Tag Archives: Mentoring

Young People Need You

Think back to that person that invested in you.  Where would you be without those late night conversations, the advice over a milkshake, or the shoulder to cry on.

Take this man named Myron.  An ordinary guy who decided to invest in the next generation.  And now, while in the midst of a difficult time, he is reaping the reward of all those hours spent helping young people.

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My Top Two Mentoring Videos

Mentoring is a process that comes with a lot of meat on the bone.  It can be overwhelming to know where to begin and how this mentoring thing works.  Well, these two videos are a great place to start.  One is how to find a mentor, and the other is how to be a mentor…

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Book Review: Mighty Men

Book Review:  Mighty Men by John Crotts

The Good: 

41Y2F5DK1CLLeadership Inspiration.  As a man, you don’t walk away from this book with your head down and wallowing in your “I can’t do this” pity.  It gives you a little pep in your step to get the job done.  This book provides you practical steps to accomplish leadership in the family.

The B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for me.  Love when a book has a solid foundation in God’s Word.  Well, this book’s foundation, walls, outlets, and ceiling fans are all rooted in the Bible.  Every subject, heading, chapter is firmly supported by God’s Word throughout the book.

Just My Size.  This book packs a punch is only 37 pages.  For a slow reader like myself, it was a refreshing change to provide valuable information in a book that didn’t take a while to read.

The Bad:

Do-it-yourself Design:  If you are into glossy pages, clever font, and perfectly structured chapters…keep moving along.  The book is very rudimentary in design, especially the pages within.  But if you are able to move past that, the value is in the words.

The Grade:  A.  Husbands, fathers, men…you need to pick this book up.  Sure, some of this may be review, but it needs reviewed.  Better yet, read it, then find someone you can mentor and give them this book.  Take them to Bob Evans a few times, get the Farmer’s breakfast, put some ketchup on those home fries…and build mighty men!

 

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2016 Youth Ministry Goals

In Philippians 3:14, Paul was not talking about youth ministry goals.  But I still love the phrase “press on toward the goal”.  In ministry, you must do just that…”press on”.  It is important to reflect on your past accomplishments, like I did last week, and grow from your mistakes and build on your successes.  But, it is also vital in ministry to look ahead, plan, and seek God’s guidance for the year ahead.  Below are 10 goals for the 2016 ministry year.  Hopefully these will provide you with ideas and/or encouragement for the coming year.shutterstock_263635745

  1. Short Term Mission Trip – Mission trips are a part of our ministry every summer in a cycle of local, out-of-state, international, and work trips. This way, the 4 year high school experience will allow for various types of mission work. This year a trip to New York is in the works.
  2. Inter-generational Ministry Continued Improvement – A tech class for seniors, service projects combined with adult small groups, guest speakers, mentoring initiatives, and integrated mission projects.
  3. Better Timing – Each year I look at my schedule and there is always at least one “why did I schedule that there?”.   This year I want to make a more conscious effort in the timing of events and programs. Team with parents in working out better schedules. Not all conflicts can be avoided, but why not adjust the schedule if it can be.
  4. Family Series – I have been trying to find more ways to gather the family together in a youth ministry context. This year, I plan to teach a small series on the family with the entire family.
  5. Co-Mission Event – Continue the annual co-mission, which is a mission conference for students. This year, there may be some changes to enhance and improve the evangelism training for the students.
  6. Series on Fear – I read recently teens have a wide array of fears. Fear is often what keeps them from doing right and what tempts them to do wrong. Fear takes them places they don’t want to go and holds them hostage when they want to leave. Fear is something we need to talk about.
  7. Winter Retreat – In the past, the winter has been difficult to draw up enough interest for a retreat. Part of it is timing with winter sports, weather, and life. But this year we hope will be different having a younger group.
  8. Service – Each year we place a heavy emphasis on service and provide ample opportunity to serve in the church and in the community. This year is no different with continuous plugging in of students in church life and a community/church service project scheduled every month.
  9. Global Emphasis – With the World in Need month continuing this year, we plan to place an emphasis on the issue of poverty across the world. We hope to encourage the students to not only pray but be a world-changer and do something about global poverty.
  10. Apprenticeships – Along with having a youth intern this year, I want to encourage the student leaders to seek out mentoring opportunities. These will be called apprenticeships within the student leadership team, but outside the group it is simply the older students helping the younger students with life. Mentoring needs to happen both up and down…being mentored, and mentoring others.
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In Search of a Mentor, I Found of Love & Family

