“As we invest in the lives of others, we should be teaching and training them to be like Christ,” said Ashley Allen, director of Embrace Women’s Mission and Ministries for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC). “We provide an example of what it means to follow Christ, but we should not be making them to be like us.”
At the BSC annual meeting held Nov. 11-12 in Greensboro, Allen led a breakout session called “Follow Me As I Follow Jesus: Mentoring in the Everyday.” Allen’s focus was to encourage and instruct women in discipling one another through mentorship.
She spoke from many passages of the Bible including Deuteronomy 6, which commands the Israelites to teach and live daily according to God’s commands – even to the extent that they bind the scriptures to their bodies and their homes.
Mentoring happens when a spiritually or chronologically older Christian teaches and trains a spiritually or chronologically younger Christian through actions and words so that the younger believer grows in their relationship with the Lord and emulates the Lord Jesus in their daily life, explained Allen.
There are several examples of this in the Bible and it seems to be one of the more common forms of discipleship displayed in the New Testament.
Titus 2:3-5 gives women criteria both for mentors and also for what they should be teaching younger women. It says mentors are to be reverent in their behavior, not gossips, not addicted to much wine and able to teach what is good.
Mentors are to teach women love, purity, kindness, sensibility, hard work and submission to their husbands.
Allan pointed out the many pitfalls and problematic issues that women face in the modern, American world. Postmodernism and a lack of role models often leave young women feeling as though there are no absolutes to guide their lives.
Everything is seen as open to interpretation. Society has a great influence in the home and church, and Christianity seems to be declining. Peer pressure, feminism and a sense of entitlement are just a few of the other factors that can create problems for a new female believer.
Young women need relationships with older Christian women more than ever. They need to spend time watching women model biblical Christian living, and they need a source of wisdom they can rely on.
Appealing to the older women in the group, Allen said, “Young women desire to be mentored. They just don’t know how to approach you. It’s usually up to the older woman to invite the younger woman to be mentored.”
(EDITOR'S NOTE – Ashley Allen may be contacted at [email protected] or (800) 395-5102, ext. 5559.)