Growing Through Mentoring
Tiffany (left) has grown as a Christian with the help of her mentor, Deb Shank (right).
By Susan Aungst
Mentoring Team Member
Mentoring is, I believe, God’s idea. Janet Thompson wrote, “Mentoring is sharing life’s experiences and God’s faithfulness.” My hope is that each of us will have many mentors to encourage us on life’s journey.
For me as a new comer to America and a new convert to Christ, church was like learning to unscramble a new language. Back then I had never taken communion, sat in a Sunday school class, studied the Bible or prayed out loud. I needed a mentor!
My first mentors were a young couple just a few years older than me. At the time I was in my early 20s. They invited our family to dinner and modeled hospitality, they loved on their missionaries and God’s work overseas, and they invited me to join them in helping out at Bible School. They were the very best and are some of our closest friends today.
Here at the Hershey Free Church there is a more formal approach to the mentoring ministry and anyone can get involved who wants to.
Deborah Shank and Tiffany met through a mutual counselor and began meeting regularly about nine months ago. Tiffany said it was a bit scary at first since she’s more reticent by nature and doesn’t usually put herself out there. Yet for Tiffany, having someone to talk to and give practical advice has been huge. It has helped her grow as a Christian and to leave her safe but lonely cocoon!
Deb comments that Tiffany has sincerity of heart and a teachable spirit which perhaps explains why much progress has been made in their relationship.
Regular Bible study has been an important part of their times together, and for a change they also watched the Jesus movie. Earlier on, Tiffany was struggling with getting to church regularly because it was hard for her to go and sit alone. When Deb offered to sit with her it all changed.
By now you might be wondering, what about Deb in all of this? Deb commented, “Having Tiffany in my life has stirred up the gifts within me and given to me the joy of being alive and of being part of God’s plan.” She also said, “Why would you not consider the joy that awaits you by getting involved with the mentoring ministry.”
Deb’s favorite mentoring verse is, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ” Colossians 1:28.
And now, I wonder, are you looking for a mentor? Are you ready to be a mentor? We remember that Jesus mentored his 12 disciples and his patterns for life are always the best.