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How to Create a Sisterhood of Girls Mentoring Girls

By: Bethany Baird

I sat in the conference session with my eyes wide open. It was one of those moments where every word spoken pierced straight into my heart. As the speaker shared about his passion for mentorship and discipleship, I knew my life would never be the same.

After that conference, my life took a drastic turn for the better.

I went from having head knowledge about the importance of discipleship to having a heart and passion for it. I was turning into a girl who deeply desired to reach out and minister to the young women in my sphere of influence. It was like I was beginning to see with new eyes.

Until this turning point, I had never been truly intentional about one-on-one mentorship.

The idea had simply never traveled from my brain into my heart and out into action. I knew discipleship was good, but I hadn’t caught the vision for it. In response to that conference, I decided to do something crazy: I asked my two youngest sisters if I could mentor them.

With looks of excitement, they willingly agreed.

That was two years ago. My only regret? I wish I started doing this sooner. I look back and wonder what I was thinking. I had younger sisters right beneath my nose, and the idea to mentor them never occurred to me. Not even once. I just figured, “I’m a good sister and a good example. They’ll figure this life thing out.”

I now realize that mentorship is so much more than being a good sister.

– It’s about taking the time to personally and intentionally pour into the young women around me.

– It’s about setting aside time each week to talk about life and the Bible.

– It’s about intentional accountability.

– It’s a focused time for me to reach out and pull another Christian girl along in her relationship with God.

Instead of waiting until we think we’ve “arrived,” let’s choose to make an impact for eternity right now.

Watching my sisters grow in their relationship with Christ and mature as young women has been so inspiring. It’s been amazing to watch God use my small efforts to impact my sisters lives so profoundly. I’m not a superhero mentor. I’m sure not a super Christian. I’m not even a qualified counselor or teacher. I’m just a girl who saw the need for mentorship and decided to take action.

I’m confident that each and every one of you could do the same.

Too often we think that discipleship and mentorship is only for “older, more mature women.” That idea simply isn’t true. Older women definitely have tons to offer us, but we as younger women have tons to offer as well.

Instead of waiting until we think we’ve “arrived,” let’s choose to make an impact for eternity right now, right where God has us. Let’s create a sisterhood of girls mentoring girls, a community of young women willingly and intentionally pouring out into the young women around us with enthusiasm.

Imagine the impact that we could have! Imagine if each one of us reached out to one girl and began mentoring her. Then imagine if that girl reached out and began mentoring someone, too. The ripple effect would be immeasurable.

Here are five myths about mentorship it’s time to debunk.

Myth: Perfect mentors are perfect people.
Truth: We often think that we have to be “perfect” to minister.

That simply isn’t true. Just think of Jesus’ disciples. They were far from perfect, and Jesus used them in mighty ways. We don’t need to be perfect to reach out and mentor; we just need to be willing. We need to have a desire to honor God and a willingness to pull someone along the journey with us.

Myth: Mentors are always “older women.”
Truth: There’s no age requirement.

I used to think that I couldn’t really be used by God until I was a certain age. I thought the real work was reserved for the oldest and wisest of us all. Then I realized that God can and does use young people to impact His kingdom. My younger sister, Suzanna, started mentoring another girl when she was only twelve years old. She had a little friend that she would “babysit” during a weekly Bible study my mom hosted at our house. Instead of just playing games, my younger sister decided to intentionally talk about Jesus with this little girl. They memorized verses, read through a devotional, and grew in their understanding of who God is. The next time you think you’re too young to have an impact, remember my little sister.

Myth: I need to go to Bible college to mentor.
Truth: You have the resources you need to mentor.

We don’t need to have the highest level of biblical education and knowledge to make an impact. We have the Word of God that is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. (You can find that promise in Hebrews 4:12). If you don’t know what to do or you feel ill-equipped, just read through a book of the Bible and discuss it as you go. You don’t have to be a Bible superhero to read God’s Word. You just have to open it and start reading.

Myth: I need a five-year plan.
Truth: No elaborate planning is required.

Throughout my years of mentoring, I’ve realized that it can be as formal or as informal as I want. Sometimes I just read a book with a girl. I don’t have a big five-year plan or goal in mind. I’m just reading and studying with her. There are other girls, like my sisters, that I plan to mentor for as long as I can. But even then I don’t have an elaborate long-term plan. I just know that I want to reach out and pour into their lives for as long as time allows.

Myth: I need to wait for a girl to ask me.
Truth: You don’t have to wait for someone to ask.

This is by far the biggest thing I’ve learned about mentorship over the years. I used to think that young women would have to approach me and ask me to mentor them. That was a bad plan. Often young girls are too scared and intimidated to ask an older girl to mentor them. Instead of waiting for them to come to me, I go to them. I pray, look around, pray some more, and then go ask. I’m encouraging you to do the same. Don’t wait for the girls to come to you; you take the first step and go to them.

