Let’s Flourish Together! A Women’s Mentoring Journey
In 2021, under Pastor Gus’ leadership, Northland shifted to be more intentional about discipleship and began a focus on becoming a disciple-making church. While some people prefer a structured class or small group, others prefer a more personal and one on one approach when it comes to discipleship. In October of 2019, we launched Flourish, a mentoring journey designed for women. God has used this ministry to transform lives through dedicated time in Scripture, prayer, and ultimately, grow women closer to Him and one another, even in the midst of the pandemic!
Year one of Flourish has been an incredible journey for many women! They have spent time reading God’s Word and learning more about the Word, prayer, identity, calling, kinship, and gratitude.
Year two, which launched in the Fall of 2021, includes topics like feminine heart, whole and holy, under new management, beauty from ashes, be welcomed in this place, and strong and courageous.
Heading into 2022, Flourish has a new leader! Jill Bowles, along with a small team, will be leading this ministry moving forward. Jill has a deep passion for women’s ministry and mentoring.
“I am thrilled that our Women’s mentoring ministry is set to begin our third year in February!” said Jill. “But what is mentoring, and what is Flourish? Flourish calls women to a higher standard of living following the commands in Titus 2:3-5, a God-filled life for the sake of the Gospel. A life where we love and follow Jesus and see our lives and circumstances through scripture. We can benefit from the women who have gone before us and who reflect Jesus. We believe a mentoring relationship can be a rich experience for growth. I was privileged to be mentored in my early years of marriage by some women who had been there, done that, and could help me navigate through those years as I struggled to balance life as a wife and mother with my spiritual growth as a woman of God. What a blessing they were to me! I had the opportunity years later to help launch a mentoring ministry in my previous church and see firsthand God’s imprint in the relationships that He brought together. Some are still going today! I am beyond blessed to be once again a part of raising women to love God and process their lives through the lens of Scripture. God has made us as women to be relational, and mentoring is a prime example of following Titus 2:3-5.”
One of our mentors, Dorothy Mowbray, has been amazed by God’s work through her time as a Flourish mentor. Her experience has been incredible. “How comforting is a well-worn book— one that has faithfully served its purpose again and again! It is no surprise that the cover of my Flourish book shows purple smudges from its intimate relationship with my purple leather Bible! The pages are littered with various bookmarked lessons learned and hand-written notes of dawning perspective scribbled in the available space like fond memories. All of these to keep track of the four unique, beloved ladies that God has placed in my path to walk alongside in their journey of discovery of how much God loves them just as they are. And yet, Jesus’ love is too great to leave them where they are! What a privilege to come alongside and encourage, pray with them in times of trouble and discovery, and witness how God changes their hearts and minds, along with the circumstances around them, all in His timing!
“Flourish is a resource book of Bible verses and study questions that prompt weekly hourlong mentee and mentor discussions. At first, it was one lady who wanted to deepen her prayer life. Despite COVID’s quarantines, we continued to meet and pray outside on my backyard deck. Both of us grew and flourished during this time, and as our year-long mentee/mentor relationship ended, I wondered what the next step was. I didn’t have to wait long.
“A few weeks later, God placed an older lady who lived in another state on my heart, who could be described as a negative and prickly kind of person. Out of sheer obedience to God’s prompting, I purchased a mentee book for her before I traveled, knowing that I would be spending time with her. Before my trip ended, I told her about the Flourish book and Bible study experience and asked, ‘Would you be interested?’ After how I had seen God move in the life of my first Flourish mentee, I shouldn’t have been surprised, but when she said, ‘Yes,’ I still was.
“She had a Bible, but it had never been read. Quite literally, I had to explain that the books aren’t in alphabetical order and that when she saw a chapter and verse, it would be represented with the number of the chapter: number of the verse! After returning home, we started meeting via phone weekly, at a time when her husband, who confessed that he doesn’t believe in God, isn’t home. Over the months, I could hear God softening her heart and heard her describe reports from others around her that had also noticed her changing into a more positive person! All this, despite the persecution she faces in her home, as she says that her husband accuses me of brainwashing her. As a mentor, it reminded me to be grateful for the loving Christian man that I get to serve God together with each day!
“God has brought two more ladies—wives and mothers, like me—who are currently enjoying the Flourish Bible study. Although we all have our own stories in life, it ensures that the vertical relationship with Jesus Christ, our Savior, is strong, influencing all the horizontal relationships we have with our husbands, children, and others. If there is struggle in these horizontal relationships, often it’s because the vertical relationship isn’t as it should be! Flourish provides a one-on-one way to be accountable to another loving, caring, Christian woman who can help guide you to the Creator. For it’s in Him that we need to have our identity.”
2022 is going to be a year full of God’s faithfulness, and we believe Flourish will be just a small part of it. If you’re a woman who is looking to grow in your relationship with God or want to help other women grow, we’d love to talk with you! Check out NorthlandChurch.net/ Flourish to learn more about Flourish! You can reach out to Jill directly by emailing Jill.Bowles@NorthlandChurch.net.