This week’s Sunday worship is focused on the relationship between Elizabeth and Mary. In many ways it is quite a beautiful example of the kind of relationships we long for in life. Supporting one another, caring for one another, listening to one another, struggling through similar life challenges together, trying to make sense of confusing circumstances together. Elizabeth is the more seasoned person with richer life experience and in many ways helps mentor Mary those first 3 months of her pregnancy. It gives me pause to think about those who have helped mentor me and ask the question who am I helping to mentor?
This past week our United Methodist Women had their Christmas Lunch and invited Rev. Jan Brittain to be the guest speaker. She is pastor of Williamson’s Chapel and is the only other woman in the Western North Carolina Conference appointed to a large membership church over 2000 members and an average worship over 600. Jan is a friend of a mine and an invaluable colleague.
You see about 5 years ago I had the opportunity to gather with a few other women in ministry and learn from Jan and the work she was already doing serving a large membership church. She mentored me and helped prepare me for the task of scaling the work of ministry for different sized churches and certainly the work I’m doing today. I am so grateful for the time she invested in me.
I have been thinking lately about how I pay that forward and intentionally invest in the lives of others. Are there others around me starting out in ministry or facing some ministry challenges that look familiar to me? Do I have anything to offer to support or encourage another? I am sure that I do because others have done it for me. I’m trying as I look at my time allocation for 2016 to set aside time to mentor other younger clergy. That’s what I can do.
What about you? Is there a way you can reach out to someone else and offer to mentor them? I am pretty sure that when we do this, we learn from the mentee along the way. That is the beauty of being in relationship with one another. It’s always give and take! Look for the “Mary” in your life that you can reach out to and support or encourage. Jesus did it for his disciples. I think it’s a model that works. So why don’t we do it?