Mentoring other women can involve many different types of mentoring. You may find that you are asked to coach another woman through a sport like marathon running. Or, perhaps you can teach a skill either on the job or just for someone who would like to learn your particular skill. Whether you teach another woman how to quilt or paint a picture, though, the process of mentoring her means that you will spend time with that woman. Other types of mentoring such as sponsorship at work or in your church and informal counseling can also provide hours of relational connectivity with another woman. It is during these times that God will give you the opportunity to share with another woman your faith and belief in Christ and to tell her how Christ has changed your life.
Although a great deal of Active Relational Christian Mentoring (ARCM) involves the mentoring of another Christian, there are many times when we find ourselves developing mentoring relationships with unbelievers. Sometimes we are not even aware that the connectivity or relational development, which is occurring with a non-Christian, can also lead to a mentoring relationship.
Relationships, in general, can either develop slowly or quite quickly depending on the comfort level of both women in discussing things together. But, whether the relationship develops slowly or quickly, we must always be authentic about who we are. We should always let the light of Christ shine out from us through our words and our actions. Allowing Christ’s light to shine is important. For, even if you are just having lunches with a co-worker, over time and as you get to know each other, that woman will begin to see that there is something different about the way you act and the way you speak. Eventually, your acquaintance friend will give you opportunities to share your belief in Christ. You just have to be ready and willing when that time occurs. It is often at that point in time that you can start a Salvation mentoring conversation by telling the other woman your story about what Christ as done for you.
TELLING YOUR STORY
One of the worst things that Christians can do is try to push the Gospel upon another person. However, when you talk about yourself and what Christ has done for you, you are not being pushy. You are simply telling another about what has happened to you or how you have been affected by the Gospel message.
We all love to hear true stories. Moreover, depending on the type of story being told, they can entertain, inform or enlighten us. So, whether the person is telling you about climbing a mountain in Colorado on her summer vacation, or she is telling you a story about her latest trip to the mall where she found a great deal, you have, at the very least, learned something about her and her interests. You may also be taught and informed about a subject for which you previously knew little.
Another reason that people love to hear personal stories is that when you are telling a story about yourself, you are not trying to convince someone to do something. Rather, you are saying that this is what occurred to me, and here is how I am now living, or here is why I act the way that I do. Some of the stories that we tell about ourselves may be very exciting, or they may be boring to the listener, but there is one thing that the listener understands; the story that you are telling is your story, and it has affected you in some manner or another.
Some stories can touch an inner part of that person in such a way that her thinking or her life is changed forever. For example, when you tell a story about climbing a mountain, depending on what occurred during your climb, the one listening is probably either thinking one of two things: she is either thinking to herself that she would like to someday have the courage and stamina to climb a mountain, so maybe she should try to train herself to someday attempt such a climb; or she is thinking that she would never try to attempt such a feat. If she decides that she has no interest in climbing, she has made a decision not to change her life and will continue on the path that she feels most comfortable living. On the other hand, if she decides that she, too, would like to start climbing, she has decided to change the direction of her life and pursue a sport or hobby that she previously may not have even thought about.
If you tell a simple story about shopping at the mall and then finding and buying something that you have always wanted for a great low price, the listener again probably has either one of two main thoughts. First, the listener might be excited for you that you have found such a good deal. She, too, may then decide to go to the mall and see if she can find a similar good deal for something that she has been hoping to purchase. The store sales that you have described in your story are enticing to her. Or, the listener might not be interested in your story of finding the perfect deal, because she doesn’t have anything that she wants to buy at the moment. She may be happy for your shopping success and even congratulate you, but she does not plan to give up her Saturday to go to the mall to shop.
Both of these two different stories told over lunch have affected the story teller’s life in some way, and they may in the future affect the listener’s life in a positive way. For, the listener has either chosen to pursue something similar to what you have described, or she has chosen to do nothing at that time about the information she has been given. However, she will keep the new information in her mind for awhile, and she may even at a later time decide to do something with the information she has been given. But, even if the story did not affect the listener’s life in any specific way, at the very least the listener has learned more about you. She now knows something about what makes you happy, and she knows how you spend your spare time.
Stories about ourselves can be sad, happy, inspiring, funny, encouraging, and even thought provoking, or they can just give the other person more insight into how we think and who we are. Moreover, a story about our self can be a powerful tool in developing a relationship. Even though some stories are more powerful than others, all of the stories that we tell about our self can be stories that can change a life or change the perception of the one who is hearing the story. Certainly, if we tell the story of how Christ “Saved” our life, we have a powerful tool in sharing the Gospel without being pushy. The story of how Christ changed your life is worth telling, and it can be a great ARCM tool that can lead a non-Christian to Christ. Your story can also give strength and encouragement to another Christian who is going through some type of adversity.
