Titus 2: Spiritual Mentoring for Women
Years ago when I (Susan) was on the ministry staff of a large church in metropolitan Washington, D.C., a young woman new to our congregation asked me to help begin a mentoring program.
Most of the women she knew were newcomers frustrated by the polite veneer of casual relationships. As it turned out, newcomers weren't the only ones who longed to connect more authentically with others. Many women yearned to share their hearts knowing that they would be accepted and understood when they admitted weaknesses, sins and unfulfilled longings.
And they wanted a natural way to bridge the age span to access the wisdom and experience of older women they'd met but did not really know.
They wanted closer relationships with God, too.
Don't misunderstand; ours was a loving church family, devoted to worship and the Word of God and well acquainted with His grace.
But there was an unfulfilled desire to experience that love and grace at a deep heart level in close relationships.
See how we solved this problem.
Through relationships with others, you and I experience more of God than is ever possible for us alone.
Jesus gave us this pattern, working and living alongside his apprentices in committed friendship so that they would experience love in all its richness and responsibility. There was no other way they could have known it so profoundly.
There is no other way for us either. To experience fully the compassionate love and amazing grace of God, you and I must become closely connected with others in relationships of quality and depth--relationships that minister the transforming power of Christ to our hearts and minds.
Relationships like these are the way Jesus shows us his love, cultivates his love in us and imparts it to others through us.
Even before the younger women expressed their desires for closer relationships, the older women had begun to pray about a mentoring ministry because they wanted to share their faith, wisdom and experiential knowledge of God with younger women in a more intentional way.
But we could not find a mentoring program that incorporated all of the components most important to us--a schedule to accommodate busy women, hospitality around a meal in a home, lessons inviting reflection and repentance in a context of grace, mentor fellowship and training, and strategies to foster rich interaction leading to friendship.
We knew what we wanted for our mentoring ministry, but we didn't know how to achieve it. What we did have were lot of questions! Like these…
What materials should we use? Where would we get them? What format should we have? How would groups be organized?
Would there be training? If so, who would do it? Who should mentor? How should we select mentors? Who would shepherd them?
How could we nurture relationships of significance and depth? How could we encourage honest and open interaction as a matter of course instead of exception?
How could we foster havens of grace and mercy that invited authentic sharing and led to intimacy?
This was an opportunity to devise an alternative to other programs that were good but didn't provide for all of our desires.
I gathered a group of women gifted and experienced in hospitality, mentoring and leading Bible studies. As we prayed and worked together, the original model took shape and made its debut with more than 50 women.
It was everything we'd hoped for. Our joy was boundless as we heard woman after woman share heart-felt gratitude for the precious relationships she made with her mentor and the women in her group.
See an example now.
Women really connected with one another, sharing in confidence and receiving the compassionate understanding they longed for as well as the encouragement, prayer and support to work toward the changes they knew God desired for them.
We were deeply grateful to the Lord for exceeding our expectations. He graciously displayed his faithful love to us through his living Word and our relationships with one another.
The mentoring ministry thrived! Even so, we had a few persistent problems common to many discipleship groups...some women talked too much and others too little…occasionally someone dominated group interaction…the transition from discussion to prayer was awkward…prayer requests tended to be impersonal and lengthy, leaving too little time for prayer.
Since these obstacles were common to most of the groups, we were not content until we found an easy way to avoid every one of them. Now we have the joy of sharing our discoveries with many others who encounter similar frustrations without proven solutions.
To my knowledge, there is no other mentoring program offering our unique format and strategies that effortlessly overcome these perplexing obstacles.
Our sincere desire is to assist you in helping other women to interact in more genuine ways and to mature in appreciating their uniqueness and preciousness. We long for women to experience the healing power of sharing their struggles with trustworthy others and of listening to others with compassionate understanding.
We're honored to share our wisdom and experience with many women nationally (and internationally, we pray) who have found friendship through Titus 2: Spiritual Mentoring for Women.
Here's a snapshot of a monthly group gathering.
Once a month for each of seven months, four to six younger women gather around your table for a potluck meal, discussion and prayer. You set the table and the tone, and your mentorees bring a dish and their unique perspectives.
It's amazing how close your group can become as you share your favorite dishes, interests, challenges and experiences. A blend of single and married, wives and mothers, workers at home and in the marketplace, your group brings a diversity of experience yet women share surprisingly similar struggles.
After a scrumptious meal and lively conservation, transition smoothly to discussion of the lesson everyone has completed in advance in her Spiritual Mentoring Study Guide. The format, guidelines and challenging Bible lessons help you facilitate interaction that fully engages every woman and elicits her unique insights for everyone's consideration and response.
Then transition easily to conversational prayer about the specific truths and issues each of you shared during the study.
Each study guide comes coil bound with introduction to the philosophy and format, seven lessons, and accessories, such as prayer records and potluck menu planner. Mentor Study Guides are $24.95 each and Mentoree Study Guides are $19.95 each. Shipping and handling are extra. Study Guides are available in Titus 2 Programs.
Year one begins with "John 15: Living in the Vine." In subsequent years, delve into your choice of "Philippians: Living Joyfully," "Colossians: Finding Fulfillment in Christ," or "Galatians: Living by Faith in the Gospel."
For more information about how to begin this ministry, use our contact form to briefly tell us how we can help you.