Read 1 Corinthians 11:1, (AMP).
Connecting with women through coaching and mentoring can be energizing and fulfilling. Paul the apostle encouraged the community of believers in the church at Corinth to follow his Christlike example and thereby develop into devoted disciples of Christ.
In recent years, numerous individuals in the corporate workplace and church world have begun utilizing professional coaches and life mentors to provide assistance in business, personal, and spiritual development. Most of these relationships are contractual, and include fees and binding agreements. When considering coach/mentor relationships for women in the local church, these connections can transpire through a much more informal approach.
A coach/mentor relationship with a mentee can be a simple arrangement with relatively few guidelines. If the program is too tightly structured with multiple expectations, it will deter women from participating.
Character traits of a Coach/Mentor:
1. Growing in spiritual maturity.
2. Solidly identifies with biblical directives.
3. Comfortable in her own skin.
4. Engages in active listening.
5. Able to ask thought-provoking questions.
6. Encourages feedback.
7. Enjoys people.
Read Colossians 4:12. Describe spiritual maturity according to this passage.
Distinguishable Traits of a Mentee:
1. Desires to grow spiritually.
2. Takes responsibility and action points seriously.
3. Looks for relational connection.
Minimum Expectations for the Coach/Mentor–Mentee Relationships:
1. One-year commitment.
2. Connect monthly.
· Review a book together.
· Participate in an activity together.
· Conversations should center around Mentee’s interests/desires/challenges.
3. Enjoy personal and relational growth.
List two specific activities in which a pair could engage for relationship development.
Launch a Mentor/Mentee Initiative for women in the local church by utilizing these steps:
1. Explain the initiative in a concise fashion with a brochure, video announcement, or Sunday bulletin.
2. Sponsor an opportunity for partnerships to form by:
· Providing a sign-up at a women’s event.
· Having each participant complete a Profile Sheet (Mentor and Mentee, see example).
3. Women’s Leadership team will approve or assign pairs according to requests from Profile Sheet.
4. Leadership team or Mentor coordinator will contact pairs three times annually to check in with them and to encourage their continued participation.
5. Leadership team or Mentor coordinator will send an Evaluation Exit Survey to each participant at the end of the one-year commitment.
6. Leadership team or Mentor coordinator will review evaluations and determine what changes need to be made prior to the next sign-up opportunity.
Mature women should accept the responsibility of speaking life into the next generation. Regardless of our age, we can mentor someone who is younger or less experienced in their walk with Christ!
Read Exodus 12:24, 26-27 (NIV): ”Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants…And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?', then tell them… .”
Read Deuteronomy 4:9 (NIV): "Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely . . . do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them… ."
A Less-Structured Approach
The structured approach to mentoring may be most effective for some ministries to women. However, a more naturally occurring approach to mentor relationships can also be effective. If you would like to use a more organic approach to fostering mentor relationships, consider the following steps:
- Simply make the women aware of the value of investing in women with less experience. Offer Bible studies and small groups that will train and equip women to mentor.
- Encourage the women in your church to intentionally invest in another woman.
- The basic guidelines described in the structured approach to mentoring can still be applicable to a less-structured approach.
Long-lasting and effective mentoring can occur when there is a natural connection with individuals.
Another aspect of organic relationships is fostering intentional friendships. Nearly every woman has something to offer through intentional friendship. Those who have walked through a particular situation can now walk with someone else who is in a similar circumstance. For example, you may become aware that Ann has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and you know that Susan is a breast cancer survivor. Simply contact Susan and ask her to call, e-mail, or meet with Ann to offer encouragement and support. These intentional efforts can turn out to be a one-time encounter, or may blossom into a lifelong friendship.
What steps do I need to take in order to initiate a Mentor-Coach relationship with a mentee?
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society®.
“One on One Connections” is published by National Women’s Ministries at women.ag.org, ©2020. Permission to reproduce is limited to personal use or within a teaching setting. All other forms of use are prohibited.