Saturday, January 31, 2015

"Momentary" Active Relational Christian Mentoring

On a cold blustery Sunday after church services, I was given a chance to speak into another woman’s life. I was waiting for my husband to bring the car around to pick me up, when I suddenly decided to step back in the building to wait for him out of the cold. Just inside the door I encountered a woman crying. I asked her if there was something wrong. Was she sick or hurting? Had she just received bad news? Finally, I asked her if the Holy Spirit was convicting her about something. At which point, she said she didn't know. So, I asked her if she was “Saved”. She said, “yes”. Then I asked her if she felt like the Holy Spirit was trying to tell her something. It was at this point that she started to open up and talk. It seems that among other things, she was being convicted about her failure to regularly attend church.

I am not sure what the Lord wanted me to do or say. But, I know that God orchestrated our meeting. Did I say the right things? I don’t know that I hit the nail on the head with my gentle questioning, but I know that I really cared about her and wanted to help. Through words of comfort and care, I assured her that God loved her and that whatever her situation, God would be there for her to help her through it. A few minutes later our pastor came over to speak to her privately. So, upon leaving, I gave her my telephone number and assured her she could call me any time if she needed to talk.

I shared this with you, because Active relational Christian mentoring is not always about mentoring over several weeks, months or years, although some mentoring can certainly take those amounts of time. ARCM is simply about being there for another woman. The amount of time necessary for the mentoring sessions is established by the mentor and mentee and depends upon the topic. For example, if I reach out to support or comfort another woman, I may find that the mentoring is momentary or only takes one session. On the other hand, if I am an accountability mentor trying to help my mentee quit smoking, I may need to mentor her daily and then weekly for the next few weeks or months. However, once the mentee has truly quit smoking, I may only be called upon to speak into her life during times of stress when it would be easy for her to start smoking again.

Whether it is counseling a mentee on an important decision, or encouraging her during an emotional crisis, it is important to recognize when God places a mentee in front of us. But, when we recognize that God has given us a mentoring service to perform, we have to step forward to mentor, even if it is just momentary mentoring. The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For, just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.” – (II Corinthians 1: 3-5 NASV).

That day, I was faced with an emotionally distraught woman. I could have thought about my husband sitting and waiting on me. I could have thought that I needed to get home to fix lunch or any other number of thoughts, which might have kept me from helping this woman. Obviously, the devil throws out all kinds of reasons why we should not stop and comfort a woman. But, with her tears, I knew this woman was hurting. I didn't know if I could help, but I knew that the Lord wanted me to comfort her.

ARCM is living life the way Christ wants us to live it. He wants us to do for others as we would want someone else to do for us. We are to love others as we love ourselves. So, it is important that we get in the habit of listening for promptings from the Holy Spirit. But, we also have to act upon those promptings.

If we slow our lives down a little, we will have many opportunities to help other women. Moreover, just as a swimming teacher doesn't throw you in the deep end of the pool when you aren't ready to swim there, God won’t throw you into situations for which you are not ready. Instead, like a swimming student is initially placed in the shallow end of the pool, God puts small mentoring services in our path first too. Some of those small mentoring services can then turn into larger ones. But, no matter the size of the service, we should be willing to do that which the Lord wants us to do. I know you can do it!

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