Thursday, March 1, 2007

You Want Me To What?

When I was a young pastor's wife, I felt people expected me to be a leader, but I didn't have a clue how to teach them or "mentor" (guide) them on life's path. Now that I fit into Paul's definition of an "older" woman in Titus 2:3-5 (the KJV uses the term aged, but I refuse to go there!), I feel more comfortable in that role.

About 14 years ago, I returned to college as an adult learner. My Heavenly Father who knew just what I needed, led me to Empire State College - a college level program designed specifically for adult learners who may not be able to sit in a classroom situation due to work schedules or family responsibilities - kind of like College level home schooling!

For each class, I had a different mentor, an expert in that field of study. It wasn't the mentor's job to teach me the things I needed to know. Rather, each one helped me define what I wanted/needed to learn, how I would learn it and how I would evaluate that learning. They suggested textbooks to read and assigned topics for written assignments to evaluate what I gleaned from what I'd read.

I was so interested in the mentoring process itself, my college major became adult learning and mentoring. I learned the hows and whys of mentoring - becoming more of a coach and guide rather than a "teacher." I learned that I don't have all the answers, but I don't need to - rather, I need to be an encourager so others can seek the answers they need and learn for themselves.

Now I have a better understanding of what Paul was instructing the older women to do - not to preach to the younger women on how to live, but to mentor, guide, coach them, helping them to discover for themselves the hows and whys of their lives in Christ. What a neat opportunity!

Tomorrow I'll share some of the principles I learned about mentoring. Come back and visit me here!

No comments: