I sat in the conference session with my eyes wide open. It was one of those moments where every word spoken pierced straight into my heart. As the speaker shared about his passion for mentorship and discipleship, I knew my life would never be the same.
After that conference, my life took a drastic turn for the better.
I went from having head knowledge about the importance of discipleship to having a heart and passion for it. I was turning into a girl who deeply desired to reach out and minister to the young women in my sphere of influence. It was like I was beginning to see with new eyes.
Until this turning point, I had never been truly intentional about one-on-one mentorship.
The idea had simply never traveled from my brain into my heart and out into action. I knew discipleship was good, but I hadn’t caught the vision for it. In response to that conference, I decided to do something crazy: I asked my two youngest sisters if I could mentor them.
With looks of excitement, they willingly agreed.
That was two years ago. My only regret? I wish I started doing this sooner. I look back and wonder what I was thinking. I had younger sisters right beneath my nose, and the idea to mentor them never occurred to me. Not even once. I just figured, “I’m a good sister and a good example. They’ll figure this life thing out.”
I now realize that mentorship is so much more than being a good sister.
– It’s about taking the time to personally and intentionally pour into the young women around me.
– It’s about setting aside time each week to talk about life and the Bible.
– It’s about intentional accountability.
– It’s a focused time for me to reach out and pull another Christian girl along in her relationship with God.
Instead of waiting until we think we’ve “arrived,” let’s choose to make an impact for eternity right now.
Watching my sisters grow in their relationship with Christ and mature as young women has been so inspiring. It’s been amazing to watch God use my small efforts to impact my sisters lives so profoundly. I’m not a superhero mentor. I’m sure not a super Christian. I’m not even a qualified counselor or teacher. I’m just a girl who saw the need for mentorship and decided to take action.
I’m confident that each and every one of you could do the same.
Too often we think that discipleship and mentorship is only for “older, more mature women.” That idea simply isn’t true. Older women definitely have tons to offer us, but we as younger women have tons to offer as well.
Instead of waiting until we think we’ve “arrived,” let’s choose to make an impact for eternity right now, right where God has us. Let’s create a sisterhood of girls mentoring girls, a community of young women willingly and intentionally pouring out into the young women around us with enthusiasm.
Imagine the impact that we could have! Imagine if each one of us reached out to one girl and began mentoring her. Then imagine if that girl reached out and began mentoring someone, too. The ripple effect would be immeasurable.
Here are five myths about mentorship it’s time to debunk.
Myth: Perfect mentors are perfect people.
Truth: We often think that we have to be “perfect” to minister.
That simply isn’t true. Just think of Jesus’ disciples. They were far from perfect, and Jesus used them in mighty ways. We don’t need to be perfect to reach out and mentor; we just need to be willing. We need to have a desire to honor God and a willingness to pull someone along the journey with us.
Myth: Mentors are always “older women.”
Truth: There’s no age requirement.
I used to think that I couldn’t really be used by God until I was a certain age. I thought the real work was reserved for the oldest and wisest of us all. Then I realized that God can and does use young people to impact His kingdom. My younger sister, Suzanna, started mentoring another girl when she was only twelve years old. She had a little friend that she would “babysit” during a weekly Bible study my mom hosted at our house. Instead of just playing games, my younger sister decided to intentionally talk about Jesus with this little girl. They memorized verses, read through a devotional, and grew in their understanding of who God is. The next time you think you’re too young to have an impact, remember my little sister.
Myth: I need to go to Bible college to mentor.
Truth: You have the resources you need to mentor.
We don’t need to have the highest level of biblical education and knowledge to make an impact. We have the Word of God that is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. (You can find that promise in Hebrews 4:12). If you don’t know what to do or you feel ill-equipped, just read through a book of the Bible and discuss it as you go. You don’t have to be a Bible superhero to read God’s Word. You just have to open it and start reading. (Consider reading either Girl Defined or Love Defined. Each of those books has a built-in study with questions to ask and discuss).
Myth: I need a five-year plan.
Truth: No elaborate planning is required.
Throughout my years of mentoring, I’ve realized that it can be as formal or as informal as I want. Sometimes I just read a book with a girl. I don’t have a big five-year plan or goal in mind. I’m just reading and studying with her. There are other girls, like my sisters, that I plan to mentor for as long as I can. But even then I don’t have an elaborate long-term plan. I just know that I want to reach out and pour into their lives for as long as time allows.
Myth: I need to wait for a girl to ask me.
Truth: You don’t have to wait for someone to ask.
This is by far the biggest thing I’ve learned about mentorship over the years. I used to think that young women would have to approach me and ask me to mentor them. That was a bad plan. Often young girls are too scared and intimidated to ask an older girl to mentor them. Instead of waiting for them to come to me, I go to them. I pray, look around, pray some more, and then go ask. I’m encouraging you to do the same. Don’t wait for the girls to come to you; you take the first step and go to them.
I would love to hear your thoughts on mentorship.
- Have you ever been mentored?
- What kind of impact has mentorship made in your life?
- What is keeping you from reaching out and mentoring a young woman around you?