One of 4word’s passion areas is mentoring. It’s one of the great ways we support women in the workplace as they seek to honor God, honor their families, and excel in the place where God has called them to work.
We don’t often talk about the spiritual and Biblical aspects of these relationships, though. You see, mentoring others isn’t simply an option to help other women in their careers. It is actually a Biblical mandate. We have instructions for building these relationships straight from God’s word.
Why should we care about other people’s spiritual lives?
First, we are compelled by the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20a. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.”
Jesus didn’t say we should tell people about Him only if we feel like it, on days when we’re in a good mood, and when we think we’ve got life mastered. No, He said GO. That verb urges us to talk to people outside of our normal circle. The verse also says we need to TEACH. We don’t have to have a whiteboard and a formal presentation. In fact, personal relationships dramatically influence life change. We don’t have to go to seminary, or even read the whole Bible before sharing with others. How could we NOT pour out into others the grace we ourselves have been given? Life with Jesus is not meant to be a secret. It’s meant to be shared with other people who desperately need a Savior, too. Similarly, if we’ve been helped in our careers by a kind, wise person along the way, don’t we owe it to her to pay it forward?
The second reason we should actively seek to mentor others is for their freedom. In Galatians 5:1, we learn “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!” Many of us put ourselves under burdens that God doesn’t mean for us to be under, like obsessing about our weight or trying to meet someone’s definition of perfection. Some of us hold on to offenses, refusing to forgive. Jesus says “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” We are supposed to remind each other that we don’t have to remain in the heavy places. Living a life surrendered to God means we are free to hope, forgive, and love. As a mentor, you will have a lasting impact on your mentee as you help her find freedom in discerning what is truly important, setting reasonable goals, and striving to be the woman God called her to be. The ripple effects of your guidance will be immeasurable.
What should we teach them?
In spiritual mentoring, we should teach others to follow the pattern God gives us in the Bible. “Join with others in following my example, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you,” (Philippians 3:17). The pattern involves loving God, loving others, respecting our husbands, training our children, avoiding sin traps, worshipping regularly, and much more. When we are walking the walk, others will follow!
What should mentees expect from their spiritual mentors?
- Strengthening, encouragement, comfort. (1 Corinthians 14:3)
- Carry each others’ burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
- Conversations full of grace, seasoned with salt. (Colossians 4:6)
- Prayer, confession, and forgiveness. (James 5:13-16)
Here’s a story from a mentor from the 4word: Mentor program who experienced firsthand what can happen when we allow God to use us as spiritual mentors:
“I loved working with my mentee. Through our short time together, I was able to help her calm the chaos and discover ways to reduce the overwhelm that her fast-paced career was causing in her life. Just taking time to pray together was a huge help! Guiding her through strategic goal-setting and finding workable solutions to her challenges provided the plan that would bring more family time back to her daily routine–something she had been longing for. Gently pushing her to make tough decisions helped her overcome some of her fears as she stepped out in faith, allowing God to be the CEO of her business. Just being part of this process was a huge blessing to me as well, and my own faith grew as I witnessed how God changed her life. All I had to do was to let God use me as the conduit for His plan. No PhD required!” – Susan Tolles, 4word: Austin Leader
Do you feel called to be a mentor? Are you looking for a mentor? The 4word Mentor Program is currently accepting applications for the upcoming fall session. Visit the Mentor Program website today and submit your online application by September 2, 2016!