Friday, September 5, 2014

The Ministry of Mentoring

One day years ago, I was reading an article on mentoring and how God was calling more and more women to become mentors. I suddenly realized that God had given me the Ministry of Mentoring. I had just never thought to call it that. For many years, I had actually been mentoring several women at once without calling it mentoring. I was simply helping other women with all different kinds of needs through the formation of relationships, some of which turned into friendships. Some of these mentoring relationships were developed through Bible studies, which were held in our home. Other mentoring relationships were developed through introductions by friends and acquaintances, through my job or through work-related organizations, through women's clubs and through relationships developed at church.

Once I realized that what I had been doing was actually the Ministry of Mentoring, I decided to research the standard knowledge on mentoring. I quickly discovered that most of the knowledge on mentoring was secular, especially in its application.So, I went to the Bible to find out if God had anything to say about mentoring and relationships.I discovered that not only had God created us, but He had created relationships and the concept of mentoring, even if the word "mentoring" was never used in the Bible. For, the first relationship God had with Adam was actually a mentoring relationship. Later, Adam mentored Eve, and when they had children they mentored their children. Eventually all people were mentored at some point in their lives by another person or by God. We are still mentoring each other today, and God is still mentoring us if we allow Him to do so.

Mentoring is the main way people have shared their knowledge, gifts, skills, resources, and information throughout the years. It is a one-to-one sharing process that transmits information from one person to the other in an atmosphere of caring and kindness. But in order to share what we know, there has to first be the development of some type of relationship. It could be an acquaintance type relationship, a work-related relationship, a friendship relationship or one of the hundreds of other types of relationships we encounter in life.Whether someone is being taught how to grow better crops or is teaching their family members about God, mentoring all starts with the development of a relationship. Once some type of relationship is there or is being developed, one person can become the mentor and the other person the mentee. In other words, one person can be the one sharing what they know, and the other person is the one gaining from the information, skill, wisdom, resource, etc. which is shared.

Christian mentoring has at its foundation the mentor's Salvation and living for Christ. Because the Christian loves others as she loves herself, she is willing to help other women. You see, once we are "Saved" we not only love the Lord, but we desire to be of service to the Kingdom of God and to others who have yet to come to know Christ personally. The Kingdom of God is made up of all those individuals who have accepted Christ as their Savior. However, we are to also be of service to non-believers by being there for them and by sharing the Gospel message of Salvation.  It is through our sharing the Gospel message that the Kingdom of God grows daily as individuals turn to Christ and ask Him into their heart.

Once we are "Saved", we have an innate desire to be of service to God and to others by sharing the Gospel message of Salvation and by helping others when they have a need. Service to God and others can come in many forms. Some people become missionaries.Others serve in their church as leaders and Sunday school teachers. But no matter what kind of service you are engaged in, I believe that every Christian should be focused on mentoring both other Christians and non-believers along the way. Mentoring other women is a wonderful service all Christian women can perform.

Mentoring relationships give Christians opportunities to speak into the lives of others and to share our life with them. Developing mentoring relationships gives us the opportunity to be of service to Christ and others. Women Christian mentors can develop mentoring relationships with other women to help, share, comfort, teach, counsel, coach or to do accountability mentoring. Moreover, this type of relationship is Christian in that it has "loving our neighbor as ourselves" at the heart of the mentoring process.

I believe active relational Christian mentoring is needed more than ever in the world we live in today. Active relational Christian mentoring can play a major part in witnessing to others and in teaching the important aspects of our Christian life within a relaxed atmosphere. Through fellowship and communication active relational mentoring teaches, coaches, counsels and provides guidance in whatever the subject is that is being shared or taught. However, we need to be aware that there are two basic kinds of mentoring, and one kind is not active.

This other kind of mentoring is passive mentoring, and it occurs daily whether we realize it or not. Furthermore, although active relational Christian mentoring is always positive mentoring, passive mentoring can be both positive and negative mentoring. This is because passive mentoring relies upon the discernment and insight of the mentee to determine its value and usefulness. If there is lack of insight and discernment on the part of the mentee, the mentee may not understand the negative implications of what she has seen or heard through passive mentoring. For example, a passively mentored mentee may choose to wear a micro-mini skirt, low-cut top and very high heels to her work place simply because she sees someone on television doing the same. If the young woman has no one, i.e. no mentor, to explain to her the ramifications of that attire in the workplace, she can either be perceived as lacking in morals or as not being very smart or both. To her, though, she was just emulating what she had received through her passive viewing of the television. Unfortunately, she may have also put herself in harm's way.

Passive mentoring comes from seeing and listening to the things and people around us, so passive mentoring can also involve reading a book, watching television, listening to the radio, or even attending a conference. However, the main difference between active and passive mentoring is that one requires a relationship and the other does not. Passive mentoring does not require a relationship. Simple everyday passive mentoring often occurs with people watching each other and learning about each other from the things they say and do. Unfortunately, with passive mentoring, the mentee has to use discernment in determining what she wants to take away from what the passive mentor has said or done. For example, if I go out to lunch with a group of women and use derogatory words about another person who isn't there, the women I am with will quickly learn that I cannot be trusted. I can't be trusted, because I might say something derogatory about them behind their backs too. On the other hand, if I refuse to gossip about someone when others are doing so, the women listening will begin to realize that I can be trusted not to gossip about them. By listening to what I say or in this case what I don't say, I am setting a moral standard with my behavior that others may choose to emulate. However, the women at the luncheon table need to be discerning about my behavior as well as discerning about the other women's behavior in order to choose what they should or should not emulate. Certainly, the young lady in the previous example who wore the inappropriate clothes to work should have been discerning about what she saw on television.

