In this video, Melissa Kruger provides insights for women who seek out mentoring relationships organically as well as churches that want to encourage mentorship among women systematically.
Below is a lightly edited transcript of the video above. Before quoting, please check the video to ensure accuracy.
One of the things I love most in walking with other women and one of the things I’ve been blessed by most are people who’ve taken the time to mentor me.
Developing Organic Mentorships
But many women feel intimidated about getting into these relationships. And so, if you are a younger woman and you would love the investment of an older woman in your life, I would encourage you to do something. Rather than call her up and say, “Hey, will you mentor me?”—because that can be intimidating for an older woman to hear—just call her up and say, “Hey, could we get coffee?” Then come to coffee with specific questions that you’d like her help with. And then after you meet, ask her, “Can we get coffee again?” And then maybe after another meeting, say, “Hey, would you be willing to read this book with me?” And that way, you’re initiating this mentoring program or mentoring process with her, without even necessarily calling it that, which I think is important. Some women can feel really intimidated because they may be wondering, “What does she exactly want me to do with her when she wants me to mentor her?” Overcoming this tension and developing mentorship relationally and organically within the church is the ideal, but we it needs to be happening more.
Developing Systematic Mentorships
To help ease this tension, another thing I think that’s helpful is to set it up systematically in the church. One thing that we’ve done is organize a system where we do mentoring groups by topics, so we read different books. These groups meet once a month, and when we sign up for them, we actually don’t say who the mentor will be. We just say what the topic will be. So, women sign up, and it’s one older woman to about three or four younger women. And that arrangement, in our church, has helped create a culture of mentoring. And the nice thing about these groups is that they run for one year, so you don’t sign on for the rest of your life to walk with this person. But it’s a great way to build relationships with a small number of people that are geared to how I need to grow in Christ more.
So some of the topics might be prayer, they might be Bible reading, or they might be the concept of waiting or loneliness. And these topical small group studies allow for situations where we can mentor one-on-one or one-on-a-few women, and they’re great encouragement. So if you’re looking for an older woman to mentor you or if you’re looking to mentor younger women, I would encourage you to do it because it’s a blessing in the church when we care for one another in this way.