Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of talking to a Sunday School group of young women in Michigan about FRIENDS. We talked about the lies we believe about friends and the types of relationships we need to grow and be well-rounded as humans. It was an amazing time and one thing I loved was the conversation that happened. Girls from 11-25 years old shared about their friends and what we can do to protect ourselves from the wrong kind and pour our energy into the right kind. What a privilege it was to share from my life and encourage wise decisions when it came to relationships. Why? Because friends MATTER.
Here’s the thing: We aren’t designed to be stagnant ponds. We are made to be streams that channel water from one place to another. You need to be mentoring or “living life” with a person who is following you in the faith. Again, this is part of our nurturing design as women. We are meant to spiritually mother! Mothering (no matter our current season of life) is in our DNA as women.
One of the reasons I LOVE talking to teenagers or gals in their twenties is because I was CREATED to do that. To nurture life in others. To pass on what I’ve been given. To encourage and high-five and hug those coming along in the faith. (No pun intended.)
Your future is not in money or position or success. Your future is in people.
It’s the only thing that will last forever. SOOOOO… why not invest in people, so that you live on when you’re dead? Put into someone else what your Pauls are giving to you and your Barnabas friends are encouraging in you?
Look at Elijah and Elisha. Elijah pouring into Elisha to the point that when the test came (2 Kings 2), Elisha passed it with flying colors. He was granted his wish of a double portion of the spirit of Elijah. Get this: Elisha did more in his lifetime than his mentor did. Your goal in mentoring should be this: your Timothy will go further than you have. How cool is that? Help them try to avoid your mistakes and always, always point them to the Jesus Who loves them more than you do.
A few days ago, my husband and I were reading in John. Something struck me about John the Baptist that I had never seen before in the context of this type of relationship.
Again the next day, John was standing with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this and followed Jesus. (John 1: 35-37, HCSB)
I love this. John the Baptist was discipling these two guys and when Jesus came along, he pointed to Him. He drew their attention to Him. Then his disciples left following John to follow Jesus. WHICH IS THE WHOLE POINT, FRIENDS. We want those we are mentoring to follow Jesus. Don’t take offense to it. Encourage it. You want your Timothys to go further with Jesus than you have in your life. Your number one goal as a mentor is to point them to Jesus.
Discipleship and mentoring. Pass it on.
Evaluate Your Relationships: Do you have anyone you’re pouring into regularly? If you’re a mom, your kids DO count…however, they should NOT be the only ones you are nurturing. God has hardwired it in your DNA to nurture life in others.
Practical Steps to Moving Forward: If you don’t have a Timothy, PRAY FOR ONE. There are already a few around you, but you don’t want to rush in like a bull in a china shop and wreck their world. Be a friend first. One who is interested in their life and how you can help them reach their full potential. Mentorship doesn’t have to be staged or super structured, but it does need to be INTENTIONAL. Invite a young teenager from church to come over and chat while you do laundry. Take her on trips to the grocery store and grab coffee on the way. The best kind of mentorship is DOING LIFE TOGETHER.