A Fresh (and much needed) Perspective on Mentoring

The stereotypical picture of mentoring is of two women, one older than another, meeting weekly to study the scriptures for a set number of months.

The problem is that in many churches these types of formal “mentoring programs” just aren’t working.

Churches are finding that their women are “programmed-out”. Their women see mentoring programs as one more thing to cram into their over-stuffed schedules.

We need a different approach.

A fresh (and much needed) perspective on mentoring.

There is a Biblical alternative.

It’s one that Sophie Hudson tackles in her newest book, Giddy Up, Eunice – Because Women Need Each Other*Please note this post contains affiliate links.

For those of you who don’t know who Sophie is, let me give you a little background. She is the author of Boo Mama Blog. She’s as southern as it comes and she is a great, big HOOT ya’all! I had the pleasure of being introduced to Sophie when she spoke at the blogging conference, Allume, I attended back in October 2014. She writes the way she talks. So if you’re not used to a southern drawl and southern sayings, you are in for a treat!

What we have in common far exceeds any perceived generational differences

Sophie walks readers through three sweet mentoring relationships God shares with us in His Word – Mary and Elizabeth, Ruth and Naomi, and Lois and Eunice. Side note: I admit I wasn’t totally sure who Lois and Eunice were in the Bible. Here’s a link to 2 Timothy 1:5 if you need it.

Almost the first half of Giddy Up, Eunice is dedicated to examining the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. It would make a great foundation for a retreat! How better to encourage our women to be Mary’s and Elizabeth’s than to study that story in scripture together! (Oh, if I could get Sophie to lead that retreat I would be over the moon, ya’all! Really!)

In addition to digging deep into scripture, Sophie shares her own personal stories of how “we can find comfort and encouragement from someone in similar circumstances even if we don’t belong to the same demographic…all too often, though we look to folks of our same age and miss the wisdom and the perspective of someone who’s a little farther along.” Just like Mary and Elizabeth…

I promise you there are women in your church and community that are outright desperate for someone to step into their lives to love on and encourage them.

Desperate for a Christian friend. Desperate for a real, honest friendship. Desperate for someone to pray for them.

Sophie puts into words what we all know is true, “At every age and stage of life, women need other women who will listen, confirm, teach, bless, and pray.”

Safe places become sacred spaces

So how does Sophie suggest we find a mentor? By first finding a friend. As those friendships blossom and grow, without any word, awkward plea, form, or pledge, older women become mentors.

I haven’t usually noticed it in my own life as it happened, but looking in the rearview mirror I can see how Kim, Lois, and Jeanine became my mentors – though none of us ever used that word.

And to those women in the church who feel like they have served and it’s their right to put up their shoes and rest, Sophie’s got a few words of “encouragement” for them too – “Elizabeth’s life is a beautiful reminder that God continues to do new things in and through us no matter what our age happens to be.”

There’s so much more, but I don’t want to spoil the book for you!

Giddy Up, Eunice would be a great book for your entire women’s ministry team to read and discuss.

Figure out how you can encourage women to listen, confirm, teach, bless and pray for one another. I know you’ll come up with some great ideas! Maybe you’ll read it like I did and want to do a whole weekend retreat on the relationships of Mary, Elizabeth, Ruth, Naomi, Eunice, and Lois.

I’d love to hear what you’re doing to encourage your women to build relationships with one another across the generations! Your ideas may be just what another team leader needs to hear!

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Giddy Up, Eunice in exchange for my honest review of the book on my site. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. No monetary compensation was received. 

You may also want to read:
Why Women are Running From Mentoring
Watch out for these mentoring pitfalls!
Changing False Assumptions Women Make About Mentoring

One year ago: 6 Questions Your Women Will Have About the First Day of Bible Study
Two years ago: The Best Women’s Ministry Theme Ever
Three years ago: Calendar Planning: 3 Critical Questions

Encouragement Idea: Blessings Bags