I'm so thrilled to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Sharon Gamble, who is the Founder and Director of Sweet Selah Ministries (see more information below). Sharon has a beautiful heart for mentoring and God has used her mightily to impact many lives. Thanks for sharing your story with us, Sharon!
" ... But God has put the body together … that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it." 1 Corinthians 12:24-27 (NIV)
Have you ever felt lonely in church? I have. My husband was in the military, and we moved nine times in seventeen years. It seemed like we were always at a new church. When he was away on assignment, I’d sit in church alone. Even when the worship was lovely and the sermon inspiring, a little part of me wanted to run home—I’m not known here. People said pleasant things to me, but they had no way of relating to me directly, because … of course … they knew nothing about me. Even in a loving crowd, I often felt alone.
This is exactly why mentoring is such an important and valuable part of our Christian lives. Within the large fellowship of a church family, we need to find those deeper relationships where we are truly known. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 12 that all of us play a part in the body of Christ. All means … you and me! No one can be super close to 500 people. But all of us can be close to at least one other person—and probably several.
By entering into a mentoring relationship, we are declaring that we want to be known—and know another woman well. We share our sufferings and our honors and our rejoicings, as the verse above affirms. Mentoring is a place we feel cared for and loved. It’s a place of safety, where our deepest thoughts can be shared, as we seek wisdom and understanding from one who loves the Lord and points us to Him.
I love the mentoring relationship. In high school, I had a wonderful mentor, a middle-aged woman who led an after-school Bible study in her home. A small group of us were the recipients of countless treasured life lessons on pursuing God first. She also invited me to her home for one-on-one time. She baked with me, had tea with me, and listened to my long stories full of drama and angst. She loved me. She valued me. She wanted to know me. Her example instilled in me the desire to become a mentor to others.
I’m currently following Nancy’s guide to mentoring, Together. The woman I’m mentoring and I both love this book! We fix ourselves hot drinks and settle on down ready for the next chapter. The questions spur discussion and learning and laughter and sometimes tears. They help us to be known to one another—with just enough structure that we have a plan, but without too much to make our time together seem rushed or overly full. We love the sweet prayer times. Looking to God places every discussion firmly in His capable hands.
I applaud MORE Mentoring and all the wonderful ways the ministry is weaving lives together, helping women feel like a valued part of the body of Christ. From one-on-one relationships to small and intimate retreats, MORE Mentoring is connecting women with God and with each other. May God continue to bless and enrich all of you who are a part of this timely and supportive ministry.
Sharon Gamble is Founder and Director of Sweet Selah Ministries, calling busy, busy women to take time to know God and love Him more and more. Teaching women that out of sweet, refreshing moments with Jesus comes His strength to do life. MORE Mentoring’s Come Away retreats are examples of taking “Selah” time, pausing from the day-to-day and seeking God in quiet. MORE mentors also reflect the heart of Sweet Selah Ministries as they encourage mentees to spend intentional time with Him. Learn more about Sweet Selah Ministries and follow Sharon’s Musings each week at www.sweetselah.org.