Saturday, September 3, 2011

Top Ten Mistakes Women Leaders Make - #8 Not Mentoring or Being Mentored

#8 Mentoring

            One of the keys that we see in the Christian world as well as the secular world is the need for women to be mentored. We see this as a biblical concept in Titus 2 but we also see it through the word of God. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing” (1 Thess. 5:11).
            As we think about this last challenge that especially women have in the workplace, mentoring is one that is at the top of the list. It is difficult to find women to be mentors and help those who are coming behind them. In the secular world, there are many books written on this. Women who finally make it to a position of influence tend to want to stay there and are threatened that someone else will take their place of leadership. This makes it difficult for young leaders to find mentors, even in the Christian community. Therefore, we must strive to find people to teach us and strive to be mentors and encouragers to others who are coming behind us.
            As I reflect over my years in ministry, there were several Godly women who mentored me in so many ways. I remember my Sunday School teacher as a young married woman who stuck with me and taught me what it meant to be still before the Lord. I remember the one who encouraged me by always taking my needs to the Father in prayer, and I remember those who just as a need was expressed, showered their wisdom on me in little bits and pieces. I did not just have one mentor, I had many. If you are in need of a mentor, look for women who might could help you in one area. One of my bosses in interior design taught me to always call the smartest person you know when you have a question. I have made that a policy and it has proven to be so beneficial. Every woman will not know something about every subject. I have also found that the men in my life have been excellent mentors, especially in the area of ministry. I wish there had been women doing women’s ministry that I could refer to over the years but they were few and far between. Godly men, their wives, and other women have filled in the gap and as always, God provided the wisdom that I needed at the time that I needed it.
            One of the things that I have sought to do is to mentor those who the Lord brings across my pathway. As I am involved in a ministry from coast to coast, one can imagine that I am not always with the same women on a weekly basis so I look for women to seek to pour my life into. These are usually young women who feel like God is calling into the ministry. Often I meet them on the campuses of our seminaries or at a conference where I am speaking. I pray that God will send me those who have a passion for Him and want others to know Him. I try to be a listening agent, allow them to share with me their purpose and their dreams, and pray for them. As they share their needs, I can often share some of the wisdom that I have learned from God along the way. I have found that often the questions that I am asked are those about things like balancing my home and work life and other questions about being a Godly woman. I always get the questions asking how I got started and how I landed the jobs that I have. (The answer is staying on my face in prayer and being faithful with small.) Whatever the question, I have learned that I always have more to learn as well as plenty to share. We need not be intimidated by learning or leading.

Today's blog taken from Women Leading Women, The Biblical Model for the Church, chapter 5 written by Jaye Martin.