So, no matter what we say and do in life, whether we are observed for what we wear or observed for how we speak or behave, we are always being watched and are thus passively mentoring others either by our actions or inactions. However, it is a combination of our actions and inactions, as well as our verbal and observable mentoring that passively mentors and greatly influences the people around us. In fact, being aware of our verbal and non-verbal daily passive mentoring potential is extremely important to our Christian walk. Being aware of what we are doing daily as well as what we can do for the Lord through our daily witness is the first step in becoming a great Christian mentor.

When we take mentoring from passive mentoring, or the causal observance of others and their observance of us, to the intentional active mentoring of skills, gifts, knowledge, resources, and Biblical truths, we have brought mentoring to a completely new level of service to the Lord. It is through active mentoring that we set aside time to communicate with and teach others. When we give of our time and energy to fellowship with another woman for the purpose of helping or sharing the Gospel, we are practicing true servanthood. Moreover, by engaging in active mentoring relationships we are telling others that they are important not only to us, but to Christ as well. We are being true servants of Christ's. Active relational Christian mentoring is Christian love in action.

Active relational Christian mentoring is all about the development of relationships based upon the mentor’s knowledge of Christ and the Salvation Christ has offered to all who would believe, repent and turn from their sinful ways. We are all born sinners and we sin daily in either our actions, inactions, or thoughts. But we can be forgiven of our sins if we believe on Jesus Christ as the living Son of God, and we then repent and ask forgiveness of our sins. Once we have done that, we are reborn into a new person who has Christ living in our heart. It is at this point that we need to focus on being a committed disciple of Christ's and living for Christ daily. Active relational Christian mentoring focuses on making true and committed disciples of those who have chosen to follow Christ; helping them grow, mature, and use all the talents and gifts that God has bestowed upon them through the mentoring process of teaching, coaching, counseling, and accountability mentoring. It is also about developing relationships which can give mentees support and encouragement during the trials and difficulties of life.

All "born-again" Christians have been given the relational mission of sharing the Gospel message and helping others.  Actively mentoring other women for the express purpose of passing on knowledge, skills, resources and godly advice within the body of Christ and witnessing to non-Christians through the Ministry of Mentoring can facilitate that mission. God has also given each person certain gifts and talents to use in their relational mission.  Women are especially equipped to mentor their families and other women.  But in order to accomplish our mission in life, we must actually develop Christ-centered relationships with others. Christ-centered simply means that we exemplify and portray our new life in Christ wherever we go and in whatever we do.

There are many types of relationships that we will encounter in life, starting with our parental relationships when we are born. Then, as we progress through life, we develop close relationships with other extended family members, friendship relationships, husband and wife relationships, sibling relationships, boyfriend and girlfriend relationships, employer and employee relationships, and fellow employee relationships, as well as fellow church member relationships, just to name a few. In fact, we may be in many different types of relationships at any one time. But whatever relationship we are in, Christ should always be at the center of that relationship. Moreover, as Christian women who can capable of having many different types of relationships at one time, we can easily add one more mentoring relationship to our lives in servanthood to the Lord and others. Our goal, as Christian women is to reach out to other women in need, whatever that need may be. In fact, we are to engage in our relational mission on a continual basis. For, this is our mission: to witness to the world (even our small part of the world) for Christ and the Gospel and to live and to mentor others through the living out of a Christ-like life as we encourage, support, help, love and care about others in this world. We can do all of this and more through our active Christian mentoring relationships, as we engage in Christian servanthood.

Think about your life and how you are living it. Are you living your life for the Lord? Are you helping others along the way? Do you care about the needs of other women or are you so wrapped up in your everyday life that you only think about yourself and your immediate family. In one of His parables, Christ said, "... 'For I was hungry and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was in prison, and you visited Me.' Then these righteous ones will reply, 'Lord, when did we ever see You hungry and feed You? Or thirsty and give You something to drink? Or a stranger and show You hospitality? Or naked and give You clothing? When did we ever see You sick or in prison and visit You?' And the King will tell them, 'I assure you that when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me.'" -- Matthew 25: 35-40 NLT.

Active Relational Christian Mentoring has at its heart the above Scripture from Christ. For even though a woman may not need clothing, water or food, we still have the responsibility of communicating with other women for the purpose of helping them reach their potential in Christ. We have the responsibility of sharing our gained knowledge and wisdom, of sharing information and resources, as well as of sharing our God-given gifts and skills with others who could benefit from what we have been blessed to know and accomplish in life. No one should have to re-invent the wheel, so to speak. If we know how to do something and can show someone how to do it, we are being a blessing to them and to the Kingdom of God. Whether it is sharing the Gospel message once a relationship has been established, or it is simply teaching someone how to develop a budget for their home, we have been given the relational mission of sharing what we know through active relational Christian mentoring. In the mentoring process the mentee can see how we honor God through our daily life lived for Christ.

Think about becoming a Christian mentor to another woman.  I know that you can be that support, comfort, and help that some woman may need.  You Can Do It!  You can mentor another woman and empower her to be more than she ever thought she could be.


  1. Look at you go. Wow, this is super-duper. So proud of you.

  2. Absolutely beautiful, Vicky. A wonderful teaching lesson to us on active relational Christian mentoring. There is so much here to take in, and I think I like and learned most in the difference between passive and active mentoring- makes me think and also reflect, once again, how important our "seen behavior" by the world and others is in demonstrating the true, lovely, sweet nature of our Jesus Christ. Relationships and servanthood and how they are linked...fantastic. Love the main Scripture you have at the crux of your Ministry of Mentoring: Matthew 25: 35-40. Such a valuable lesson here and to meditate you. Jesus' blessings to you and yours, specifically in your new blog- so meaningful and timely, needed!