THE BACK STORY
There has been a cry in my heart for some time – a desire I cannot fulfill on my own. Something I have become increasingly aware of, as I have been involved with ministry and spiritual coaching, is the need for discipleship.
There are many who came to the Lord and had no one to disciple or mentor them as they began their spiritual journey. Yes, there are books and other resources available, but there is something significant about being poured into by a spiritual mother or father, brother or sister, that is farther along in their journey than another. There is a lasting impartation that occurs in the midst of those relationships. At least that has been my experience.
Being mentored was impactful for me. Therefore, passing it on is important to me.
In recent years, I have been asking the Lord for more opportunities to pour into the lives of others through a mentoring relationship. He has been faithful to bring people into my life, some for a season, a couple for a lifetime, and others for a moment. However, the desire for open doors continues to increase as I have become more aware of how great is the need for believers to be discipled.
Last month, I planned a writing trip to Kansas City. An opportunity arose to get away and attend a special weekend gathering at the International House of Prayer (IHOP). I was excited about spending time in the IHOP Prayer Room to work on a writing project and to be refreshed. I never made it to the Prayer Room. Instead, over the course of the weekend, I received more than I anticipated.
The messages that weekend were impactful for so many reasons, but it was the Saturday evening service where Andy Byrd shared about The Send, that I believe I was in Kansas City for at that very moment in time. As Andy shared, something in me was stirred and I became uneasy with my desire to mentor being so short-sighted.
My heart is for women to live into who God has called them to be and to see the full expression of that calling lived out with courage and sincerity. When we become those women… When we become those people, fully embracing all that we are for the glory of God and working together to usher in his Kingdom here on earth, then the world will see and know that Jesus is Lord because his people will display his glory.
Yet, Andy’s message took it to another level for me, personally. What if I channeled my efforts into this next generation? What if instead of just focusing on how I can help adults, I began to pour into those who are just beginning their spiritual journey? How about I give myself to the pursuit of equipping this next generation to go and give themselves away for the Gospel? If not my generation, then who?
But how do I do that, and what does that look like for me?
Right away, I committed to attend the The Send in 2022. However, my hands are already in so many things. I did not sense the Lord asking me to give up one thing I was currently doing, but the cry in my heart to mentor had certainly shifted focus in that moment. So, how do I engage myself with an entirely different age group, but still do all I am doing right now? I could not get past that question until the Lord remined me, “Capacity,” a word he has been speaking to me for the past couple of years. It is a work he has been unfolding in me, and this was a reminder that he will do it through me.
I came home from that weekend and walked into Pastor Jeff’s office and said, “We need to go to The Send next year. I’m going whether we take a group or not, but we need to go.”
I knew he had been watching some of that weekend’s services from KC online, so for him, I think my announcement was more of a short debrief about my weekend, that is until he watched that Saturday service later. Then he got it.
Beginning this month, I am teaming up with Jane Winne to bring Skillet Sundays to life for our junior and senior high girls. I borrowed this idea from Rebecca Greebon, a dear friend and Women’s Ministry Leader who started this gathering at her church four years ago.
One Sunday a month, we will host our teen girls for an evening of preparing a meal together, sharing, equipping, and some creative projects geared towards their spiritual growth. I am excited about this opportunity to spend time with these girls! What an honor to be a part of influencing their lives for the Kingdom. It may seem like such a small thing, but what if just one of these ladies goes out from this season of being discipled and mentored, and then surrenders their life to impact a city or a nation for the Kingdom of God? What if?
What if we all, spiritual mothers and fathers, decided we too would give ourselves to see this next generation sold out for Jesus? I wonder what would happen?
If not us, then who?