It was a very tough time for me. I was planning my first church-wide intergenerational event and it looked like there were still about 5,000 details to figure out, and our registration was nearly twice what I had anticipated. The year was 2001, and my church had absolutely no idea how afraid I was! Feeling the pressure, I called up another DCE who had been serving a little longer than I had been serving. In our 45-minute lunch break, I was able to vent, process, plan, and dream. I felt lighter and more organized as I left the restaurant, and I hadn't implemented one single idea yet. The event came together well and was such a wonderful time for our church to share in a time of learning and fellowship together.
Do you have a spiritual mentor?
Is there someone in your life that loves you and holds you accountable, pointing you back to God's Word when you are stumped, or reminds you of His forgiveness when you are being too hard on yourself? Is there someone that can tell you when you're wrong, and encourage you to repent?
We are the body of Christ and all of us are its members
Trying to go it alone is not only lonely and difficult, it is not what God calls us to as Christians. Over the years, God has blessed me with several mentors to encourage me in different phases of my life. He has used DCEs, pastors, teachers, and mentors to mold and shape my faith, and provide outlets for my spiritual development.
God has also blessed me with friends who have come alongside me to care for me as well. One such friend is Michelle. She and I met while both of us were pregnant with daughters who would be born a month apart. At first, we were friends that bemoaned sleepless nights, treasured baby milestones, and questioned our sanity from time to time. It developed into a much deeper relationship that continues to this day—15 years later. Michelle is a woman of character and deep faithfulness. She practices the disciplines Christians are called to live out, and she is incredibly wise. She has called me out on areas of error, and she has come to me for counsel in areas where she needed to repent. The times we have spent in prayer together and alone, for one another, has been a huge benefit to my life as a Christian woman, wife, church worker, and mother.
Sometimes we who serve the Church as professionals or volunteers forget that we are part of the body of Christ, but instead find ways to be "productive" and "self-sufficient" all on our own. In living life this way, we are really subject to sin and its ever present lure. Think for a moment about how much more full and rich your journey with Christ would be if you shared life with a mentor, someone like Michelle? Each of us were made for community!
How can you find a mentor?
If you are wondering how to find a spiritual mentor, reject the notion that this person needs to be someone more mature than you, at a later life stage, or is someone who already has life "figured out" (I don’t know anyone who truly does have it all figured out!). Instead, pray that God allows you to reach out to a Christian friend or colleague that you have a relationship with currently. Once you have a person in mind, ask them to coffee and share your hope that you both could walk in faith together, maybe planning to meet once a month for an hour. Sometimes once a month is not enough. I have a prayer partner that I meet with weekly by phone. He lives in another state, is in a slightly different stage in his life, and each of us probably has much too much on our plates. I have to say, those 30 minutes each week are refreshing and often provides inspiration for the rest of what is on the calendar! I have come to see God in a deeper way—my sin and need for repentance, and God's incredible love and grace—through this prayer relationship.