I would love to hear your thoughts on mentorship.

  • Have you ever been mentored?
  • What kind of impact has mentorship made in your life?
  • What is keeping you from reaching out and mentoring a young woman around you?

PHOTO CREDIT

Group of girls

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Radical Purity
  • medlincz

    it is good you are talking about this,I met a girl who really needs a help,she is in a very difficult situation,it would be impossible to help her without God,her name is Monika,please pray for her,when it is very difficult it is good two person to be responsible and to pray,me personaly i would need this also for myself in my country,

  • Katherine Forster

    Thank you for writing about this, Bethany! I have a friend who’s a few years older than me, and she’s poured so much into my life over the past few years. I really want to do the same for some of the younger girls, but I’ve been having trouble knowing how to do it. Thank you for these tips!

  • Rachel M.

    These are all awesome tips! And thank you so much for writing this. I have been wanting a mentor for a while now and this post came at the right time! Thank you so much Bethany!

  • Clara

    Wow, thank you so much Bethany! I have been mentored for the past few years by an amazing woman. It has really changed me! I had a question: how old do you think a girl should be to be mentored?

    • Brooke Mazyn

      This isn’t Bethany 😉 But my opinion on age is any age! I mentor my younger sister who is five (on a smaller scale) and I also mentor some 9-13 year olds. If you are investing in a younger girl’s life, that is mentoring!

      • Clara

        Thanks Brooke!

  • Anne

    What are some practical tips on how to mentor others? Is building a relationship with the girl you want to mentor a fundamental/ necessary step? I have never been mentored but I would love to be used by God to mentor others.

    • medlincz

      You can give what you have,what helped to you,can help others,i think we need to be sure if a person repent from sins, said aloud Jesus is Lord and believed in his heart that God raised Jesus from dead,and if she was baptised in water according to Bible,some girls could need a help of a pastor or a pastors wife,It is important to love and obey God,forgiveness towards all ,forgive yourself….i hope it helped you :-)

    • Clara

      I can speak from personal experience that my mentor makes efforts to build relationships, and It is SO valuable.

  • Brooke Mazyn

    I have had so many women mentor me! Even in the little ways, if they invested time with me, I see that as mentoring. I have had the opportunity to mentor some girls who are younger than me through a BRIGHT Lights Bible study. If you aren’t familiar with it, I would encourage y’all to look at it! It has been such a blessing to me!

    • I would second that! I also have both been a girl in a Bright Lights group, and am now leading one. It’s a great guideline!

      • Brooke Mazyn

        That’s wonderful! Which group are you in? I lead a group with my sister friend Lauren in Humble, TX. It is such a blessing!!

        • That’s awesome! It is such a blessing! :) We’re in Cottonwood, Arizona. :)

  • Ainsley

    How do you start mentoring? Do you just ask a girl if you can mentor them and set up at time? Thanks!

  • Wow, this is awesome! :) Lots of good points! And especially the point about mentoring your sisters. For me, it’s easier to mentor other girls…. partly because I know that my sister has seen all of my mess. A mentor shouldn’t argue with the one she’s mentoring, should she? 😀 I need to rethink my approach!

  • Heather Hemsley

    My sister and I been mentored by an amazing young woman named Elizabeth (you know her, Bethany!). Ever since we started taking piano lessons from her, our lives have never been the same!! It was the first time we had been in a group of girls talking about God. When I shared my prayer requests and some of my struggles, it was so relieving to find that a couple of the girls had the same thing! Also, like you were saying Bethany, Elizabeth never did elaborate planning, but every single one of her studies really had an impact. I guess what keeps me from mentoring other girls is that I’m worried their gonna ask questions I can’t answer or don’t know. Also, in 2 Timothy 2:24-25, it says “And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to
    all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition.” I still need to work on those things, because when it comes down to it, sometimes I’m not that patient. I feel like I almost have to be older to mentor. I do have a younger girl living across the street from us that we have over once a week, and we do crafts together. We also try to do something God-related. Is that still considered mentoring? Thank you so much, Bethany!

  • This is wonderful! I remember when, last semester, because of weird situations, I ended up having more free time than normal. So my two youngest sisters (they are 8 and 10) and I had a Bible study on Tuesday nights. THEY LOVED IT!

    Just the other day, one of them came up to me and hung on my arm saying, “I wish you didn’t have to do college so we could have our Bible study again. I miss that a lot.” Another time Dad asked them what their favorite memories were and they both responded, “Bible study with Anna.”

    It was very simple–only about 30 minutes. We mostly just read a Christian book for girls and the Bible, but the fact that I set aside that time for them meant the WORLD to them. It was so touching. I hope this summer won’t be so crazy so that I can do it again. :)

    Thanks for the time you put into writing this article!

