We’ve all experienced the feelings and thoughts of loneliness. Why do I feel invisible? Does anyone actually know me or care?
Unfortunately, the church can be a lonely place for women in any season of life. But this problem doesn’t have to remain that way any longer. Imagine a church body where one out of every three people is growing spiritually through a one-on-one mentoring relationship.
Those numbers are not only doable but actually within reach of every church. For the past three decades, I’ve invested my life into mentoring millennials (those born between 1980-2000). My passion for mentoring is a relentless, intentional decision to pass on my faith to the next generation, as my mentors continue to do for me. Millennials long to be known and be in relationship with others. The millennial women I mentor on a weekly basis are seeking answers to their questions: Where is God when I’m exhausted? Can God help me get past my guilt? Does God love others more than me? How can I hope in God when I feel hopeless?
From the pulpit, this generation is told they need a personal relationship with God, yet they struggle to find fellow church-goers interested in spending time with them. Mentoring is the practical solution.
Why is a mentoring relationship critical for our churches today? What’s so important about reaching the millennial generation?
- Half of America’s workforce and three-quarters of the global workforce will consist of millennials by 20201
- 74% of millennials desire a one-on-one connection2
- 74% of millennials prefer teamwork and being involved in small groups3
- 59% of millennials stopped attending church after graduating high school4
How can the church connect with the 41% of millennials who attend church services?
All generations long to be heard and known by name. Yet, many women from the silent and baby boomer generations report feeling forgotten, invisible, left out, and overlooked. Similarly, millennials feel alone, disconnected, empty, and misunderstood. Matching members of your women’s ministry with millennials is a win-win solution, bridging the generation gap for church-goers of all ages and seasons. Establishing a Mentoring Connection Ministry provides a renewed and fresh passion to live a vibrant life for Christ.
Mentoring is not…
- a program to grow church attendance
- a box to check off on a church to-do list
- only for those with a seminary degree
- relationship between two people
- a bridge between generations
- a tool for spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical growth
Prepare a team of mentors, invite the next generation into mentoring relationships, and mentees will come forward. Every time.
- is an authentic Christ follower and growing spiritually
- is a good listener
- shares what God has done in her life
- comes alongside the next generation to guide and encourage
- follows God’s agenda
- sets her own agenda aside
- is approachable
- is willing to discuss any topic or situation
- is eager to know God in a deeper way
- wants to grow spiritually
- is approachable about any topic or situation
- is willing to be vulnerable
- is open to stepping out of her comfort zone
- desires to learn more about Scripture
- seeks to apply God’s Word to her daily life
Mentoring can happen in a variety of ways. I have experienced 100% success with this model.
Where to meet:
- At the church to fit easily into Sunday schedules
- Coffee shops
- Order and pick-up restaurants (no waiting, servers, or interruptions)
- While walking in a park or neighborhood
When and how long to meet:
- Weekly for the first three months
- Every other week after the first 12 weekly meetings
- One hour or less for each session
- Respectful of one another’s schedule, arrive and end on time
- Mentoring is a relationship, not a to-do list
- Jesus is our role model for relationships, as He invested His life in others
- Mentoring is an ongoing commitment
- Mentors help mentees grow into becoming a new mentor (as the mentee begins sessions with another person, the mentor does also)
- Continue to care for each other through prayer, availability, and communication
The most important element to a Mentoring Relationship Connection Ministry is prayer.
- Prayer Team: Begin with a prayer team of three or four women dedicated to covering the leader and participants in the mentoring process. The prayer team members are not mentors.
- Leadership: Each person in leadership must spend time in prayer and waiting on the Lord. Seek God and hear His voice with clarity for all mentoring connections.
- Mentors: Mentors begin and end their one-on-one sessions with prayer. Invite the Holy Spirit into each meeting.
Women long for authentic, face-to-face conversations. We are created for community, to form relationships and do life side by side. A Mentoring Relationship Connections Ministry equips women in the church to effectively pass the baton of faith, connection, and belonging from one generation to the next.
Jayme Hull is a speaker, author, host of Face To Face Mentoring Podcast and a Spiritual Leadership Coach with Blackaby Ministries. As a mom and gammy, you can find her hanging out with her grandkids or in a coffee shop with a millennial mentee. Jayme, her husband John, and her family live in the Nashville area. She is the author or Face To Face: Discover How Mentoring Can Change Your Life and Side By Side: 8 Conversations To Build Your Confidence In Christ: An 8-Week Bible Study. Read more from Jayme at www.JaymeLeeHull.com.
Want more help with mentoring? Check out FLOURISH, a yearlong mentoring journey based on Scripture and created in partnership with Passion City Church.