Next in our series on the state of women’s discipleship, #AmplifyWomen, we hear from Mentor for Life author Natasha Sistrunk Robinson about how to fill in the gaps where Christians aren’t being adequately taught, mentored, and equipped.

As a former Marine Corps officer and seminary grad, Robinson has dedicated her career to the command in Hebrews 5 that all believers should be teachers of God’s Word. In Robinson’s view, some Christians lack the opportunity—and sometimes the initiative—to pursue robust discipleship relationships, which means they miss out on spiritual growth for themselves and others. Women, in particular, often don’t have access to the institutional structures that typically slide men into formalized mentorships. “Local churches have a great opportunity to create a leadership pipeline for men and women by pursuing an intentional model for discipleship,” says Robinson.

Drawing on her own relationships with sisters in Christ, Robinson speaks here about how to empower women across cultural divides, how to mentor millennials, and how to learn from the legacy of the African American church, where discipleship relationships are more common.

You’re a big proponent of “in real life” community and empowering women through close, intentional mentoring relationships. What challenges do social media and the blogosphere present to women’s spiritual formation?

The purpose of leadership is to unleash people, to set them free to do the work that God has and to go out with the blessing and support of their local context. But that doesn’t always happen. People get shut out. The systems that have been set up in local congregations are often marginalizing ...

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