Last week, I met Edna Ellison who charmingly writes and speaks about mentoring, and this was her response when asked about what prompted her to begin discipling younger women. While her remark made me laugh, I pray that the women in our faith family won't wait until they're 65 to begin investing in younger women.
You are wanted, and you are needed in this faith family. No one expects you to be perfect, to have all the answers, or to be the female version of David Platt. To quote Edna, "Don't wait until you're perfect to mentor. By then all your teeth will have fallen out, and no one will understand you."
We have so many college students, young singles, and young married women in this faith family who are asking for a mentor, but the demand is greater than the supply.
Here's the thing - we are all the older woman.
I had a small group leader from 8th-10th grade named Debbie. When Debbie left to serve on the mission field in Southeast Asia, I remember thinking "What next?" And as I looked around as a 10th grader, I saw a handful of seventh grade girls who had just moved up into the youth group. If anything, I could do with them what Debbie did with my friends and me. While I wish I knew then what I do now about discipleship, God took what I did know and helped me to relay it to those three girls. Even then, He was showing me that I was an "older woman." And I felt "old" and mature with my newly minted driver's license and with picking up these girls from the local middle school in my truck (yes, I drove a Chevy Silverado extended cab in my early years - but at least it was better than driving my mom's minivan!).
No matter if you are 20 or 60, you are older than someone. Embrace your age and embrace your calling to make disciples. Maybe the words "mentor" or "disciple" freak you out. And in a sense, they should jolt us because it is no light matter to be in a position where you would say to someone "Follow me as I follow Christ." But God promises to equip us to be obedient. He promises His sufficiency and His presence. He has provided His Word to teach us and His people to come alongside us. His Word also tells us that making disciples is non-negotiable (Matt. 28:18-20; Tit. 2:3-5).
If this is something you are avoiding like the plague, why? What fears, insecurities, or reasons are preventing you from being faithful? What do your motivations indicate about your understanding of God and your relationship with Him? How can you grow in obedience in this area?
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." -Titus 2:3-5
If you are at Brook Hills and have questions about what steps to take with regards to mentoring/discipleship, please contact Dawn Stephens at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ashley Chesnut at email@example.com.