Cyber-Mentoring

Almost two years ago, the team at Revive Our Hearts approached me about blogging for a new site, www.LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. I was excited about the opportunity to partner with Revive Our Hearts, but more than a little skeptical about the possibility that any real ministry or mentoring could occur online.

Let me back up a bit. I am now so passionate about what’s happening on www.LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com that I assume everyone knows about it. Since it’s a site that might not be on your radar screen (yet!), I should probably give it a proper introduction.

Lies Young Women Believe is a fantastic book released by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh in 2008. The book focuses on identifying the top 25 lies young women believe and replacing those lies with God’s truth. The website was launched to continue the conversation started by the book by offering regular online posts about issues that are timely for teenage girls.

I had the privilege of conducting a series of focus groups during the research phase for the book. During the research process, I saw first-hand the impact of exposing lies and replacing them with truth in this generation of young women. In addition, I’ve spent the past ten years of my life partnering with my husband in student ministry. I know this generation of young women. I am keenly aware of their need to be pointed to biblical truth.

I also know the power of mentoring. Dannah Gresh served as my mentor when I was in high school and college. God used her willingness to take me to coffee, invite me into her home, and listen to me talk endlessly about boys to shape me into a godly woman. I have worked hard to pay that forward by mentoring girls in my sphere of influence.

But mentoring in the blogosphere? Was that really an effective way to minister? These were the questions I secretly asked myself as the site launched and I started to write.

A year and a half later, I have my answer. Check out these responses from our readers:

I love this blog because it reminds me about how I shouldn't be concerned about my outer beauty, but focus on how God wants me to be on the inside. He wants me to be concerned about my focus on Him and my heart.

I really needed this! You made my day! I have begun having a concert with Jesus every night before I go to bed! It's been awesome. All because of your post!

I feel so much better. I have stopped cutting completely, and now I look like everyone else. Thank you sooooo much!!!!!

The dots are connecting and ministry is happening even though we’ve never met these girls face-to-face.

This reality leads me to two important conclusions about mentoring.

  1. Mentoring can happen anywhere. You don’t need to formally invite young women to be mentored. You don’t need to join a mentoring program or stick to a mentoring curriculum. Mentor in your home. Mentor online. Mentor through cards and letters (yes, snail mail still works!). Mentor in the places where you are already encountering young women.
  2. Meet young women where they are. Today’s young women are more plugged in than any generation before them. They can usually be found surfing the web, text messaging their friends, and listening to their iPods (all at the same time!).

As you seek to mentor this generation, work to speak to them where they are already listening. So many young women are looking for truth online. It makes sense for us to present it there.

You can do the same (even if you are a non-techie like myself). We’d love to have your comments on www.LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. You can be a mentor to the hundreds of girls who are already regularly visiting that site simply by joining us in pointing them toward God’s truth. Don’t be afraid to use other media as well. Send out a text message of encouragement to a young girl in your church. Become Facebook friends with a new mom. Then make a concentrated effort to use that forum to encourage and equip. Go to where young women are (in real life or in cyberspace), and bring God’s truth with you.

I am thrilled you’re tackling the subject of modeling godliness on www.TrueWoman.com this month. Take it from a young women who’s been mentored, you can make a huge difference. Meet young women where they are. Speak to them in their own language, and trust God with the results.

Did you discover God’s Truth today?

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About the Author

Erin Davis

Erin Davis

Erin Davis is a popular author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.