Words are powerful! In fact, Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said:
“The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war…”
– (Ecclesiastes 9: 17. NIV).
“A man has joy in making an apt answer, and a word spoken at the right moment – how good it is!”
-- (Proverbs 15: 23. Amplified).
“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
– (Proverbs 25: 11. Amplified).
All “born-again” Christians have words to speak to other people. We just have to get the courage to speak the words that the Holy Spirit puts in our hearts and minds. Some of the words that we can speak to others come directly from God’s Word, so we don’t even have to worry about what to say, if we can go to the Scriptures and share them with others. In fact, all of us should know the Scriptural path to Salvation in case God gives us the opportunity to share with a non-Christian how to be “Saved.” There are many Scriptures that can lead someone to Christ. At other times our words can be simply our own words quietly spoken with conviction. These can be the words that you use to tell the story of how God “Saved” your life. Such words can be extremely powerful. Even if the story of your Salvation is not an adventurous or exciting story, it is your story, and your story changed your life. It is exciting to you. The listener to your story can see in your eyes and in the way that you tell your story that you were changed from the moment that you were “Saved”. The listener can tell that you truly believe what you are sharing, and she will see the light of Christ emanating from you.
Many of you have dramatic stories of how Christ “Saved” your life. Some of us, however, have a very simple story about our initial Salvation, but there is nothing wrong with that. Those who have a simple story of their Salvation may also have other stories about how Christ has intervened in their life; stories that explain more about who they are spiritually, and why they trust in Christ and want to live for Him.
Whether your story is about being saved from a drug ravaged life through Christ’s offered Salvation, or your story is about being “Saved” as a child in church one Sunday morning, you have a story to tell. Moreover, even though the initial story of your Salvation may be a simple one, you may also have a story of how Christ has been there for you throughout the years and during times of turmoil, sickness, grief, or disaster. These true stories give the listener something to think about, and they lend credence to Christ as the Savior of the world, because Christ has truly affected your life. He is real! Christ has “Saved” you, and the listener can see your happiness and the peace you have when telling your story!
I told most of my story over a year ago when I first started this blog, but I will give a brief recap here. I was “Saved” as a child during Bible school when I was only nine years old. From that point on, I wanted to live for Christ. But, a nine year old child does not really understand what living for Christ means. In fact, it was not until I was seventeen and after I was struck by a car while in a crosswalk that I began to truly understand what living for Christ was all about. Certainly, it was after the accident, when I finally realized that Christ would always be there to take care of me; even though the doctors did not give my parents and my fiancé much hope for my life to have any value and worth. Boy, did God upstage the doctor’s prognosis!
Although I still live in constant pain, I have had and I still have a wonderful life. God has blessed me with a son, and He has also blessed me with a daughter-in-law and three grandchildren. I am happily married to my husband of 45 years. Because of the accident, both my husband and I have grown closer to God and Jesus Christ, our Savior. In fact, Christ has been the One to get us through forty-eight surgeries together with grace and faith. I have discovered that often the struggles that we go through in life motivate us to reach for greater heights and especially for greater spiritual heights. For adversity can bring strength and even greater faith in the Lord. In fact, James, the brother of Jesus said that we are to:
“Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith brings out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking nothing.”
-- (James 1: 2-4. Amplified).
I have certainly had several trials and tribulations. But, even when I thought that I could no longer take the constant pain, Christ came to me and assured me that He would always be there for me and that I would never have more pain than I could handle. That story, in and of itself, is a supernatural story of Christ saving my life for the third time.
The third time? How can that be? Well, the first time Christ saved my life was when He “Saved” my soul with the Salvation He freely offered, which I accepted and obtained when I was nine years old. I am now a child of God’s, and I have a home in Heaven when the time comes for me to leave this earth.
The second time Christ saved my life was when I was in a crosswalk and was struck by a car. I was going to college at the time and had only been there one month when the accident happened. I remember waking up much later and asking my daddy why I was still here on earth. I knew I was prepared to go home to be with God, but for some reason I was still here in this world and in a very broken body.
By all medical knowledge, I shouldn’t be here today, but God had plans for my life. He did not take me home to Heaven that day when the car hit me, nor even later on when I got an infection in the compound fracture of my hip. For, I was not able to take the antibiotic that could save my leg and life. However, God performed a miracle, in that the very next day the infection was totally gone. Throughout the ordeal, I was given an opportunity to deepen my relationship with God. Then, when I was finally better, I was given the opportunity to mentor other women who as of yet did not know Christ personally.
With the help of many doctors and my faith in God, I was able to walk again after nearly a year in the hospital. I finally got out of the hospital long enough to walk down the aisle and marry the love of my life here on earth. However, within one week, I was back in the hospital again for more surgery. Fortunately, with the fast progress that was being made in medical science and the constantly new medical techniques that would come along every year or so, as well as with God’s divine timing, I was able to receive the medical help that I needed throughout the years. Both Gary and I trusted in God for my strength to endure the trials and sufferings that I would have to go through in this life.
