Use of Curriculum
As you and your mentee identify her needs, a book or Bible study could be helpful. Most next generation women are open to a “study” if it relates to their current need. If you don’t know much about the subject, no problem; you can learn along with your mentee. Mutual learning creates the collaborative atmosphere she loves. Remember, you are not the answer woman. She chose you because she trusts you and wants to learn from your life, so relax. If a book is selected, be sure to discuss it together instead of “teaching” the material.
It is our opinion that mentoring should include biblical truth. God’s Word is foundational for all of life and too many postmodern lives are untouched by it. Encourage your mentee to attend a strong Bible study to complement your influence in her life. We find that many young women already attend a Bible study and don’t want more of the same in mentoring. Nevertheless, in the mentoring relationship they are open to exploring Scripture that relates to their needs and growth goals.
Remember, the mentor is always responsible to bring God’s perspective to the table. If your mentee is not in Bible study, you want to think about how to introduce God’s Word into your relationship. If she has never done Bible study before, it may take some time for her to value God’s Word and want to learn from it. Once your relationship is established, the two of you may decide to choose Bible study as a growth goal, and you can teach her how to study God’s Word, or perhaps attend a Bible study together.
Traditional approaches to mentoring led us to believe that study of prepackaged material was the best way to grow a young woman. Our young women have voted and this is not their choice. Instead they want a mentor who listens to their lives. They hunger for truth presented in a believable format. They want to see firsthand how God works in a woman’s life, how to know and obey God in a messed-up world. Shared life experiences give them opportunities to connect their lives with biblical truth. If we want to draw our young women back, relationships must switch from a teaching focus to a relational focus where shared experiences are prominent.
When you make it your goal to see your mentee and respond to her needs, both of you experience a rewarding relationship. She grows, you grow, and God is glorified in your lives together. Isn’t this what we want? The results can be transformational when we put aside our workbooks and manuals, look into the eyes and hearts of our mentees, and begin the process of intentional listening, sharing, and loving.
Excerpted from Organic Mentoring. Copyright © 2014 by Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann. Used by permission of Kregel Publications.