Written by Lenora Crabtree
Her name was Pat. She was 28 and had Farrah Fawcett hair. I was twelve, energetic and insecure. She volunteered to teach a class of sixth grade girls at our church. Over ten years our relationship transitioned from teacher and student, to mentor and mentee, then friends. Pat taught me how to make sweet tea, and to love my husband and children well, even when it hurts. She was my first female mentor other than my mother and sisters, but she was not the last.
As a young adult, my relationships with older women developed through many avenues. Some blossomed organically while others occurred in Bible study groups and professional organizations. There were short, “for a season,” friendships, and life-long relationships that stood the test of time and distance. All have had an impact that cannot be measured.
Women need mentors. It is in our physical and spiritual DNA. Paul knew this and instructed Titus to speak this truth to the older women of Crete. This reality has not changed. Women need women who will listen. We need instruction that only women can give. We need to learn from older women, and in turn become mentors for others.
The process of women mentoring women is ongoing at Exodus. Women have the opportunity to learn from each other in Community Groups and as they serve alongside one another in various ministries. The Women’s Ministry team is forming small groups for the purpose of developing intentional mentoring opportunities. Starting in the Fall, these groups of 3-4, led by one “older woman,” will meet once a month to share thoughts and encourage one another. Women who desire to be a part of a mentoring group are encouraged to fill out the questionnaire regarding The Titus 2 Project on the City.
Her name is Patti and she is in her seventies. Her two sons are pastors and parents of teenage children. I am now past the half-century mark and my own sons have recently left the nest. Patti and her husband are long time family friends and our families met for lunch on a recent visit to my hometown. Several days later I received a phone call. “I want to talk with you about parenting adult sons. I am concerned about you and your relationships with your boys.” Her words were direct, challenging and necessary. I was moved by her willingness to speak the truth in love, and grateful to God for his continued provision in my life. As in the days of Paul and Titus, women continue to mentor women “so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”