God blessed me with a wonderful loving husband. He is also very brilliant. So, along the way, my husband encouraged me to get my college degree, and I ended up with two undergraduate degrees and one Master’s degree. With God’s spiritual help and the emotional support that I received from my husband, I was able to work in the education field for seventeen years. Then, the pain became too much for me to deal with while trying to teach children. I had to medically retire from teaching.
Then when the pain became too much, and I finally thought that my life was truly over, Christ saved my life the third time on December 18, 1992. That morning, I couldn’t sleep because of the all consuming pain. I had gotten up and gone into the Great Room to try and read to take my mind off the pain. Then, quite suddenly I realized that I could no longer take the pain. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, but I knew my life was over. I had a moment's peace at having finally made a decision to end my life of pain. But within seconds, the room was filled with an iridescent foggy cloud. Suddenly, standing across from me was Christ my Savior. (I know many of you may not believe me, but this is indeed what happened). Immediately Christ started talking to me about my life and He asked me what I would like to do with my life if I could stand the pain. I told Him, that I truly wanted to be the best Christian that I could be, the best wife that I could be, and the best mother that I could be. But, I also told Christ that I could no longer take the pain. It was at that point that Christ assured me that just as God had promised all His children that He would never forsake them, He would not forsake me. (See Hebrews 13: 5b). Then Christ assured me that I would also be able to handle the pain.
Previously, I had been contemplating having an intra-thecal pain pump placed inside of my body. But, there were so many pro’s and con’s (many things were still unknown about putting this type of pump in a non-terminal patient) that I had been having a hard time making a decision about what to do. Christ knew all about the pain-pump and told me to go ahead and have the surgery for it. But, Christ also told me that even though it would take care of a great deal of the pain, that it would not take away all the pain. However, Christ assured me that He would strengthen me, i.e. if I relied on Him, I would be able to handle the rest of the pain. For:
“I have the strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me: I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”
– (Philippians 4: 13. Amplified).
Believe it or not, this conversation with Christ took place without either one of us opening our mouths. But, the words were as clear as if we had both been speaking out loud. I don’t know how long this event took, but with heightened hearing, I heard my husband when he started to get out of bed in the far back master bed-room. Suddenly, I knew that Christ was going to leave. I kept hoping that my husband would not come down the hallway so that Christ would stay longer. However, as my husband grew ever closer to the Great Room where I was sitting, Christ disappeared, and by the time my husband got to the doorway, the foggy iridescent cloud was gone too.
Christ also gave me extra confirmation that He had been there with me and that it had not been a dream. You see, my husband, who was always a very late sleeper on Saturday mornings, said that he dreamed that something was terribly wrong and that I might take my life. Suddenly, he had awakened with an urgency to find me and make sure that I had not done anything to hurt myself. So, at six in the morning, he came down the hallway to check on me. God gave my husband an urgent word that I needed help, so he had gotten up to find me and talk to me.
When my husband came into the Great Room, I had the biggest smile on my face and immediately began to tell him about my sudden decision to kill myself, but that in an instant Christ had come, and He saved my life. For, Christ had given me both hope and the assurance that He would never forsake me. For the next 24-36 hours, the pain level was extremely low. I was actually able to handle the pain until the surgery in early January of 1993 when the doctor put in the intra-thecal pain pump.
The pain pump has truly been a life-saver. But, I don’t think that I would have had the surgery had it not been for my encounter with Christ. There were just too many con’s against the surgery, all of which have never come true for me. Christ, however, is truly the One Who Saved my life, and He saved my life for the third time. For, after speaking to Christ that day, I no longer wanted to take my life. I wanted to live for Christ. Although, I have spent the last twenty-two years fighting the pain, I can still say that I have had a good quality of life with the pump that helps me handle the pain. But, on the days when the pump is not covering the pain, it is my trust and faith in Christ that gets me through.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power forever and ever. Amen.”
-- (I Peter 5: 10-11. NIV).
I have never forgotten what Christ did for me, and I never will. This is the first time I have told this story to such a large audience. Until today, I have not told this story to over ten people, and then only one at a time when I needed to explain how Christ cares and loves each of us so very much. I am sure that you have a story that you can share with other women. You do not have to have an encounter in person with Christ to have a story to share. Remember, your Salvation story and your life lived for Him is your story. Your Story can have an impact on a non-Christian toward Salvation. Your story can strengthen the faith of other Christians. Never be afraid to tell your story. Use your story to reach others for Christ. Share with them how Christ has changed you and made a difference in your life.
