I noticed her right away because at that time we had very few young adults in our church, especially single ones. She came to service alone that morning. When I met her, I thought “wow, she’s got a lot of personality, I wonder what her story is!” It wasn’t too long before she got involved in the church and one day approached me to be her mentor. She admitted to some struggles and regrets, and wanted help to navigate all of those areas that she was very motivated to change. She shared her story with me with honesty and transparency. That takes courage, and trust, and our hearts were knit together quickly.
And so it began. These past few years that I have been privileged to walk alongside her in her journey to know God more, I have seen a transformation from an insider’s perspective. We never did what I consider “formal counseling.” Instead, we just became friends and talked about everything imaginable. She was the first young woman I really mentored in my current ministry, and it is largely because of her response to my ministry that I became passionate about serving the younger generations of women and girls.
Through the years together, we worked through many life struggles at the heart level. She willingly submitted to my Biblical advice, even when it was very difficult. She sought my input when she met a man that she thought might just be “the one”. She walked in to that relationship carefully, and this man is now her husband and the father of her two children. God always blesses obedience, and this is a perfect testimony about that.
What she doesn’t know, and what came as a surprise over time is that I, too, was changed by my relationship with her. She was not only a mentee, but she became a close friend. To top that off, she became a mentor to a teenage girl who just happens to be my very own 16 year old daughter. I always say “ministry should multiply” and in this case, it definitely has, and it’s been so sweet to mentor someone who then mentors my daughter.
If you ever meet her, you will see why this relationship has blessed me so much. She is one-of-a-kind and everyone who knows her loves her. She is incredibly relational, and has the ability to make you feel like you are her best friend. She is a natural leader, and a master at connecting people to each other. She loves teen girls and pours hours of herself in to them for the sake of their discipleship. She serves God wherever there is a need, and she loves God’s people. She is relentless about your wellbeing and she can talk you in to saying “yes” when you would rather say “no”. Just try saying “no” to her, and you will see how difficult that is!
This week, she and her family moved to France for her husband’s work. To say that their absence will leave a huge gap in our church, and in my own life personally, is an understatement. Many tears were shed as we sent them off with our love and prayers. We realize that God calls us to serve Him outside of our comfort zones sometimes, but it is hard to say goodbye, isn’t it? I have had a sense of loss and sadness ever since we hugged goodbye. Mentoring sometimes means that we will become very attached. In this case, she has become like a daughter to me - what a priceless gift.
I am incredibly proud of her - not because of what she has done but because of what she has allowed Christ do in her. She has matured in Him as I have mentored her, and she has grown in many ways that have impacted not only her, but many others.
Why am I telling you about her? Because I want you to consider the ministry of Biblical Counseling or Mentoring for the sake of the younger generations. Titus 2 calls all of us to this, and that is reason enough. But another reason is that you are missing out on a privilege and blessing if you don’t do it. You will be missing out on seeing God use you as an instrument of change in another’s life. We have a responsibility to raise up the next generation in order to fulfill the Great Commission. Mentoring is all about the Gospel, and we are all called to one-another ministry.
I pray that God will break your heart for the younger women and girls so that you will carry the same burden that I do. That burden compels me to emphasize intergenerational ministry in my counseling and training. There are too few willing to serve as mentors - will you please consider how God may be calling you to mentor someone in your sphere of influence?
To my mentee and good friend, I miss you a ton already! Thank you for your friendship and support and sharing your journey with me and caring about my journey as well. I love you dearly, my friend. I can't wait to see you on Skype as soon as you are settled! Our relationship will be from afar now, but it is a comfort to me to know that we will carry on with mentoring thanks to technology. "See" you soon!
Titus 2:3-5 "Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
If you would like to learn more about how to mentor the younger generations, please visit our website www.biblicalmentor.com.