Side by side mentoring is one of the greatest ways for women to disciple women. It is an intimate, long-term form of mentoring. In this post you will learn what this looks like between the women in the church body as we refer to Titus 2 to review these commands.
What does Titus 2 say about Women mentoring Women?
“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine… Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” Titus 2: 1-5 ESV
What does this mean?
Titus is commanding older women within the church to be an example to the younger women. They are to train them to follow in their footsteps. This means older women inviting the younger women into their lives and into their homes. By doing so, the woman being mentored can see and learn for themselves what it looks like to live for Christ in all aspects of life.
How to put this mentoring model into practice
Through a side by side group is how I have experienced this. Now, this is not the typical bible study, the emphasis is more on long term fellowship. It’s about planting roots for deep and vulnerable relationships. A once a month meeting going through a book together is how I experienced this. This is referred to as a side by side group. It is important to leave ample time during this meeting to pray with one another and bare one another’s burdens.
Getting to know the Women in your side by side group
A great way to get to know one another is to do a box talk at each group meeting. This is basically an adult show and tell. The group leader will choose someone new each month to share about themselves. A list of guidelines for the sharer to follow will be given ahead of time. The basic rules are that the sharer keeps the box talk around 5 minutes long and shares 5-7 items that describe something about themselves.
Here’s an example of what I shared
When I was chosen for a box talk, the following items were grabbed from my home: a wooden spoon, a rock climbing shoe, a baby chew toy, a toddler hat, a gardening shovel, a picture of my husband and I, and a carbon monoxide alarm. Each thing I chose described either something that is currently important to me or is a huge part of who I am.
I shared for about 5 minutes and just spoke freely. This was such a great way for the other women in the group to get to know me on a more intimate level. I talked about how I had developed a passion to cook wholesome meals for my family. I also talked about home my bout with carbon monoxide poisoning made me the faithful servant of God that I am today.
The other objects that I brought got shared about as well. . This develops vulnerability and accountability with one another, which is crucial for a successful side by side discipleship model.
What book to start out the monthly meetings with
“Spiritual Mothering” by Susan Hunt is the perfect tool to lay a foundation for the Side by Side meetings. Of course, this comes second to The Bible. One of the key points that the author continues to drive home in this book is that it is a command from God for elder women in the church to be discipling the younger women. She points out that each woman has something precious to offer another. She also reminds that it is not by our own strength that we can do this.
Moving forward once you get started
If you finish the “Spiritual Mothering” book as a group and feel it has deepened your relationship with the other women in the group, be sure this continues in every day life. Be intentional about checking in on one another outside of the side by side group. An example would be going out of your way to invite these women to your home or to a coffee shop. It is important that the relationships made don’t just stay in that group setting.
I have been encouraged to disciple Women via this mentor model
I’ve seen my connections deepen with my group. This has made me want to share this model with others, thus I’m doing now. It has been so great to see other women in my life be encouraged by little ole me. Ultimately it is God drawing these women to himself through me, not by anything I am doing. Yet, I feel so confident in sharing my life with these women because God commands me to do so and it has truly blessed me in the process.
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What are some of your favorite tools for discipleship with other women?
Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear about other tools or practices that have been helpful in growing your relationships with other women in the church body.
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