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September 28, 2022 3:00 am
Wondering how to develop relationships that fuel spiritual growth? Author Melissa Kruger ratchets mentoring & intentional discipleship to the next level. Show Notes and ResourcesFind resources from this podcast at shop.familylife.com.Find more content and resources on the FamilyLife's app!Help others find FamilyLife. Leave a review on Apple Podcast or Spotify.Check out all the FamilyLife podcasts on the FamilyLife Podcast Network
It's not just the non-Christian. He desperately needs the gospel. I need it. I need reminders. We just desperately needed life on life discipleship more than sometimes I need a far-off Internet person to tell me that I need the person sitting down at the table with me to say keep running it's worth it. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most and Wilson and Andre Wilson and you can find us if we live today.com or on our family life, family life today.
Okay I want you to recall something for me and go back to what we were at first but you know how bad I am. I know I don't remember anything but football place. That's all I can remember from God. Now you can remember this, I want you to recall and think back to when you first started sharing your faith. I do remember that other people what you feel when you get scared to death totally dependent on God yeah what did you do for your faith. All absolute energized. I'm exaggerating a bit.
I don't think there's anything I've done in my Christian walk that energizes my faith more, which would explain why you went into ministry I mean by bright number-one gift is evangelism. So I always have a heart for that but yet you talk about, even if my walk is colder stale or dry, I get a chance to share the gospel somebody like your mountaintop yeah and the same is true for me when I had the opportunity to tell somebody about Jesus actually just happen today because I had an opportunity coming off the flight there was a woman who was in tears and she was standing right beside me in the airport and she said ham. I claim the right way and he said where you going and she couldn't continue to talk. She started to cry and then she said this is the first time I've flown without my husband and he just passed away and she just started crying hard and so I held her hand the whole time.
I asked her to tell me about them. It was sweet because I got to love her hug her. Pray for her first second and walk her to where she needed to go but there's something when we do that it feels so right.
You know I ever going today because were going to talk about discipleship and what we both just did was discipleship. It's the great commission yes and what we talk about that I would gotta guess it over there. Melissa Kruger is in the studio Alyssa. Welcome to family life today. Thanks for having me. I'm excited because your book is called growing together taking mentoring beyond small talk and prayer request. What a great title and neither of those are bad things necessarily good point, but how do we go a little deeper progress or a bad thing, but you have three kids you're married, you've written several books directed women's ministries over the years. Yes.
So why is this a passion for you. Yes, this black actually outline of this book was on my computer for probably 10 of those years because I watched women in the church, desperately wanting to have deep community with one another and not knowing how to get there. Yeah so older women in the church wanted to invest in younger women, younger women wanted the investment of older women, but they would kinda get together for coffee and they would talk about always been such a busy day you see the traffic on this weather it just be surfacing in the Smalltalk and Smalltalk be a great way to connect but it's not a great way to go deep and so I wrote this book actually to be a springboard for deeper conversation is not actually a book that's about discipleship.
The first two chapters cover that a little bit, but it's really a book that I hope women will take read together the content about being a woman who prays and then have conversations about how is your prayer life. How you learn to pray better as you've aged evangelism talking about these things that sometimes we know we want to have those conversations but we just stay in comfortable places.
I really want to ask older women in my life hey what are you thankful you did. As a mom what you wish you hadn't done as a mom and some as we still know how to get there about century nominally go sit in the studio but I'm a little this prize goes, I don't know if I represent all members think I do. We think women know men don't go do we talk about surface East, but when we see women even like when you go to conference. They said together they start talking right away and we're assuming there going places we would never go immediately, but you're saying a lot of it's a small talk. I'll speak for myself in that that can be the most comfortable place to go and then we can go there and we can lay there all day long. I was at the group of my friends one time and we were at lunch and we were talking about all those things. He said the weather. Somebody's kids are going to a dance in the dress that their daughter God and how the kids are doing and this is the part of me that's not very subtle, sometimes terrible and some of you would think I would not be her friend. I said hey, we've just been talking about nothingness for the last 45 minutes so there like to know if they be offended, but they were really good friends like you guys I know. How are you doing let's get into some stuff and so you know Dave, we can stay on his nervousness.