  • Christie

    This is such an amazing post and it is super crazy because I was thinking of mentoring some girls in my neighborhood this summer. However, I’m not sure how I would start doing this and how I would ask. Can I have some ideas please of what the ladies here who have mentor before have done?

  • Grace

    This was a great post, Bethany! It really spoke to me. I’m a teenager and there’s a younger girl at my church that I would love to mentor, but don’t know how to go about doing it. She’s only 3-4 years years younger than I. I was thinking maybe offering to do a Bible study with her would be nice. Would your book, Girl Defined, be a good one for that?

    My mentor/”big sister” is a college student, and we used to go out for lunch/shopping and did a book study together. She’s a really sweet Christian young lady, and we had a good relationship, but I don’t know what happened. She went on a mission trip in the fall (she came back very sick a month or so later, and then recovered), and since then, she hasn’t tried to maintain our relationship. It’s very saddening to me that my “big sister” abruptly decided she wanted nothing to do with me and what’s going on in my life.
    All that to say, I personally have not had the best experience with mentors, so I struggle with the idea of mentorship. I don’t want to make the same mistake when I try to mentor other girls, especially since my college will begin in just a year and a half when I begin taking classes. I don’t want to get in the too busy/self-centered rut. I’m just really hesitant to discuss the topic of mentorship again :/

  • Dani M.

    Thank you for this post! I am having a struggle with how to best ‘mentor’ a younger girl in my church and co-op group. She’s super sweet, and we’ve started becoming fairly good friends, but I’m not sure how to talk about spiritual matters with her without being awkward. A lot of that awkwardness comes from the fact that I haven’t had people I could open up to until the last year and a half or so, and so I’m very bad at communicating.

    • His♥Forever

      I totally get where you are coming from and have the same question!

    • Amaris Lancaster

      I know what your talking about, I have trouble with the same thing, sometimes you don’t want to seem to pushy, or self righteous. But if you talk about things you truly find amazing they can see that it’s real for you. I find that If I mention after a sermon how much I enjoyed it and what I learnt it’s easier to ask them what they learnt or get into a conversation about Christ. Also sometimes comments like, “Wow it’s been such a beautiful day, God is truly amazing for creating all this!” can open opportunities to talk about God. The more you slip God into your conversations the more easily it will flow out. Most importantly remember to keep it real. :)

  • Lainey

    Amazing post, Bethany!! Thanks so much <3 I do have one question-do you think it's possible to mentor someone the same age as you?

    • Amaris Lancaster

      Hey Lainey, as you can tell I’m not Bethany, but I really wanted to share my thoughts :) I think it is definitely possible. Although some people may feel uncomfortable if some one their age asked them if they could mentor them. But mentoring starts with investing time into them, talking about Christ, praying for them, etc. So you can be mentoring someone without them even knowing. A friend and I are trying to mentor a younger girl at the moment, she’s not saved yet, so she would be uncomfortable if we asked her outright if we could mentor her. So we are mentoring her ninja style ;p 😀 Each situation is different.

  • Natalie

    Thanks so much Bethany for posting! I was justing thinking about this today as I thought I couldn’t possibly disciple or mentor a girl my age or younger. I was making a ton of excuses for myself and slight fear came up too. But reading your post sparked something in me! Thank you for sharing, that will be the prayer of my heart today – to have a heart and a passion for it.

  • Nikole, God’s Child

    I have been trying to find someone who can mentor me. I keep thinking about asking a lady at my church except I have a really big fear of people. Also in our church the under 18 and over 18 are rarely together.

    • Amaris Lancaster

      Hey Nikole, I just want to say that It’s worth taking the step. Most older christians would be overjoyed to be asked to be a mentor, it might have just not crossed their mind as well. I believe it is healthy in a church to spend time with each age group. Older ladies have so much wisdom to give younger ladies, and mentor’s really get as much out of mentoring as the mentoree’s (not a real word ;p). Just think if you take that first step, you may be encouraging others that are also unsure. Also if you ask with a friend it can be easier to ask. I remember talking with two of my friends about how we wanted to be discipled, so we asked the pastor if he could do a discipleship group together every week. It was so worth it. I know that It helped me to ask with someone.
      I hope this helps you have the courage to ask, :)

  • Anna

    I never really thought about mentoring other girls. I am 15 years old and as I was reading this I thought about getting an accountability partner. Where I live I don’t have a lot of friends that are girls, they are either older or younger and as I was thinking I came up with an idea of making a group that mentored each other and we each could have accountability partner(s). Actually I was in a teen conference and we split up and could choose what sessions we wanted to go to and one of the ones I went to was “Godly Womanhood”. The lady suggested that we got accountability partners.
    Thank you, Bethany for encouraging me to mentor and be mentored, plus for the motivation of finding a accountability partner.


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