I have a special treat for you all today!
I had the opportunity to get a sneak peak of the newest book by Janet Thompson, Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life’s Experiences and God’s Faithfulness.
Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission which helps to cover the costs of this site and supports my family.
Mentoring for all Seasons is an excellent resource book on mentoring that you’re going to want to purchase for your team. Unlike other books on mentoring, this book offers scriptural and practical advice for mentors and mentees walking through difficult seasons in life including: step-parenting, abuse, single mothering, infertility, menopause, grand-parenting, tragedy, care-giving, and health issues. Your mentors will want to keep this resource handy!
Do not miss the special free sample chapter at the end of the post! The last page of the sample contains a 50% off code for orders of 5 or more books!
I know you’ll be blessed by this special guest post from Janet Thompson today.
6 Ways Mentoring Brings the Generations Together In Women’s Ministry
The Bible never tells the church to start a Men’s or Women’s Ministry specifically, but the apostle did Paul give this message to Titus, who was starting a church plant in Crete and knew he couldn’t run the church by himself. Paul’s instructions to Pastor Titus regarding the women were . . .
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:3-5
These are not only foundation verses for mentoring, but also for the first women’s ministry in the church! Every women’s ministry since should have the same mission statement and focus of spiritually older women teaching and training the godly life to the spiritually younger women in all areas of the church. But over the years, women’s ministry has drifted away from this focus, and sadly the generations are often distanced from each other rather than learning from each other.
I emphasize spiritually older and spiritually younger, because spiritual mentoring relies on years of faith and spiritual maturity not solely chronological age. A new believer might be old in age, but a baby in Christ and would need a mentor spiritually older who might be younger in years.
Six ways to bring the generations back together again: God’s original purpose for women’s ministry in His church.
1. Recognize that women are always experiencing a new life season, coming out of one, or going into a new one. How is your women’s ministry reaching each woman in her season?
While chatting with several women at a church potluck, the conversation turned to their struggles with menopause and the changes in their bodies. I’m so glad to be on the other side of that life season which brought back memories of never knowing how many nightgowns I was going to go through or wondering if my face and neck would suddenly turn red and blotchy while speaking. But I also remembered a conversation I had with an elderly woman in our church about menopause when I started Woman to Woman Mentoring twenty years ago. She said she felt the church had really let her down when no one told her what to expect during menopause. You can be sure in my new book Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness, there’s a chapter on mentoring during menopause and other body changes. But how many women’s ministries address those kinds of life seasons?
Incorporating an aspect of mentoring into your women’s ministry allows women who have gone through a life season to mentor those experiencing something similar. We’re always coming out of a season where we can mentor and going into a new one where we need a mentor.
2. Every ministry team should include younger and older women.
In The Team That Jesus Built: How to Develop, Equip, and Commission a Women’s Ministry Team, I point out that…Humanly, we migrate towards people who think and act like us, but teams comprised of mirror images of the leader are ineffective, cliquey, and constrained. A diverse team is versatile, creative, innovative, and challenge the leader to work with people who differ from her. A healthy, well-balanced team will have members representing:
- A wide age range
- All seasons of life
- Varied personalities
- Different spiritual gifts
3. Also in the Team That Jesus Built, I stress the importance of every ministry and team leader having an apprentice that they’re mentoring.
Part of a leader’s responsibility is developing the next generation of leaders.
4. Have every facet of the ministry include spiritually older women “mentors,” whether it’s at a Bible study table, in a small group, singles groups, moms—wherever the women are meeting.
Be careful not to let your ministry divide into “identity groups.” For example, a moms group needs to welcome all moms in all stages of motherhood and include older moms, empty nest moms, and grandmothers who can provide wisdom to younger moms. If your church has a new believers class or discipleship groups, women still need to know how to live the Christian life as a woman in all life seasons.
5. If you have an annual retreat, how many women remember a month later what the retreat speaker said, or maybe even her topic?
As a retreat speaker, that’s hard for me to say, but it’s true. What if you matched women at the retreat or formed small groups and have spiritually older women with spiritually younger women study together after they get home.
6. I would be remiss if I didn’t include adding a Mentoring Ministry.
Women can get lost or hide their issues in a group, but they will be open and vulnerable with a relationship that develops with a mentor, one-on-one. Matching a spiritually older mentor who has experienced a life season that the mentee is now experiencing is invaluable, as many of the sixty-five mentors and mentees share in my new book Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness.
I couldn’t have written Mentoring for All Seasons in the early years. I needed to see all the seasons women are experiencing, and many I’ve personally experienced, to understand how to help both mentors and mentees get the most out of every life season. And to give mentors the tools to know they can do it. Mentoring is as simple as the subtitle says, Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness, which is the tagline for my ministry. She doesn’t have to know every Scripture, I’ve provided many for discussion, or have all the answers. Just be willing to lead the mentee to God as they both grow in their faith.
Young women are crying out for spiritually older women to come alongside them, but they may not know how to ask or find one who will take the time. We need to do everything possible in all areas of women’s ministry to bring the generations together in our churches, not separate them. The older women need to know how much the younger women need their wisdom and experience. We need to remind them all God wants for “One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” Psalm 145:4.
In a world where mentoring has taken a back seat to social media and remote relationships, Janet Thompson’s new book, Mentoring for All Seasons, reclaims the power of personal relationships and God’s call on our lives to mentor and be mentored. In Mentoring for All Seasons, Janet shares the why, what, where, when, and how of mentoring in such a practical and powerful way that readers will be equipped and emboldened to once again embrace Titus 2 personally, as well as corporately. I highly recommend it as a must read for all women and ministry leaders alike!
—Stephanie Shott founder of The MOM Initiative, an in-reach and outreach missional ministry dedicated to helping the body of Christ minister to moms who know Christ and reach those who don’t.
Click the link below to view a sample chapter of the book and get the special discount on the last page!
Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness is available now on Amazon, Kindle, and Signed by the Author at her website.
Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 19 books. Her latest release is Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness.
She is also the author of Forsaken God?: Remembering the Goodness of God Our Culture Has Forgotten; The Team That Jesus Built; Dear God, Why Can’t I Have a Baby?; Dear God They Say It’s Cancer; Dear God, He’s Home!; Praying for Your Prodigal Daughter; Face-to-Face Bible study Series; and Woman to Woman Mentoring: How to Start, Grow, & Maintain a Mentoring Ministry Resources.
She is the founder of Woman to Woman Mentoring and About His Work Ministries. Visit Janet and sign up for her Monday Morning Blog and online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com . Connect with Janet on Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Disclaimer: As a member of the launch team I received a free copy of Mentoring for All Seasons: Sharing Life Experiences and God’s Faithfulness.