Are you interested in creating a mentoring program for women in your church? Here are five steps to help you get started.
1. Form a Mentoring Committee
The best place to start is to form a Women’s Ministry Mentoring Committee. If the church is not large enough to support a full committee, select two to three dedicated women who are willing to guide the program.
2. Determine a Time Frame
Select a time to begin that is most convenient for the church. September or October are optimum times. Various schedules will work. Partners can meet once a month for a year. A shorter time frame may fit your situation better. They might meet for six to eight weeks at a time and study the Bible and/or learn some skills which can be taught by one of the mentors or a special guest. Or, the church may want to offer an in-depth study such as A Woman’s Heart: God’s Dwelling Place or A Heart Like His: Seeking the Heart of God Through a Study of David, both by Beth Moore. Or, you may choose from a number of studies that fit this purpose well.
These studies provide an excellent opportunity for mentoring pairs to study together during the week and then attend the weekly group session.
3. Publicize the Program
Determine to use the most effective forms of publicity. The mentoring program should be publicized and sign-up opportunities given for at least a month prior to the designated start time of the program.
Possibilities for publicity include newsletters, verbal announcements, church bulletins, brochures, posters, flyers, and newspaper, radio, and television ads.
4. Compile a Profile Sheet
Prepare a profile sheet for each mentoring participant which will allow older women to be paired with younger ones. This profile should include such things as name, address, phone number, personal interests, areas needed in spiritual growth, and what participants want from a mentoring relationship. It may be helpful to also establish age parameters for mentors and mentees.
Once participants return their completed profiles, the committee can pair women according to their answers. Much prayer must go into this part of the process.
5. Just Do It
From here on out, just about anything goes. For the pair’s first meeting, consider a tea or some other get-acquainted session. A list of “getting-to-know-you” questions may come in handy. Some basics might include: What is your favorite color? food? activity?
Encourage participants to pray for each other regularly and to do things together such as developing a skill, going to lunch, and meeting for Bible study.
The important task is to build the relationship. Stay in contact with juniors and seniors to make sure both are fulfilling their commitments.
At the end of whatever time frame you choose (whether 6 months or a year), close with a special time of testimony and celebration for the relationships that have developed. When you begin the next series, some partners may choose to be paired together again.
If you see that no one else is interested in mentoring in your church, don’t be discouraged. Ask God to show you a mentoree or a mentor and just get started.
As women build relationships with one another, a women’s ministry, as well as the entire body of Christ, blossoms and grows. Women are led to the Christ who is their Soon-and-Coming King. Jesus Himself leads them to one another to do the work of building each other up in the faith until He returns. As Christian women, we must heed His command, answer His call, and meet the needs of women inside and outside His church. We must live godly lives so that we can motivate and teach other women to be about His business. No matter what age we are, we should always be seeking a mentor as well as others we can mentor.
Mentoring takes time and effort, but it yields great rewards for all involved. It can and should be an incredible adventure!
For more information about beginning or maintaining a mentoring ministry in your church, see Transformed Lives: Taking Women’s Ministry to the Next Level.
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.