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Mentoring A Guide for Ministry

Questions, Questions, Questions

A member of the community passed away. What can I say to the grieving family?

I’m marrying a couple from my church. How do I officiate a wedding?

I’ve never led a Bible Study before. How do I do that?

There have been some doctrinal disagreements at church. How should I respond?

These are just a few of the situations, and subsequent questions, our missionaries encounter. Whether they are new to the field, or are decades into their ministry, events will inevitably pop up that leave our missionaries uncertain of what to do next.

It’s moments like these that having a District Representative to help you is an invaluable comfort.

Your DR is someone who has been there and done that. They have walked in your shoes before as former Village Missionaries.

And because they understand both the joys and challenges of rural ministry, they have a wealth of wisdom and experience to pass along.

That’s why mentorship is such a crucial component to the ministry of our District Representatives – they are there to guide our missionaries and help them grow both in their ministries, but also in their walks with the Lord.

Kevin & Kelsey Bogus – currently serving in Oak, Nebraska – are just one example of how investment from spiritual mentors – in this case, their DRs Jon & Deb Hansen - can greatly shape your ministry, and your life.

The Journey to Village Missions

Kevin & Kelsey have known Jon & Deb for almost nine years, well before they joined Village Missions when both families were living in Chadron, Nebraska.

Kevin & Kelsey Bogus (left) and Jon & Deb Hanson (right)

From the beginning, the Hansens took this young couple under their wings and began to invest in their lives through discipleship.

In fact, Kevin & Kelsey credit the Hansens for introducing the idea of ministry to them.

“They helped us realize our call the ministry, get plugged into CDI, and eventually apply to Village Missions!” they recall. “Jon & Deb have provided guidance and advice each step of the way. So, the mentor role has been there all along.”

After completing CDI, the Bogus’ began a one-year internship in Oak, Nebraska. Although they were a little unsure of how they would minister in a rural community, they knew that Jon & Deb – now their District Representatives – would be there to guide them.

“Their continued mentorship helped provide a solid foundation during our internship. Whenever we had questions, Jon & Deb were there to help us. It’s been wonderful to have that relationship.”

In June, they completed their internship and began serving full-time in Oak. And even with a year of ministry under their belts, Kevin & Kelsey know they still need the wisdom of experienced missionaries to continue guiding them.

Kevin & Kelsey began full-time service in Oak in June.

Although Jon & Deb are stepping out of their DR role and into the position of Assistant Director, they know that Kevin & Kelsey are in good hands as they pass the baton to the next District Representatives.

Walking Together

Often, the District Representative is the only person a missionary can talk to about challenges in their ministry.

Their DR is a mentor that gives much-needed wisdom and discipleship.

They are also a safe place to vent and work through their problems. They are a listening ear in times of great frustration. A shoulder to lean on – and sometimes to cry on – in moments of vulnerability.

But equally important, their District Representative is a friend, someone that loves, prays for, and wants to see them thrive in both ministry and in their walks with the Lord.

“Jon & Deb have gone above and beyond in mentoring us,” remark Kevin & Kelsey.“Whenever they left from their visit, we always felt challenged and encouraged to keep pursuing Jesus.”

And that’s what fellow Christians are called to do.

Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works… - Hebrews 10:24

Encourage one another and build one another up… - 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2

And as a result of the upcoming expansion, our DRs will be better able to love, encourage, and mentor their missionaries, and even future missionaries, as they work together to proclaim the gospel in rural America.

Indeed, Jon & Deb summarize the purpose of the DR ministry beautifully:

“We mentor them by walking beside them.”

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