Each “born-again” Christian has a story. Your personal story is not an intellectual story of just reciting what you have learned about Christ. It is not a recitation of what you have been taught in church or Sunday school. It is the story of what brought you to the point that you recognized that you were a sinner and needed saving. It is the story about you finally believing in the risen Lord and then asking Him to forgive you and come into your heart. It is the story of being re-born into a new person. It is the story of how your life was changed as a result of Christ coming into your heart.
So many secular people believe that Christians have bought into a story without any proof that it is true. They think that we are just followers of the crowd. Nothing could be farther from the truth! For, something happens to each individual who truly believes and asks Christ into their heart. First, Salvation brings such a wonderful peace to our souls. It is not just a momentary peace that occurs in church or under peer pressure as scoffers would like to believe; rather it is a daily, yearly and forever peace that permeates our souls. Secondly, “born-again” Christians know Who our Lord is and we want to live for Him. He is within us each and every day, and He is the One who helps us through our trials and tribulations in living in this world. We know we are never alone. Thirdly, we have been re-born into new humans who have a totally different outlook on life and a desire to live for Christ.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.”
– (II Corinthians 5: 17. NASV).
If you are a “born-again” Christian, you have a story to tell to others. Your story is unique to you. Even if it is a simple story of accepting Christ when you were a child, you have the story of the rest of the years that you have lived for Christ, and the story of how Christ has been there for you every step of the way. You may even have a story about being saved from a fall or accident of some kind. You may also have a story about overcoming some adversity with Christ’s help. Or you may have a story of peace within a storm in life. Whatever your story, it is yours and yours alone. It is a true story that can help someone else see Christ in your life and perhaps lead her to want to know Him the way that you know Him.
So what is your story, for everyone has one? You just need to take a little time to sit down and write out your story on paper first. Think about those things that Christ has done in your life for you and your family. Write down those things that you think that someone else would like to know about you and write about your relationship with Christ. Make sure your story has a beginning, a middle and an end up to the point of your telling the story. If we try telling our story without first thinking it through, most of us have a tendency to wander here and there and just include things as they come to forefront of our minds while we are talking, but which can make your story too long or rambling.
You do not want your story to be over twenty minutes, because the other person may not have the time to hear your entire life story. Between ten and fifteen minutes is a good timeframe for your initial story. If the listener asks questions afterwards, you can tell of other incidents in your life where Christ has been there for you, if time permits. Initially, you just want to include those parts in your story that have to do with Christ being there for you, and share how Christ has made a difference in your life since you have known Him. How did Salvation change you as a person? Then give examples of how you have enjoyed living for Christ.
Sometimes deciding what to include in your story is not easy, especially if you have had a very exciting and eventful life. That is why you need to sit down and think through the moments in your life when Christ has been there for you, choosing those moments that will best explain and clarify what you are trying to get across to the listener about Christ as your Savior and living for Him.
After you have written and refined your story, put it aside and think about it for a day. Then come back to it and make sure that it includes what you think is important to tell to another person about your life walk with Christ. Finally, read your story out loud a couple of times so that you feel comfortable in telling it. To get even more comfortable, tell your story to your spouse or a fellow Christian friend. After you have told your story, and you feel comfortable that it includes what you would want a non-Christian to know about your life and what Christ has done for you, you are ready and prepared to share your story about Christ with another person.
I also suggest that you learn the Scriptures of what is commonly known as “The Roman Road”. It is called “The Roman Road”, because most of the Scriptures come from the book of Romans. Other Scriptures I have included come from the book of John, II Corinthians, and Revelation. These are all Scriptures that explain the path of Salvation to someone who is not “Saved”. They include:
Romans 3: 23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6: 23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
John 3: 16-17 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For, God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”
Romans 5: 8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
II Corinthians 5:15 – “and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
John 3:3 – “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.’”
John 14: 6. – “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’”
Romans 10: 9-10 – “That if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus as Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in Salvation.”
Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My Voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
Romans 10: 13 – “For, ‘Whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord will be Saved.’”
I suggest that you memorize these Scriptures so that you are always ready to share the path of Salvation with your mentee or even a stranger. You may wish to start with your personal story and then end with the pathway to Salvation through the Scriptures. You may even want to add one of your favorite Salvation Scriptures to it. But however you decide to share your faith in Christ, be ready. Have your story ready, and either memorize the above Scriptures or have them written down to be easily reached within your purse or wallet.
If you are not yet a true “born-again” Christian, I pray that in reading “The Roman Road” that you will realize that you are a sinner. I pray that you decide to ask Christ to forgive your sins and then ask, believing that He not only was raised from the dead, but that He will indeed come into your heart and cleanse you from all unrighteousness and sin. You can do it! You can accept Christ as your Savior.
And if you are already a Christian, you can mentor another person for the Lord. You can share your story and perhaps lead another woman to Christ.