Podcast

Philippians 2:19-30

June 17, 2021

 

 

 

This week I made a poll on my Instagram to see how many of my Christian friends currently have an older mentor in their life, and then I asked how many of them are currently mentoring someone younger. The results were actually pretty interesting: 

First of all, more than 60% of these women do not have an older mentor and are not mentoring someone younger. Of those that do have an older mentor, almost 100% of them were also mentoring someone younger, a statistic I found to be fascinating! I’ll get to why in a minute. 

On the other hand, of those who do not have an older mentor in their lives, 100% were also not mentoring someone younger. Is there a correlation? I absolutely believe the answer is yes

We live in a culture that really struggles with multigenerational relationships. Most church groups are divided by age or phase of life. We’ve got children’s ministry, youth group, young adult ministry, young marrieds, young families, and senior groups. But you rarely find a church where the groups are intentionally mixed regarding age and phase of life, and I truly believe we are missing out on something God has actually called us to. 

Throughout Scripture, we see examples of these relationships. Moses and Joshua. Eli and Samuel. Naomi and Ruth. Jesus and his disciples. Yet, in our own churches and our own relationships, we struggle to find mentors and become mentors. Somewhere along the generational lines in America, older women stopped teaching younger women. Younger women stopped seeking out or even respecting older women. But we need these relationships more than we could ever imagine.

In Philippians 2:19-24, we see the results of what mentoring does to spread the Gospel. One of the most impactful mentor relationships we see in all of Scripture is Paul and Timothy. Now, in this section, we don’t get to see how their relationship has been built, but we see the impact it has made! Paul trained up a very young man named Timothy to become his apprentice in the faith. Timothy followed Paul and joined him in the good and the bad of ministry. We see in 2:22 that they had become so close that they were like a father and son, and because of this relationship, Timothy became a leader who was key in spreading the Gospel in ancient times.

How do we have one of these mentor relationships? The common phrases I hear about why women are not in mentor relationships is that “there is no one seeking me out” or “there is no one that wants to hear what I have to say.” Philippians 2:21-22 helps us out!

  1. Seek Jesus’ interests, not your own (v21). Our flesh says, “wait for someone to come find us” instead of “seek her out.” Our interests might say “find the popular one,” where Jesus might say “the quiet one will have more for you.” Our flesh is intimidated. Jesus says, “perfect love casts out fear.” Boldly seek out this relationship, ladies. It’s more than worth it.

  2. Seek service above comfort (v22). It’s uncomfortable to seek out a mentor relationship. But Jesus doesn’t call us to comfort. He calls us to serve. And we desperately need women who are willing to serve other women, whether by mentoring them or being mentored by them, because it is one of the surest ways to spread the gospel. This means having a relationship that withstands the good, the bad, and the ugly. Older women: let the younger ones see the real you, not the polished you. Younger women: let the older women speak into those hard moments; be willing to hear where you need to grow and mature.

Going back to those statistics: The fact that those not being mentored were also not mentoring is fascinating because I believe it’s proof that mentorship begets mentorship. When one woman steps out of her comfort zone and mentors another woman (or asks another woman to mentor her!), it creates boldness on both ends and spurs both to replicate that mentorship relationship with others. You are never too old to be mentored, and you are never too young to mentor!

So go out and be bold, share your life with another woman, do ministry together, and then do it again, and again, and again. 

 


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