How to Invest in the Life of a Younger Friend

This is Part 4 of a five-part friendship series.

You can catch all of the friendship articles by linking to them below:

How to Make Better Friends – Week One

How to Begin & Enjoy a Mentoring Relationship – Week Two

How to Enjoy Mutually Encouraging Friendships – Week Three

How to Invest in the Life of a Younger Friend – Week Four

How to Expand Your Friendship Horizons – Week Five


I love mentoring.

I love one-on-one discipleship.

I love being trained and taught and equipped formally. And, I love being the one doing the training and equipping.

 Would you like some ideas for how to invest in the lives of the younger friends God has placed around you? Would you like to mentor them without feeling strange or awkward? Here are some practical tips, suggestions, and ideas for women (and men) who'd like to make an impact on the lives of those around them.

However, there are seasons when life just feels really busy, too busy to take the time to mentor someone else.

So, how do we “do” discipleship as busy women and men?  

  • What does it look like for that person who cannot take part in regular discipleship meetings?
  • Can you still make disciples on the run and in the middle of the chaos of life?
  • Can you still invest in the lives of others when your life is crazy and unpredictable?

YES!! 

I want to give you four (4) words you can use that come from the life of Jesus.

These 4 words will give you the HEART of your discipleship plan – the heart of your way to invest in the lives of others.

Luke 9:57-58

As they were going along the road,” someone said to Him (Jesus), “I will follow You wherever You go.”

And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”

Mark 8:27-29

“Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi;” and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?”

They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.”

Luke 24:13-24   The Road to Emmaus

That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.”

Our ChallengeAS YOU ARE GOING – we can invest in the lives of others and make disciples.

In the regular course and days of your life, you can train, teach, and instruct others to love Jesus.

How do you do this??

My favorite way to mentor and disciple is to use regular, everyday moments.

Jesus was the ultimate example of this technique. As they were walking outside and a flock of birds flew by, He would say, “Look at the birds of the air.”

He used things like the fig tree, the mountains, the wheat and the tares, and the lost coin. Jesus taught, trained, and mentored others using regular, everyday stuff.

What does it look like to use “Regular, Every Day Moments” and to share the love of Christ as you are going?

While walking with one of my neighbors, we had the chance to talk about our faiths. She was raised Muslim, and I asked her to tell me about her core beliefs. Then, she invited me to tell her about my faith.

This neighbor was never able to grasp the concept of “GRACE,” but she was quite intrigued by it.

I had the opportunity to invest in this young mom’s life while we made laps around the neighborhood.

Where do they usually happen??

Moments to mentor, train, and equip other women can happen anywhere!

~ At Work – you might have a great opportunity to share with a co-worker.

~ At Home – with your kids.

~ In your Neighborhood – while watering the yard or walking the dog.

~ At Church – I’ve had many great conversations in the hallway or even in the women’s restroom.

~ At Exercise class – you can talk to a younger woman while walking on the treadmill next to hers.

~ At the Airport.

~ Even at Wal-Mart.

When do they usually happen??

Any time of day or night, moments to influence and impact can occur.  Honestly, they usually happen at the most unusual times and in the most unusual ways. 

For example, we’ve had some of the best discussions about life and important matters with our kids in the car.  We’ve answered questions like: What about alcohol? What about tattoos? What about…?

How long do they last??

They can last several minutes… 

I’ve had the chance to offer a good word or a little instruction to many women through email or on Facebook Messenger. Often, they send me a note asking what to do about their marriage, one of their children, or some other issue. For just a moment, I have the chance to pour into their lives.

Or, they can last several years…

For about two years, I walked in the morning with my precious younger friend Kelly. We just talked, laughed, and shared about our lives. 

Eventually, Kelly and I both moved away from that neighborhood. But, I got to see her at an event recently.  

She stopped me and told me, “I was a baby Christian when we met. You were the one who really mentored me and taught me how to grow in the Lord.” Now, she is on staff at a church!

I never knew. I just thought we were walking and talking.

How do you know what to say??

To effectively impact the men or women God has placed in your life, can I suggest a few steps of daily preparation?

1} Get Clean

Empty yourself. Confess, forsake, give up, let go of your sin.

Daily get your heart right with the Lord.

1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

2} Get your tank filled – 

Fill up on Jesus – ask Him to fill you up so you have something to pour out.

