Advancing Discipleship ~ A Mentor Relationship
~By: Jonie Buckley~
I headed into worship at my church on a Sunday morning when a woman warmly greeted me. She noticed me. She was in the lobby, standing by a table, and appeared to be tasked with the responsibility of plugging folks into small groups at the church. She took the time to ask about me and find out if I was currently in a small group. Even after I told her that I was, she continued the conversation, when I expected she would have been relieved of her duty to sign me up. She ended up taking my contact information, and a few days later, she reached out to me! She asked me if I would be interested in meeting her for breakfast. I was so surprised! I had been attending the church for four months, and that was the first time that someone who didn’t know me noticed me and took a genuine interest in me.
In the months that followed, she continued to connect with me. In a sea of unfamiliar faces at every church service and event, she somehow found me. She made a point to say hello and greet me. It seemed like she sought me out, intentionally, to ensure I felt welcome. And I did! Her intentional connections were so meaningful to me. She is a great connector and easily began introducing me to other women and members of the church staff, which opened doors for new relationships.
A few months later, she began mentoring me. Initially, I wasn’t sure what that would look like, or what that would mean to me, but I was excited. I was already experiencing tremendous growth in my personal relationship with Christ, and I was in anticipation of more. The overflow from this mentor relationship became the “more.”
She told me that during our time together, it would be all about me – it was my time, and the focus would be me. I can’t say that I was or am yet fully comfortable with that, but it still leaves me awestruck to think that someone wants to invest their time by not only being with me, but letting it be all about me. Have you ever received such a gift?
Having a mentor has opened the door to so many different opportunities for me. It affords me the opportunity to be sharpened, challenged, held accountable, and encouraged in my relationship with Jesus. My mentor faithfully and regularly prays for me and over me. She repeatedly points me to Jesus and His Word and Truth in every circumstance. Having a mentor over the past six months has given me so many incredible opportunities, such as participating in a weekly service for women and a women’s Bible study, joining an accountability group with like-minded women on this journey with me, connecting with other believers in the body of Christ at my church, and being a witness through opportunities for writing. Through this mentor relationship, I have been recommended for training on discipling through small groups and for leadership training with the opportunity to lead a small group at the church.
Most importantly, my mentor relationship has quickened my heart to the importance, necessity, and diligence of this true discipleship relationship. Because I have experienced this type of relationship, God is able to multiply it through me to those I disciple.
All of these opportunities started with one faithful woman who noticed me.