He think that's where experts say there like you said a long time because we have a lot of words so just day in certain places and I will get to the end of the lunch, and finally I'll say tell me what's wanting to be praying for you this week and then all the real things that I wish we been talking about for the past 45 minute come out and you just see it turns the conversation just a simple question like that can turn the conversation to now I hear what's on my sisters heart in a heavy way that you just don't feel like will.
Where is the right place to say, hey, my marriage is falling apart. Where's the right place to say I'm really concerned about my kids and I don't know what's going on with them. Where's the right place to say this relationship is broken and I don't affix it with my mother-in-law or my mom or whatever and so sometimes you just like any permission to actually go deep with one another. Have you had that he had someone it's mentored you. I am so thankful I had to women early in my Christian life I actually became a Christian I was raised in the church. I really came to hear the gospel and understand it through a high school ministry called FCA and a woman was a teacher at the school and she ran a large public high school and she was there sharing her faith and that relationship is not a formal mentoring relationship at all, but I would just go out to her room and yet she would tell me all her thoughts on dating and being in the word, a man can still remember her saying you shouldn't be leading others.
If you're not in the word yourself you in this things.
16-year-old from a teacher like okay yes ma'am and then all through college.
I was meant toward by my university staff worker. She met with me for three years. Same restaurant can still member studying first Peter with her. I get so member doing ministry with her and what I loved about that relationship. She was meant touring me while letting me do ministry so it wasn't just a pouring in. It was bringing along and that was really key for me to learn that little I actually have questions when I'm in the game myself. I did that same thing in college where my mentor was meeting with me weekly never looked at the Bible I knew nothing, and so she's teaching me this and I'm like this is amazing how to pray how to share your faith, how to allow the Holy Spirit to really have access to your life and to be all in and I would lead this Bible study.
Everything that I lead in the Bible study was exactly what she had just taught me and then I would say this didn't work. This did work and it's exactly what Jesus did with his disciples, he sends them out and they all came back and talked about it. Interestingly have instances Jesus clearly taught the 5000 you see that, but he was the farthest thing from a mega-church pastor. He didn't have big Internet ministry.
Obviously he invested in 12 people and I think in the Christian church. Sometimes we suffer from that I should be doing more and you knew Jesus change the world by investing in 12 men and yet there are other people in their circles, but he really and then he invested even in three Maureen on the transfiguration. He had a smaller group up there with him and it change the world failed him mistakes. Peter could not get right who he was to rebuke them, he had to know it was a definite instance of he was trying to teach them and they were sometimes very slow learners like we all are, but it's amazing what that investment did.
That's what he built the church on this minute as they went out as apostles, he built his church on it's kind of amazing when you think about oh, I don't need to be a teacher of thousands. I can be a teacher to six. Throughout my life, and faithfully do that is with the Lord will do in the know what's out. You also look like an postcollege life goes both your examples were college.
I have the same example a young man named Bill who just two years older poured in the maze taught me discipleship taught me and it's biblical that I need a Paul and Barnabas in a Timothy someone in front of me someone beside me someone behind me in my Christian walk and yet so many college students who are part of a ministry you get postcollege and often we don't live in that kind the rhythms in our life, especially moms like you to dads the same thing. So why is it yeah and I found it really hard to find mentors and part of it was lifestyle we moved the first five years of our marriage removed every single year. It's hard to even get to know someone's name, much less be meant toward when you're moving that much.
Early on, and so I found mentoring through books and and that stage and what I try to tell people sometimes is a mentor is a wonderful thing to pray for just like it's a wonderful thing to pray for spouse or wonderful thing to pray for children or anything like that, but sometimes the answer is no. So we might walk through seasons were for whatever reason, we just don't have an older person in our life and the way we would like and that we can trust the Lord to that he's doing something in our lives.
At that point because I would say when I was in my mid-20s I desperately wanted just to go to a Bible study these young children. My brain didn't like it work properly anymore and I just wanted to go and receive. Instead, I was in a young church plant. I was one of the older women and so I was the one teaching the Bible study nursing on side teaching babies crying everywhere Lord's will for me. That's how he was shaping and fashioning me at that moment, so always to keep praying for one and be patient as the Lord bring cement your life also like to say sometimes you can get them a little bit here a little bit there, so I would have one older woman that I would always go to with my mothering questions Christian mothering questions have another woman that I might go to about prayer life on now just take the opportunities as they came didn't look as formal as it did in college and part of that is a lot of time in college I always say to people, don't you going off to college as a neutral time that you can just live however you want. It's not just that. Oh you didn't party and drink and do all these things that you might miss on so much great discipleship you think it was just didn't really matter all do the Christian thing when I get out and have kids or something. But all those years of investment. I'm so thankful I had from college E2 they shaped me yes and I think they can shape our kids and to even pray that our kids will experience that gesture. Last night I was with a group of women like hundred and 30 women with this ministry called herd.