Like the woman at the well, I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking—
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

Fill my cup, Lord;
I lift it up, Lord;
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

(Fill My Cup, Lord, Hymn)

Romans 15:13“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Would you like some ideas for how to invest in the lives of the younger friends God has placed around you? Would you like to mentor them without feeling strange or awkward? Here are some practical tips, suggestions, and ideas for women (and men) who'd like to make an impact on the lives of those around them.
3} Get in the Word – 

Fill up on the Word. Open the Word and take in truth for the day.

 2 Timothy 2:15“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

4} Get out there!  

Be ready and willing. Be open and available. Be on the lookout.

Hang your shingle – put it out for business!

Let the sign of your life read “The light is on. This Christian is Spirit-filled. I’m open to talking to you today!”

Does this kind of discipleship work??

Yes!  

It’s been my joy to “do life” alongside many amazing friends. I’ve had the chance to invest in, pray with, teach, train, and befriend these women. Honestly, it’s been one of the greatest privileges in my life.

I have a number of favorites! Among them are three young friends who are all named “Jennifer.”

They are all ministry wives that God has sent into my life. Each is married to a pastor or a missionary husband, and each of these women deeply loves Jesus, their children, their husbands, and serving the Lord.

I’ve walked alongside each of these young women. I’ve spent time with them, I’ve prayed for them, I’ve given them great books to read, I’ve laughed with them, and I’ve cried with them.

Primarily, I’ve just loved them, and God has taken care of everything else.

And, He will do the same for you! 

My CHALLENGE TO YOU is simple:

  • GET CLEAN.
  • GET FILLED UP WITH JESUS.
  • GET INTO THE WORD.
  • GET OUT THERE AND BE READY! 

Ask God to use you as you are going, as you are walking along.

He can and He will.

But, be warned… if you do this, you better put your seatbelt on.

It’s going to be a wild ride!


Were you encouraged today?

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Maybe you can send it to a friend or family member?

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© Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner are strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melanie Redd and Ministry of Hope with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About helloredds@gmail.com

Blessed wife of Randy for over 25 years, mom to two great college students, blogger, women's ministry coach, speaker and author who is amazed by God's grace-

30 thoughts on “How to Invest in the Life of a Younger Friend

  1. I love this! I’ve been so blessed in my maturing years to have what I call my “church moms” who have poured in to me tirelessly through many of the principles/disciplines you have discussed– and were even a part of our wedding. I always think about ways that I can/am paying it forward with the younger people in our church through youth group and college ministry and this was so perfect to read to help me along!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Hey Nicole,
      Thank you for stopping by today and leaving such a kind word.
      Aren’t you thankful for those “moms” who have poured into you? What a gift you have had!
      And, I do hope that you are investing in some younger women. It sounds like you have much good stuff to pour out!
      Keep going strong, and stop by again! I enjoyed connecting with you today.
      Blessings to you,
      Melanie

    1. Thank you, Valerie!
      I do think the as you are going mode is the best!
      I know you have some younger women who are greatly blessed by you life (as are your daughters!)
      I’m blessed by you~

  2. Melanie, what a great post! Great advice to be encouraging and discipling others as we are living our daily lives. The Lord spoke to me through this–“Keep your eyes open for opportunities.” Thanking God for you!

    1. What a great way to live, Christine, open to opportunities!
      I pray this way daily, “Send those people across my path, Lord, who need You.”
      Appreciate your kind words today~
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  3. Melanie, I just love this. So practical and wise! Mentoring isn’t rocket science! Yesterday I had a delightful time with 4 young women, one was my daughter. Pinning this today and will share on FB tomorrow! (I just “adopted” a beautiful young woman who spent the summer in our city. She just went back home, but it will be via text messaging and telephone.)

    1. Thank you, Betsy!
      We have this love in common – to spend time with younger women and encourage them in the things of the Lord!
      It sounds like you have a wonderful ministry! Those young women are blessed to have you in their lives!

  4. Melanie, this is so good! It’s easy to think we can only mentor in a controlled setting where everything is just right, but that’s just not how it works. It’s more about relationships in our everyday lives, being there to encourage and to listen and to share our lives. Yes, there is a place for organized study, but let’s not forget how we can follow Jesus example and minister as we go about our ordinary days. Blessings to you! I found this post at #GraceandTruth.

