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    A mentoring disconnect illustrated

    Our society is in the throes of a cultural shift of immense proportions. Stanley J. Grenz Things are no longer merely in the process of change; things, my friends, have changed. And by things, we mean everything.” Craig Detweiler and Barry Taylor For my generation older mentor-type women may be kind of outdated because this is a new generation, a new world, and we do things our way.” Hollie, age 27 “I really don’t know about this next generation,” a frustrated older woman confided. Anxious for a sympathetic ear, Carolyn recounted her recent experience as co-hostess of a baby shower with several millennial women. A veteran shower hostess, Carolyn suggested…

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    Let God be your mentoring match-maker

    One of the most frequently asked questions I get from women concerns mentoring. Young women crave a more experienced woman to walk with them through life and help them grow up as all-in Christ followers. But when older women set up mentoring "programs" that artificially match women, young women often describe these programs as "scary".  What might work better than a tightly orchestrated mentoring "program"? Instead of leaders trying to micro-manage other people's mentoring relationships, why don't we all try to create a mentoring culture where women connect naturally. Why don't we all learn the ins and outs of mentoring today. What worked in 1990 won't work in 2015. In…

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    Encourage mentees while bursting the self esteem bubble

    The blockbuster television show and singing competition American Idol interviewed one of the female contestants that managed to secure a coveted place as a top twelve finalist. “It’s really true,” the seventeen-year-old contestant bubbled, “You really can be anything you want to be if you believe in yourself and want it badly enough.” Never mind that thousands of contestants were turned away from the show even though they believed in themselves and wanted it badly. The ubiquitous promise rang hollow for them as they watched their dreams crash. Many young women find that roadblocks or limitations of one sort or another prevent them from achieving their optimistic goals. Many are…

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    Why Many Mentors Are AWOL

    We are experiencing a mentoring crisis. One key reason is that too many older women cling to an outdated formulaic idea of what mentoring is all about. When we hear the word "mentoring" we conjure up a picture that fit our experience as a young woman. Then we look in the mirror and don't see an adequate mentor staring back at us. Our preconceived ideas about what today's young women want in a mentor convince us we are not enough—but we are wrong. What we don't realize is that younger women today are far more likely to want a relationship with the woman in the mirror than the conjured-up perfect…

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    Ditch Worn Out Mentoring Methods

    We are experiencing a mentoring crisis today. Kregel Publications just released our new book based on research conducted by my friend and former student Barbara Neumann that explores a new approach that we believe will revolutionize mentoring today. We begin with our personal stories… 0

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    The Click: Organic Mentoring at Its Best

    Today I'm happy to feature as a guest columnist Sheryl Lackey:  We met—instantly clicked—love at first sight. No, I’m not talking about the brown-haired, blue-eyed, six-foot tall man in my Systematic Theology class. Sure, the words “love” and “clicked” may conjure up thoughts of a romantic connection, but the context can be broader. A click, a natural attraction, a spark based on chemistry and mutuality, can kindle a mentoring friendship. I know because a click launched my relationship with Dallas Theological Seminary professor Dr. Sue Edwards. She calls it the “compulsory click” in her new book Organic Mentoring, and she insists that without that spark mentoring relationships in today’s culture…

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    What’s “organic” ministry and why do many next gen leaders embrace it?

    Recently, my students, future ministers, gave oral reports on ministries they visited and evaluated. For the first time, I heard several of them use the word "organic" as an adjective to describe healthy ministries, and lacking "organic" as a negative. What is organic ministry anyway and why are so many of my students drawn to it? I remember an older woman who exploded, "Organic!"– I'm beginning to hate that word. If everything is organic, how do we ever get anything done?" Her frustration grew out of several conversations with younger women, and, in her opinion, this organic thing was throwing up roadblocks to effective ministry, specifically mentoring in her case.…

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    Never Too Old to Have Impact

    I love being around women in their 60s, 70s and 80s (and 90s) who are still passionate about their relationship with Jesus. When the culture says, “Retire, take it easy, pamper yourself, focus on being a grandparent—that’s enough. Let the young women do all the work of ministry,” these gals say, “Not me! As a Jesus follower, I’m commissioned to serve Him actively for life as a disciple-maker for Him.” I want to be like that when I grow up! For the past few months, I have been at several gatherings of women where these delightful mentors are present. One woman, 79 years old, is not only praying for women…

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    Where Mentoring Goes Wrong, Why do good discipling relationships derail?

    Most young people today hunger for mentoring. Leadership consultant Michael Hyatt remarks, "If there's one thing I have learned, it's that young men and women are desperate for mentors who will build into their lives." Never has a generation been more open to mentoring and never has the need for mentors been greater than it is now. One 25-year-old recently confessed, "I desperately want mentors. I stalk older women to mentor me. My friends and I are all dry sponges in need of encouragement, help, love, and listening ears." Unfortunately, today many mentoring partnerships don't work. Research reveals that up to 80 percent of young women abandon traditional mentoring programs…

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    A Vision of the Person You Can Become

    My 20-month-old granddaughter epitomizes the value of vision. Because we don't live nearby, it is often months between our visits. The changes are remarkable at that age. What makes a baby want to grow and progress? Where does she get the vision to want to learn skills such as walking, talking, dressing herself, and feeding her doll? A child's vision comes from watching her parents. When we talk to our kids, they begin to echo the sounds. As we dress them, they want to do it themselves. As they experience the love of parents who feed and protect them, they care for their dolls—and eventually their own children.   So…