The Mentoring Community at Evergreen called Transforming by Twos (TxT) has been a great resource and support for learning about mentoring and developing the skills to be an effective mentor.
As a first-time mentor, Organic Mentoring by Sue Edwards and Barbara Neumann, was the first of three books I was given to read during my season of preparation.
Here is a brief summary…
Organic mentoring is a style that provides an alternative to the traditional methods of mentoring. This fresh, new approach came out of a need for change because authors, Edwards and Neumann, discovered programs don’t work for younger women. It has been reported that 80% of young women abandon traditional mentoring programs in the first six months of participation which indicates a ‘disconnect’ between the mature women and the next generation.
Edwards and Neumann look to God’s word to find an answer to this mentoring crisis. The answer was found in Deuteronomy 6:5-7:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. These commandments are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
The term ‘organic’ applies to a way of life that is simple and natural. It describes a mentoring style that “flows more naturally, informally and with less structure.” Edwards and Neumann found this to be more of what young women were looking and yearning for in a mentoring relationship, one that is not forced and allowed to develop on its own.
Edwards and Neumann focus on “helping mentors understand, feed and grow other women in the Lord.” The authors address the challenges some mentors may face as they begin implementing some of these new practices. They provide assessments, information and insights to help the mentor feel more confident before making the transition.
The authors are quick to note a ‘common thread’ and what unites women of all ages, which is “our love for God and salvation through Jesus Christ, our desire to be godly women, and our need for relational connection.”
The time and effort Edwards and Neumann poured into this book was fueled by their passion to bring young women back into mentoring relationships. Though change isn’t always easy and is often met with resistance, citing the differences between the modern woman (born before 1965) and the postmodern woman offers a better understanding as to why mentoring methods need to change.
God calls His people to leave a legacy of godliness to the next generation and mentoring relationships are one of the ways He gives us to accomplish it. By partnering with the Holy Spirit and following His lead in the relational process, He makes change possible. When mentors and mentees meet with committed hearts, surrendered to His will and purposes, the result is a more dynamic, engaging, and fruitful mentoring experience.
To God be the glory…