  5. Melanie, I have a friend like that, a mentor like that, who is also my walking buddy! Yes, as we have walked (supposedly for exercise) we have also had deep fellowship. And, I hope that I am BEING a Christian friend/mentor like that as well. Thank you for your excellent post!

    1. Hey Gena,
      Don’t you love walking and “doing” ministry all at the same time? It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with other women!
      Love that you have a walking buddy with whom you also enjoy great fellowship. What a treat!
      And, I do believe that you are making an impact! Go girl!
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your encouraging words today~
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  6. Such an important point: as you are going! Sometimes we can over-analyze the idea of investing in others and give up before we start. It’s worth the time but we can definitely put the effort in as we are simply doing life. Great advice! Visiting from #sittingamongfriends today!

    1. Hey Angela,
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a kind word today!
      I really appreciate your encoruageing comments.
      And, I do agree – we can become OCD about discipleship when it’s just walking, talking, and interacting!
      Hope you have a blessed evening~
      Melanie

  7. I read this with high interest because I know that God is calling me to become more involved in the lives of younger women. Thanks for the practical and the spiritual all rolled into one! And, by the way, I’m finally getting caught up on book reviews, and your mum’s book is nearing the top of the pile.

    1. Thank you, Michele!
      I believe you will be an amazing mentor to younger women! They so need wise women speaking into their worlds! I look forward to hearing how God leads you to get involved!
      Sure do appreciate you, and I look very forward to my mom’s book review!
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  8. I enjoyed this so much! I believe you are right: we can mentor as we “do life together.” I believe that is what the church should be all about.

    Thanks for sharing this at The Loft!

    1. We can do life together – I’ve done it over and over, and it’s the most amazing experience!
      It sounds like you are enjoying these relationships as well!
      Thanks for stopping by to leave a good word.
      Blessings,
      Melanie

  9. Awww, Melanie, such a perfect word for me today. I was feeling a bit discouraged because I love to invest in the lives of others, but have been feeling like my busyness is getting in the way. You made me stop and realize how many people I actually do invest in, even if it doesn’t look like it did in another season of my life. Thanks, friend!
    Hugs,
    Lori

    1. Hey Lori,

      I KNOW you are investing in lives all around you! Sometimes it may not feel like it, but you just never know how much God is at work around you. I love this quote by John Piper, “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life; you may be aware of 3 of them.”

      Praying He will encourage you, infuse your heart with hope, and fill your cup back up to overflowing!

      I’m blessed by you~
      Melanie

  10. Amen Melanie! I love these tips. I have a desire in my heart to ensure both my youngest brother and oldest nephew will come to love seeking after the Lord. I know that they watch me so I am careful in what I do and say when speaking to them. I want to be a Christlike example and show them love like Jesus loves. It has been encouraging to see small changes in their behavior over the past couple years. I think the last tip you shared is most important.., get out there and be ready! We will never know how God can use us until we are out there interacting with people. God does not want us to hide our light but to let it be seen! Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom. I hope you have a wonderful week and may God richly bless you and yours!

    1. Hey Horace,

      It’s so good to have you visiting today! I love your prayers that you are posting each day on FB! Awesome stuff!

      And, I will pray with you for your brother and your nephew to come to Christ (or come back.) I’m sure you are a wonderful influence in their lives!

      Don’t you love how God uses us at all!

      Hope you have a wonderful day. You bless me~
      Melanie

  11. Thank you, Melanie! This post is exactly what I needed! Your words have given me hope that I can begin mentoring younger women by walking, talking and just being in relationship with them. I’ve felt called by God to do this, but just didn’t know what “mentoring” actually looked like. Reading this also reminded me of a “walking friend” who was about 30 years my senior. At the time I didn’t recognize how much she encouraged and counseled me. It was after reflecting tonight on our friendship that God opened my eyes to see how she mentored me when I was a baby Christian. I will complete this series, but would love to learn more about nentoring! Thank you again for sharing of yourself to encourage so many! May God truly bless you!

    1. Hey Cindy,
      Thanks for stopping by to leave a good word today!
      And, you absolutely CAN begin mentoring other women! I believe any woman who is willing, in love with Jesus, and breathing can be a mentor. But, so few of us are!
      It sounds like you have had a great model. And, really that is all it is – walking with another woman, doing life together.
      You can do this!
      And, I can’t wait to hear about it!
      Blessings,
      Melanie
      (Check your emails as well. I’m going to respond to your other note via email~)

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