The Bridge Chicago is a way to offer the resources of Mission:USA to help people do good ministry.
Hello. I am a 21 year old female and a college student. For quite some time, I’ve had a desire for a mentor. I want to have a relationship with an older, godly woman for things like advice and counsel. Sometimes I feel lonely and isolated in trying to figure out how I can best steward my womanhood. In addition to prayer, do you have any practical suggestions for how I can address this?
This is a fantastic thing. There is nothing better to grow your walk with the Lord than one on one discipleship. Discipleship is a big churchy word, but it just means exactly what you are talking about: going to a person who is further along for advice and counsel. It is powerful and it is also the Biblical model. Think of Paul and Timothy, or even the private time Jesus spent with Peter, James and John. You have already done the most important part, recognizing the value and deciding you want it.
I have the most practical of suggestions for you: you need to ask. You definitely need to ask God in prayer, but you also need to ask someone if they will take this role. It doesn’t have to be dramatic and intimidating. It can be as simple as going to someone and saying “I really admire your walk with the Lord. I have some questions about being a woman in Christ. Would you be interested in having a cup of coffee and letting me ask you some questions?”. And then if that goes well, you can address the idea of it being a regular thing. “Hey that advice really helped me, would you be willing to do that every week (or other week, or month, whatever)?”
The worst that can happen is they say no, which might happen. It is important to know that that is not a judgement on you. People are busy, and some people are a little uncomfortable with giving advice about life, it awakens insecurity in them. So you might have to ask a couple of people, which is fine. And even if someone can’t do it, they may know someone who might be a good candidate. Putting it out there is key.
Another big question is who to ask. The most important thing is that they have a relationship with the Lord that you admire. Don’t necessarily go for the person who seems holiest, or is super popular at church. There is nothing wrong with those things, but you want to look for little things. If they are married, do they interact with their husband in a way you would want to with yours? Are they kind and humble? Do you just dig their vibe? Pray it through and trust your instincts.
The last key is that you also need to make sure that you have some folks your own age to walk alongside. It tends to hurt the mentorship relationship if you are there because you just want someone to hang out with. It becomes less about doing work on your walk and it kind of muddies everything. Not to say that your mentor can’t be your friend, but it is hard if they are your only Christian friend. Finding those folks your own age is a very similar process. You have to be open and put in the effort to go to stuff and get plugged in. It’s a little scary, but everyone needs community and that is one of the points of church.
A little courage to ask for help can be the single most game changing thing you can do for your relationship with God.
-Matt from The Bridge