We had a panel you better explain the herd going to hurt a woman and we named it.
Actually, the young women in their 20s and 30s named it because they said women are longing to be heard not only from God but from each other. They long to be heard by one another and seen and so on. The panel you have from teenagers to 25 and then we had young moms. We have someone that's divorced and single now in her 40s when a mom with six kids of all teenagers and into the young 20s and then we had a woman that 60 and she has a lot of grandkids and was so fascinating to me as each woman shared the struggle of this stage of life and also the victory and I'm telling you every single woman was crying because as each woman shared her struggle of maybe like not like I don't know my identity in this space and this is what a 22-year-old saying like I don't know what Jesus says about me and then you have the 55-year-old woman saying me to, like, that's me, and then you have the woman it's been divorced and in so much pain and shame. And she feels like she somehow failed and so we have other women there saying me to, and the mom whose teenagers are figuring out and I know walk with Jesus or am I not in another one of those sons that she had was in the hallway when a school shooter shot his best friend and so you now you struggling with fear, anxiety, and I looked around the room. These women are crying because for the first time people are voicing what they're feeling and then you bring in Scripture and you bring in somebody says I been there and I understand we want to flock to those people we have it in the church is much as we want, what you think. Think freight detail.
I think older women sometimes can get trapped in one adult had to do that. I don't how to invest in younger women, here is the other lie I'm too old. Nobody wanted yeah yes yes I've heard that so many times that exact thing and or look back at their life and their like. I failed and so I'm not good enough.
Yes that's all we need you so much for that mistake you call back to us tell us what you learned through not obeying God sometimes the Scriptures full of the negative example to all over. We don't need perfect mentors. There are none. For one, but we we just need women want to point us to Jesus example I get up at the start of the book about what mentoring is. Is this image that I remember from my childhood, my dad, I came out upon him one day and he was tying this one small tree that was all bent over, he was tying it to the bigger oak is tethering them together so that it would grow straight the street.
I think we kids have been jumping off of it like bouncing on it. All these things that he was tying it to the speaker tree and that big tree was just standing beside the younger tree yet and they were tethered together and it was helping it grow straight, so the strength that it had from years of him in North Carolina swayed by storms all the time. Years of withstanding all these storms and hurricanes. All the things we all get it had stood firm and it just stood beside providing strength and a like that image because this bigotry actually does make the younger tree grow.
I thought that was so good in that illustration. It just takes the pressure off you.
Jesus is growing his church. He has a plan for his people.
God is working to conformity that person into the image of a son standing beside I'm just offering the strength. The Lord has given me to someone else and when I can bring it down to that much less intimidated him because it scared me.
Ask we in this book came out. A friend walked up to me and she said would you mentor me lately think that I think everyone's fine I can think like I got nothing.
I got nothing girl, but they must see something in you Melissa for that girl to come up and say it and it doesn't have to be perfect. You know, I think we think we have to have all the answers. Sometimes it's saying I don't know what to do pray with you and I'm in a sit here beside you and I'll be here when all the questions, and I'm going to be that listening ear when you need it and hopefully somewhere along the way I'll have a verse that I can remember that might help or something, but a lot of it is just walking side-by-side. You have been the triple alliance since I was 20. Exec knows that a member of the time somebody said you're the youngest chaplain in the NFL and I had no idea course of a long time ago. But here's what happened when I was about 40, 42, 43, I thought him too old and I went to one of our players whose part of my ministry user number one draft pick of our team name was Luther. Also I learned a Chrysler mentoring this guy. I said Luther on there for go subdued. Be totally honest. I know you. Be truthful with me. My too old to relate to the guys in the players and I'm good with that. If I am will find another person.
I'll move on.
I said I think my days are done being a chaplain because you know when I started I was appear I played against some of these guys in college and now I'm like their dad's age and he looks at me on their forget goes to these are your best years I only mean he does now we see you as a mentor. We don't want to appear we want to mentor Willis was a little bit is a dad raising kids.
