The Importance of Mentorship

Written by Leslie Kiriakos, Enrollment Director // Financial Aid Administrator

“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25 This is one of my favorite verses.  I have it displayed on my fireplace mantle as a reminder that I don’t need to know the future in order to walk in peace and confidence. I just need to know the One who holds my future. 

These are the kinds of truths that I desire to pass on to the ladies that the Lord entrusts into my care. The enemy bombards them with lies – trying to make them walk in fear, anxiety, and insecurity.  As a life group leader, I want them to know that their identity must be grounded in who they are in Christ – that they are chosen by Christ, holy and blameless in His sight, and redeemed by His blood!  The Lord sees them, hears them when they cry out to Him, and He values them as His own. During one of our life groups, we unpacked these truths by looking at Ephesians 1 together.  Afterwards, I encouraged the ladies to take Ephesians 1 and sit with God and allow Him to speak to them about what He is saying to them personally through this chapter. 

Our mission statement states that “New Hope Christian College (NHCC), an institution of higher education, exists to disciple emerging Christian leaders by developing their theology, ministry skills, and character in order to win souls, plant fruitful churches, and lead as exemplary ambassadors for Christ in the ministry and marketplace.”  A portion of that discipleship takes place in the classroom. The other portion of that discipleship takes place through intentional mentorship. Mentoring is one of the things that sets NHCC apart from other institutions. We value the importance of building trust and creating a safe place for the students to share their struggles with a leader who can shepherd them through struggles in a biblical way. These are life skills that aren’t taught just in the classroom but are learned life on life. 

I am a product of mentorship by strong Christian ladies who have gone before me. I have learned from their life experiences and lessons. One of my dearest mentors, Stephanie Beckett, taught me to be strong and courageous when I was going through a difficult season; she taught me how to navigate the season with Jesus.  How? By being present. The ministry of presence is taught through relationships over time. Stephanie spent time with me – laughing, watching old movies, and reading the word of God. She was my lightning rod – pointing me back to Jesus at every turn. 

Now, I have the honor and privilege of doing the same for the young ladies in my life group at NHCC. We do life together every week – just spending time together getting coffee in different coffee shops around Eugene, going to parks, the pumpkin patch, bowling, or ice cream shops – even going to Florence to explore the boardwalk and relax on the beach. Wherever we decide to go that week, the goal is always the same – building relationships and community. The time is spent getting to know each other and checking in on how their week is going. Some weeks, our conversations are light, and we spend the time laughing and joking around.  Other weeks, we dig a little deeper and talk about who we are in Christ, and we discuss what that looks like practically. 

Over the past five years, I have been blessed to watch the ladies grow in their confidence and understanding of who they are in Christ. It is always refreshing to see them come in as Freshman with the normal jitters and grow into confident, strong women of God. In the past few years, I have witnessed several of the ladies in my life group graduate. It is always a bittersweet moment—celebrating their accomplishment and knowing they are moving on. At NHCC, our goal is to properly equip the students for the call of God on their lives so that we can pass the baton to them. So, I know in my heart that this is a necessary part of the process. The most rewarding thing about witnessing the ladies move from student to graduate is seeing them start their own life groups! Now they are the mentors! Everything comes full circle and discipleship continues through them—just as we are commanded in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always to the close of the age” (NIV). 

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