Karin Graves enjoyed her 12 years working at the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, working with officials, businesses and the community to promote and enhance the local economic, social and civic environment. While there, God planted a seed in Karin’s heart for a future role promoting and enhancing a community of women in a relational environment.
“A friend asked me how I was going to use my job at the Chamber for God’s glory,” Karin said. “I realized that besides my work there I had a heart to encourage women and could use my leadership gifts in other ways to help women. I felt like God wanted me to pray specifically about the mentoring concept. So WING Ministries Inc. really began as a prayer in my heart about mentoring. The concept of older women mentoring younger women isn’t new, but God gave me some unique aspects and specific purposes for WING.”
WING, which stands for Women Imparting to the Next Generation, is a biblically based Christian women’s mentoring ministry. During her free time, Karin developed and launched WING over the course of eight years, leaving the Chamber two years ago to devote more time to the growing ministry.
“God used my time at the Chamber to help me run this nonprofit,” Karin explained. “The fourfold purpose for WING is spiritual growth, leadership development, church unity and a godly witness. We provide the WING Ministries Program structure and materials for churches to purchase and implement. We also give ongoing support and consultation.”
Karin said that there is an increasing lack of intergenerational connection in many churches, and the younger generation is missing out on the wonderful value of the older generation sharing what they’ve learned and experienced through their Christian faith.
“Spiritually mature, older women can be a tremendous source of biblical wisdom, knowledge, prayer, encouragement, accountability, sweet friendship and hope for the younger generation,” Karin said. “This leads to the unwritten mission of WING ministries, which is ‘preventative maintenance’ – you don’t always have to learn the hard way. Both age groups grow through WING, and divine relationships are built; we just help provide a way to do it.”
Mentor matches consist of spiritually mature women ages 40 and older paired with younger women, in their 20s and 30s. Karin said that both the mentors and the young women, whether single or married, commit to a six-month program designed to deepen their relationship with each other and with Jesus Christ. Matches contact each other weekly and meet in a group with other pairs of women once a month during the six-month period. The monthly events each have a specific purpose and include things such as shared meals, outdoor activities and home-related workshops.
Newport resident Lauren Grantham loved her WING experience at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa seven years ago.
“I was seeking someone who had already been through some of the same life challenges that I was going through to gain insight and tools,” Lauren said. “I was looking for Godly wisdom, counsel and spiritual growth…and I got it! The ministry took prayerful measure to find everyone’s perfect match for the mentoring. I know God led my mentor into my life; she’ll always be like family to me.”
“I was blessed to see how God had paired us so perfectly through prayer,” Michelle explained. “I wanted to share what I had learned with other women, and help them avoid some of the mistakes I had made. I knew Lauren was going to apply the things she learned into her own life and would pass on what she had learned to others – it becomes a living legacy. The choices we make can change the course of our lives. Women are struggling with those choices, and they need a safe place to receive good solid counsel based on God’s word. WING Ministries provides that place.”
Besides the mentoring that takes place between the matches, Karin said WING helps train the next generation of godly leaders by having the younger women run the program, while being overseen by older women with leadership experience.
“WING is a tried-and-true, user-friendly tool for Christian mentoring,” Karin explained. “It has been done at five churches so far. Three are local and two are in San Diego, and there’s been an abundant amount of fruit. We’re seeing more interest in WING. What started in prayer, continues in prayer, and may WING be used to help more women in the future.”
For further information, go to www.wingministries.com
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].