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    by Carmen Schroeder

Genera8ions - Women's Ministry Concept
Date Posted: November 2, 2007


Multi-Generational Prayer & Mentoring Group

Mispachah and Mereas

While many in Christian fellowships would say that mentoring is Biblical, there are very few who are achieving success. Why is that? Perhaps it may be a simple a lack of understanding of our Hebrew roots/Hebrew mindset of ‘merea’ (trusted friend) and ‘mishpachah’ (family).

First, let us study the Greek word origin of mentorship. The word MENTOR has its roots in Greek mythology. The Oxford English Dictionary gives mentor as: "allusively, one who fulfills the office which the supposed Mentor fulfilled towards Telemachus. b. Hence, as common noun: An experienced and trusted advisor."

Men is ‘one who thinks’, ‘tor’ is the masculine suffix, ‘trix’ the feminine. Therefore, mentor means a man who thinks, and Mentrix, a woman who thinks. The first recorded usage - and the first time that it was anthropomorphised - was in Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey. ".....Odysseus, a great royal warrior, has been away fighting the Trojan war, and has entrusted his son, Telemachus, to his friend and adviser, Mentor. Mentor has been charged with advising and serving as guardian to the entire royal household."

Mentoring is an ‘intentional’ process, as Mentor deliberately and carefully carried out his duties towards Telemachus; and mentoring is a ‘nurturing’ process as it was Mentor’s duty to ‘draw forth the full potential in Telemachus’. It was Mentor’s task to help Telemachus ‘grow in wisdom without rebellion’, and mentoring is a ‘supportive, nurturing process’ - as Telemachus was to respond to the advice of Mentor with advising and serving as guardian to the entire royal household."

However, the Hebrew revelation of friends and family within the Body of Christ goes much deeper. The Hebrew word ‘Merea’ describes who we are as Sisters in the family of the LORD (nurturers of one another) as well as what He has commanded us to do in the strength He supplies. Merea means ‘trusted friend and companion; one who feeds, tends and nurtures another’.

Additionally, a healthy ‘mishpachah’ cares for, tends and nurtures one another into ‘good and Godly choices’. Without the love, prayers, guidance, wisdom, and admonition (Greek ‘nouthesia’ - to put into ones’ mind) of a Godly Merea encouraging us to ‘choose well’, we often lack the motivation to make right choices in life. Receiving ‘mereaship’ into one’s life, then, is to experience wisdom without pain. And no one can fulfill both the duties and delights of a ‘Merea’ without building healthy, vibrant and trustworthy relationships with other women for the sole purpose ‘that the Word of God would not be exposed to reproach.’ (Titus 2:5)

What Does Scripture Teach?

Scripture unveils that the Apostle Paul admonished Pastor Titus to teach the foundational Truths of Sound Doctrine to 1.) Older Men 2.) Older Women and to encourage 3.) Young Men. What group is excluded? Young Women! They are to be taught, trained, disciplined and corrected by the Older Women (teachers of good). The Greek word is sophronizo meaning ‘teach to be of a sound, sober mind’. Where there is teaching involved, there is also learning. These ordained Teachers have been anointed and appointed by the God of order Himself, to teach the younger generation of women to be of a sound mind (mind of the Messiah) so that in doing so, they may learn to love their husbands and children, among other Godly behaviors.

Why ‘Genera8ions’?

Mereas are made up of all generations. The older generation of women are instructed to teach the younger essentially ‘how to love’ and ‘how to be’ by modeling it themselves. The usage of the number ‘8’ in the name comes from the Biblical way it is used to signify ‘new beginnings’ in Scripture. (There were 8 who were saved into the ark for a new generation of people; the 8th day of the week is the beginning of a new week, etc.) Thus, when generations of Mereas come together in The Name, strength and by the commandment of the LORD, new beginnings of all kinds take root and emerge!

What Do ‘Genera8ions’ Fellowships Consist of?

Mereas of every Genera8ion may meet twice a month for a Word of Encouragement and prayer in large group. The early disciples met together regularly for study, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers (Acts 2:42) and that is the foundation of our time spent together.

First __________ of the month - a Word specifically for Wives/Mothers

Second ________ of the month - a Word for Younger Women

Mereas may also be linked together 3 to a group - older, young mother, and younger school-age woman for example - and are encouraged to build relationships through prayer, email, phone calls and additional home fellowships. This smaller group format encourages women to be more open and teaches confidentiality as they build trustworthy, loving relationships with their Mereas, thus fulfilling the Word of the LORD.

Bid the older women similarly to be reverent and devout in their deportment as becomes those engaged in sacred service, not slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to give good counsel and be teachers of what is right and noble, So that they will wisely train the young women to be [a]sane and sober of mind (temperate, disciplined) and to love their husbands and their children, To be self-controlled, chaste, homemakers, good-natured (kindhearted), adapting and subordinating themselves to their husbands, that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach (blasphemed or discredited).

- Titus 2:3-5 (AMP)

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Biography Information:
Carmen Schroeder is the stay-at-home mother of one son, Caleb, and three daughters, Bethany, Kaitlyn, and Kierstyn (ages 6-12). She is happily married to her high school sweetheart, Stacy, and together they serve the LORD in Missouri.

Carmen enjoys encouraging other women with the life-changing Word of God through teaching, mentoring and song in conferences and workshops.

Carmen's testimony is one of victory as 1 John 5:4,5 (AMP) says: 'For whatever is born of God is victorious over the world; and this is the victory that conquers the world, even our faith. Who is it that is victorious over the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on that fact]?

Her message is that this Christ is the One Who generously gives heavenly wisdom for victorious living.

Email Carmen directly to discuss an article OR stop by and visit her new Women of the Word blog here!
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