Last week we looked at the importance of one-on-one ministry and some of the key aspects of mentoring. Today, let’s consider five reasons why mentoring is worth incorporating into women’s ministry.
1. The Bible commands it.
Scripture says, “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 train 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).
2. God calls women to it.
“Those he predestined, he also called” (Rom. 8:30). God knew from the beginning that women would need some instruction on godly living, so He called the older, more spiritually mature women of His church to teach younger Christian women that which is good. This includes single, married, divorced, widowed, professionals, homemakers, and every woman of the church. In her book, Between Women of God, Donna Otto says, “As I look back, I clearly see how God has faithfully provided other older women—messengers, models, mentors—to lead me along, to show me my Lord and Savior, to share the message of His love in flesh-and-blood, hands-on ways, and to help me with the nuts and bolts of everyday living. Woman after woman helped me find Christ and thereby discover rest and hope, peace and encouragement, health and fulfillment in all that God has for me. Each one delivered her message differently, and each one was effective.”1
3. God qualifies women for the task.
If we “examine the biblical basis for a woman’s worth and God’s place for her in ministry from the perspective of women as qualified for ministry,”2 we see that women can minister with other women like no one else. Women are qualified for a number of reasons.
- They have been created in the image of God.
- They are qualified by redemption.
- They are qualified by Old Testament example.
- They are qualified by the example of Jesus.
- They are qualified by the example of the early church.
- They are qualified by Scriptural injunction.
- They are qualified by opportunity.
- They are qualified by the blessing their ministry brings to the entire church.3
4. A mentoring ministry will build the church.
Vickie Kraft, author of Women Mentoring Women, says, “I believe that God’s promise to provide gifted persons for the equipping of the church includes His giving gifted women to local congregations. I believe God gives each congregation the gifted women it needs to minister to the unique needs of its women. When older women train the younger women in a vital women’s ministries program, not only are the women encouraged, but families and marriages are strengthened and stabilized…A church without a vital ministry to women is like a home without a mother.”4
5 . There are blessings for the mentor.
In a mentoring ministry, mentors help other women along in the journey of faith. They also equip younger women with the essentials they need to live godly lives. In “Packing for the Journey,” in Christian Single magazine, Deborah Tyler says, “You have to slow down enough to listen, to care. You will have to consider the needs of others and not just your own. But the payoff is significant. As you travel the feminine journey, take time to listen to the beat of another’s heart. By doing so your own heart will grow stronger and you’ll have more energy for the road ahead.”5
There are other things that mentoring will do for the mentor. Their own answers become clearer; they will complement and clarify their own understanding; their mentorees will become teachers and mentors; they will refresh and rejuvenate the energy of youth; they will enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done; and they will work on a project with lasting value and eternal significance.6
Listen carefully. The Bible commands mentoring; women are called to it; they are qualified for it; it builds the church; and it benefits the mentor. How could Christian women possibly say no to mentoring when God says yes? Oh, how younger women are searching for mature, godly role models—a Sarah, a Naomi, an Elizabeth—to guide them in the truth of God’s Word. Women are ordained through Scripture, called of God, and in need of one another. A mentoring program is vital in women’s ministry.
This article is adapted from a chapter written by Valerie Howe and found in Women Reaching Women: Beginning and Building a Growing Women’s Ministry compiled by Chris Adams.
1. Donna Otto, Between Women of God (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), 17.
2. Vickie Kraft, Women Mentoring Women (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992), 16.
3. Ibid., adapted from 16-22.
4. Ibid., 12.
5. Deborah Tyler, “Packing for the Journey,” Christian Single, December 1995, 31.
6. Parrott and Parrott, 66.