Disclosure: I received a free copy of Growing Together in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that as an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no cost to you.
As I’m sure you know, the foundation of a healthy long-distance relationship is a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
And as you inevitably face trials and temptation, a mentor can encourage you toward Christ. I hope you have someone like this who can hold you accountable and share her wisdom.
But it’s also my prayer that as others are pouring into you, you would pour into others.
As much as separation from your boyfriend is a burden, it’s also a gift because you have more time to spare. Discipling or mentoring a younger woman is a beautiful, biblical way to guide someone and share what God has taught you (Titus 2:3-5, 2 Timothy 2:2).
Even if you want to invest in others, though, you might not be sure where to begin. And that’s where the book Growing Together: Taking Mentoring beyond Small Talk and Prayer Requests by Melissa Kruger comes in very handy.
Growing Together is designed as a conversation starter for one-on-one mentoring relationships. Each chapter covers a different spiritual discipline and includes questions for you to ask each other.
Kruger writes that the “ultimate goal of this book is for two women to grow together as they walk together. As an older believer shares her wisdom, understanding, and love for the Lord, the younger believer learns from her experience.”
What I Liked About Growing Together
Kruger writes with both gentleness and biblical faithfulness, opening conversations about easily-overlooked spiritual disciplines and encouraging them to continue.
Here’s what I liked about the book:
- Its simplicity. Growing Together is approachable and would be very useful for a new believer in Christ. Each chapter focuses on a different topic, such as prayer, resisting temptation, and sharing the gospel. These spiritual disciplines are foundational but easy to forget.
- Its focus on ministry. Kruger emphasizes early on that being mentored is not about passive consumption of knowledge. “A mentor is not just equipping for some imagined future service,” she writes. “She is equipping while she encourages a younger woman in her current ministry.”
- Its versatility. One thing I appreciated was the author’s acknowledgment that finding a spiritual mentor isn’t always possible in different seasons of life. Because of this, Kruger wrote the book in a way that you can benefit from reading it on your own, with a mentor, or in a small group. In this way, the book enables one-on-one conversations without requiring them.
What This Book Is Not For
Growing Together is not a how-to manual for mentoring. Rather, it’s a companion guide for mentoring relationships to help get the conversation started.
If you’re paying attention, you can learn a lot about mentoring simply by observing how Kruger writes and the questions she chooses to ask. However, that’s not the main purpose of the book.
Also, since I praised this book as simple, I’d note that it’s not the best choice if you’re looking to study something more advanced. While reading Growing Together, I was encouraged and convicted by remembering important truths, but it didn’t challenge me to think about many new topics.
3 Ways to Read Growing Together
As I mentioned, Growing Together is versatile. Here are some of the ways I’d recommend reading the book:
- With a younger believer (or two). Can you think of a younger woman who you could invest in? Connect with her and say, “Hey, I found this book called Growing Together and I was wondering if you’d be interested in reading it with me.”
- With a mentor. You could also approach an older woman and ask if she’d be willing to read the book with you.
- By yourself. If nothing else, you could read the book by yourself. If you know women you’d like to get to know but you don’t feel comfortable asking for a more ongoing relationship, you could meet up informally with a different woman each week and ask each one different questions based on those suggested in the book.