Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mentoring and Being Mentored

Yesterday at Trinity Baptist Church, the SGF Ladies who are wives of either Pastors or Elders met to discuss Mentoring and Being Mentored. Thirty five women attended, representing 18 churches.

The morning began with singing, led by Sonya Tomlinson. Then Eva Robinson, wife of Pastor David Robinson spoke about Life in the Fishbowl.Here is a summary.

-People are always watching us and making judgments about our decisions; how we school our children, how we parent them, how they behave, or don't, what purchases we make, like cars or homes.
-It's important that we make all of our decisions before an Audience of One.
-We need to realize we are very priveleged to be in this role. We can use our time to glorify God in every area of our lives.
-Our lives are wrapped up in the needs of those in the church. This leads to teaching moments for our children.
-Hospitality is a great privelege.
-Don't place expectations on your children just because they are Pastor's Kids, but because they are believers (if thy are).
-Don't be a people pleaser.
-Involve your kids in ministry so it becomes normal for them.
-Keep balance in your life. Learn to say No.
-Don't be a slave to people's expectations.
-Ministry can be exhausting. (Call Display is a blessing).
-Seek to be joyful.

Heather Muller, wife of Pastor Carl Muller spoke on Life in the Closet. Here is a summary.

-Prayer is a difficult challenge. When Heather taught on this previously for the ladies, she had sent out a questionnaire to many Pastors and Missionaries all over the world, asking what are the challenges and helps to prayer. She shares one from Geoffrey Thomas of Wales.
-Challenges? unbelief, laziness and love of ease.
-What helps? Nothing much. Hearing a sermon on preaching stirs me up for a while, then it's back to the struggle.

Why Read God's Word?
-We need it. We don't live by bread alone.
-We need to be reminded through Biblical history that God is faithful. He can be trusted.
-It strengthens our soul, storing up Scripture for our battles.
-To learn daily.
-The world is a dark place. Sad things have a cumulative, sobering effect on our lives.
-To be reminded of promises bcause we are forgetful.
-To be reminded that God loves us. Leadership can be lonely.
-He is powerful to save. Don't get discouraged.
-To remind us we won't be cast out.
-Sermon audio, headphones (to block distractions). Youversion. Bible reading apps (12 minutes/day).

Why should we Pray?
-We are commanded to pray.
-To thank God for blessings, and even difficult circumstances.
-It's wrong to be unthankful.
-We have sins to confess. Be specific (sins get between us and God).
-It helps us find strength, balance and persepective.
-We can pray for others. This is the best thing we can do for anyone.
-To be a fellow-labourer in the ministries of the church.
-Because we have an adversary; we need to arm ourselves.
-To pray for our husbands; for wisdom and strength.
"Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees."
-Keep a prayer journal. Lists. Note answered prayers.
-Pastor's moral strength: sexual temptation, computers, e-mail.
-Pray through the church Directory.
-Always pray, and not lose heart.
-The closet is the most important room in the house.

Pamela Fellows, wife of Roger Fellows spoke on being Lost in the Crowd. Here is a summary.
-Pastor Al Martin said the loneliest person in the church is the Pastor’s wife. We are not talking about isolation, but being lonely even though surrounded by others, and active in the church.

Causes of Loneliness
-Temperament—shy, lacking in confidence, sensitive as to how others see us, feel inadequate
-Discouragement—can result in feeling lonely; perhaps feeling misunderstood
-Can become introspective, may suffer depression.
-Dissatisfaction with the congregation.
-Criticism of the ministry.
-Criticism of the family.
-Perceived failure not to meet the expectations of congregation.
-Own poor spiritual state. We can wear a spiritual mask.
-Could include health, lack of sleep, time of month or even time of life.
-Concern over children not yet saved. Behaviour of our children. PK (Pastor’s kid) expectations.
-Can’t share personal problems with members of the congregation—feel isolated.
-Difficulty of having close friends within the church.
-Husband spends long hours in study, visitation, board meetings, personal counselling—may feel abandoned.
-New Situations—new church in new locality, motherhood, retirement, change of function in church, sensory changes with age.

Effects of Loneliness
If loneliness is not handled correctly it may lead to self pity, self absorption, blaming God for our situation, blaming others, often husband or family. Also the following could be included; bitterness, unable to accept help or friendship of others, spiritual coolness, distraction, unapproachable, withdrawn, low self-esteem.

Handling Loneliness
-Don’t deny the condition; rather accept it and work on it.
-Pray. Cultivate a thankful attitude.
-Remedy loneliness-Be activate in helping others. Don’t throw a pity party.
-Turn loneliness into being solitary. Be positive about being lonely. It allows us to reflect inwardly and better understand ourselves and recognize our worth in God’s sight.
-Pray for a close friend—someone to share and pray with. Prepare to be vulnerable. Don’t feel you have to be the one always ministering.
-Remember that God sets the lonely in families (Ps. 68:6). We are part of his family in the local church.
-Recommended books: Singing in the Fire by Faith Cook and Deserted by God by Sinclair Ferguson.

Our main speaker was Cathy Clemens, wife of Jim Clemens. She spoke on Mentoring and Being Mentored.
Read Titus 2:1,3-5

Mentoring: Developing more meaningful relationships with other women of God by giving away what you have received on your own journey as a woman of God.
-Everyone is younger or older than someone else. We can all mentor someone or benefit from being mentored.
-By example. A younger woman won’t be helped to live a godly life if she doesn’t see the example in you.
-One on one conversation. Meet for coffee. Learn to listen, not just talk.
-Ladies’ meetings.
-Study God’s Word.
-Seasons of life.
-Mentor our children. This is our first opportunity.

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