Building Bridges through Mentoring

Creating safe places for learning in community, through diversity, and across generations
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"Let this be written for a future generation that a people not yet created may praise the Lord (Psalm 102:18, NIV)."

"But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts (Psalm 103:17-18, NIV)."

We mentor across generations so that women of all ages will love God, obey him, praise his name, and teach other men, women, and children they influence to do the same.

One mentee told us after months of mentoring experience, "I came away with many blessings, one of which was being a part of a diverse group of believers. I found it helpful to listen to the views of ladies in other seasons of life than my own at times. I would sometimes benefit from the wisdom of a more mature believer and sometimes it was the fresh eyes of a new disciple that I needed to look through for perspective and understanding."

We keep our blind spots and limit our focus when we only hang out with people who are of like mind and circumstance as us. For this reason, we intentionally diversified our mentoring groups. What does that mean? We offered various mentoring group opportunities at different times and home locations throughout the week. Then we asked potential mentees to prioritize the group meeting times and locations that worked best for their personal schedules. We did not tell them who the mentors were because we did not want them selecting a group based on a personality. (Jesus was the only human being to have the privilege of a "personality-driven" ministry, not us.) We did not tell them what resources we would use for mentoring, because we did not want them to turn away from the opportunity because they had perceptions about a book or its author. (We also did not want them to read the information prematurely.) So in many ways we stretched these women outside their comfort zones.

Throughout this process of forming mentoring groups, the leadership team prayed over the placement of mentees (in the same manner we selected the ministry leaders). We had a sub-team who worked to intentionally diversify the groups. In other words, we purposely placed single women and married women, working professionals and stay-at-home moms, older women and younger women in the same mentoring group. We have women as young as 20something in the same mentoring group as women who are over 60 years old, and both ages are learning from each other and reaping the benefits by focusing on the right priority—Jesus.

August07, 2012 at 8:28 AM

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