I propose that a new calling for Mennonite women everywhere is to serve as intentional Sages to younger women. How shall we begin?
Try any or all of these ideas that research has proven work well:
• Meet them at their starting points. Focus on their stuff, not yours.
• Approach the relationship with open hands. What happens next is up to the Holy Spirit.
• Offer friendship, wisdom, support.
• Offer non-judgmental listening with compassion. Smile, nod, and affirm.
• Remember—it’s the presence that counts, not your ability or desire to solve their problems.
• Availability is more important than expertise.
• Celebrate the milestones of their lives.
• Meet-up in a non-churchy place: homes, coffee shops, parks.
If you are discerning a new ministry: have at it! If your women’s group is looking for a “project,” here you go! If you need a breath of fresh air—inhale! Become a Sage.
I invite you to help shape this new ministry!
- What do younger women need?
- What are best practices in connecting different generations of women?
- What resources can you suggest – websites, books, journal articles?
- What do you wish you had known as a younger women?
- How can you imagine a Sage retreat, seminar or conference?
- Do you have a story to share?
Let’s keep this conversation going!
Marlene Bogard, Executive Director