We have been looking at what the young people today need from those who are older and wiser in the Church today … We saw:
1> Wisdom that comes from study and having lived life as a believer
2> To be equipped to move supernaturally
3> To learn to listen and learn from others
4> To be patient with others who express their faith differently
5> Youth today also need a mentor to help them and invest into their lives. This means an older Christian who will walk with them through regular, every day life. An older disciple who will share life with them. This means travelling with the mentor so that they can learn from them and see how the mentor lives life and intertwines life and ministry into an integrated whole. Young people need a mentor who will take them on vacation, invite them to their home, work with them in the office, and minister with them as part of a team. Then they see the calling of God as a whole and not just a piece here and a piece there.
This mentor will give their “disciple” an opportunity for hands-on learning of ministry skills. The mentor will be open with his or her life – talking about the ups and downs; the good, the bad, and the ugly. They will let you see life and ministry where the rubber hits the road. And, they will allow their life to be an open book with those who they are mentoring.
All they ask in return is that they be treated with dignity and respect and never taken for granted.
An example: I recently was asked if a young man I am discipling / mentoring could come and spend three days with me. After due consideration I decided to say no. It seemed a waste of his time as those specific three days would see me glued to a computer screen with no ministry opportunities outside my office. And, the limited free time needed to be invested in personal time with several of my daughters. There were many things needing to be accomplished but nothing that would help or equip the young man. Even an opportunity to simply share life was not there due to the deadlines of there things needing my attention in the office / study. So, I wrote and told him it would not work this time around. Never heard back from him.
A text or an email saying, “Thanks for considering the idea” or “I appreciate your willingness to entertain the idea” or “Hope it work out next time I have some free time to join you.” Some indication that I, the mentor, and my time, was not being taken for granted and that was interaction with them was valued … this is what I mean by being treated with dignity and respect.
Next up … warning to the youth …