We were some way ahead of the second poor English.
Please don't quit. I think your best years are ahead and I to me that was a shock to my really in a course or did for many more years but that's what I hear you say yeah, the next generation our kids or grandkids ages Thursday they have seen is they are looking for mothers and fathers often haven't had him especially in the spiritual world.
So if there's an older woman listening right now.
What would you say to her, she could be 40 something she feels like her days are done to remind her know your days are done yeah I would just say if you know Jesus, you have the world to give someone you and Jesus.
Five more minutes than I have, then you have five more minutes to get me in your giving me the greatest gift is what we hear in his presence is fullness of joy and so when I give what I know about Jesus, to you whatever I've learned whatever's been revealed to me through his word and by a spirit that's treasure what an inheritance. Nothing here so early. My kids that's the aroma I want to leave everywhere I go is this aroma of Christ. And there's something he's mean the non-Christian is the Christian needs it to because I think we sometimes think were just persuading the non-Christian book of Hebrews is all about persuading the Christian Jesus is better and don't get the joke about and so you know it's not just the non-Christian who desperately needs the gospel. I need it. I need reminders keep running the race. Keep keep after it's worth it. I'm a little bit farther and looking at the view Macintoshes could need someone to tell me that and we we just desperately needed life on life discipleship more than sometimes I need a far-off Internet person to tell me that I need the person sitting down at the table with me to say keep keep running it's worth it. I remember the first time I heard Bill Bright talk about the great commission in Matthew 28 and go and make disciples of all nations will never forget because I was young I was 19 I thought me and yet something arose in me that thought God could use me with my messed up past and all the wrong that I've done. It was not pretty. And the abuse that I've gone through me and the amazing thing is, is he changed me. When you're discipling someone he changes you. When you're doing anything like I'm giving this gift to this person, but as we said at the beginning Dave something happens in because we were created to share Christ. We were created to share the good news and I think you're right Melissa, we can sit in church as consumers and we get filled up but there has to be an outlet to that and when you give it away. It changes us are just the first places to give it away from kids. Yes, those are your number one disciples mom whatever you're getting.
Give dad whatever your learning, pass it on, and I'm telling you, you will be energized as you watch your legacy become godly.
You used to teach high school I taught high school math and actually only two kids in different groups of some kids who knew it really well would be to group with maybe a kid who didn't know it as well, because I knew when the kid who knew it well. Had to teach someone else. He learned better or answer. The reality is you. We often think the lessons were teach our children about our children learning that sometimes I was like as a mom be like for me what I'm having to deal with with my child is actually the Lord. Teaching me in the same is true in spiritual mothering mentor and or whatever we call it.
We think it might be about helping the other person see when is God wanting us to see the truth more clearly.
And so it's it's a wonderful privilege to get to walk alongside people because that's what is called growing together. We are both growing, as it were. In this process of walking toward Jesus together. That's Melissa Kruger with David and Wilson on family life today. Stick around and has an encouraging word for women in just a minute.
First, like we just heard Melissa's book is called growing together taking mentoring beyond small talk and prayer requests. You can get a copy for yourself or for a email@example.com or by calling 800-3583 29. That's 800 F is in family L as in life, and then the word today that family life. We believe one-on-one relationships like mentoring are so vital.
I don't my life. Some of the biggest change has happened because one person who's a little farther down the road than me took the time to speak into my life.
You can help equip many women and teens to become mentors when you join us by giving financially. Family life all this week with your donation. We want to send you a copy of Bob latest book is called build a stronger marriage grateful to go through as a couple or maybe even with another couple. You can mentor at the same time as our thanks to you when you give this week. Family life to a.com when you call with your donation at 800-3583 29, 800 F is in family L as in life and in the word today. I backed and with an encouragement for women to step out in faith. Be a mentor and I think as women think about this, like, why does this matter because use you right where you are. I know some of you like I have no time but just look around you'll be surprised when you open your eyes and just maybe someone's by you that you can love then you can ask the question pray for you I like your suggestion to Melissa is find some that you like, how they pray are a great mom or man. They know their Bible just asked them for coffee and see what happens. God wants to use us and he wants to equip us to make disciples tomorrow. Steven and will be joined by Jordan Rayner to talk about how to get back our time with all the distractions that come exactly well that's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm shall be added you back next time for another edition of family life family like the days of action of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most