I needed help. I needed a mentor. I needed discipleship. Let me start off by saying this…I had the blessing of growing up with two devoted Christ-followers as parents. They led me to salvation, brought me to church, loved me, and cared for me with selflessness and unconditional love. But, a good parent understands that their child needs more than just themselves to continue to grow. When other adults take a spiritual interest in a young person, that additional support goes a long way in their spiritual development. And I had the blessing to have many mentors and adult support (youth pastor, pastors, teachers, youth leaders, and the list goes on) willing to disciple me…I probably needed more than most to get me going in the right direction.

1545973_10155682313840246_5840232825176079849_nBut one particular couple stands out. They had 5 children of their own, so I look back now and am amazed they had so much time to help me. The husband, a sharp man, was never afraid to tell me the truth, and providing sound Biblical advice. The wife was so caring, kind-hearted, and full of grace. You could call them a couple with truth and grace.

When my mom passed away, they constantly opened their home, fed me loaded nachos, and played games with me. They provided a home away from home when I was really hurting. The wife would provide me advice that I needed from a mom including “don’t be kissing till you have a ring”, and filled my belly with additional snacks that I also needed from a mom. The dad would scream laugh at my jokes, listen intently to my stories from the golf course, and be a sounding board for my career aspirations.

But one day stands out. My mom had just passed away in early May, and I needed a suit for my high school graduation. I had no clue. I never had owned a suit in my life, and didn’t know the first place to look. So I asked if this couple would meet me at the mall and give this sad kid some fashion direction. I needed a mom to stop me from picking a leisure suit, and guide me in the right direction.

11800259_10155808635090246_1847206222024109969_nWe met at JCPenney. This couple helped me pick out a solid black suit. A suit I wore to my graduation from high school. A suit I wore to my graduation from college and seminary. It also became the suit that I wore on my first date with their daughter…I think you know where this is going.

This couple was always like a second father and mother to me. Now, they truly are. I fell in love with their daughter after that first date. (And no, I didn’t kiss her until she had the ring!) The mentoring and discipleship that I received in high school, still continues to this day. My father-in- law continued to disciple me as I became the primary caretaker of his daughter, just 5 years after they helped me purchase my first suit.

IMG_290215 years later, they gave me money for my birthday. And after 15 years, I needed a new suit (the wife/mother-in-law’s daughter also makes a really good loaded nacho – hence needing a new suit).   So with the birthday money, I decided to go to JCPenney with my wife and kids, and purchase a new solid black suit. It reminded me of that special day, and the many other days this couple disciple me patiently to help me become a better follower of Jesus.

So, pastors, youth leaders, parents, teachers, friends…what does a mentor look like? What does discipleship look like? It looks a lot like life. A mentor is someone that is willing to sacrifice their time and energy to provide godly wisdom to everyday life. Sure, this couple may have had 300 other things to do that day, but they knew I needed help for an important day. And there had to be times they wanted a quiet night when I rang the doorbell, but the nachos and “take two” game were ready for me every time without a complaint. Life and time. You put those two things together under the precious wisdom of God’s Word, you have discipleship.

Take time to be a mentor. Take time to disciple a younger person, or a younger believer. Treat them like family, because one day they just might be.

 

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Who Was the 1st Mentor?

god-touches-adam1 Who was the first mentor in the Bible?  Answer:  God.  Yeah, the Sunday school answer would have won the contest.  It’s true.  If there was ever a mentor that we should model, it would be God.  And the very first discipleship process is found in the Garden of Eden.  So how was God a mentor to Adam, and what did He do in the discipleship process?

1.     Spiritual Guidance – Genesis 2:16-17

It didn’t take long for Adam to receive spiritual guidance from his mentor.  They are pretty clear instructions – don’t eat from this tree.  Let that be a lesson to you in your discipleship process.  Be clear in your spiritual guidance, and help those you are mentoring to not make the common adolescent mistakes.  Impart wisdom and guide their decisions.  Should I go to this party?  Is it OK to date _____?  Help them!

Your job as a mentor is to help that young person make decisions.  Partner with parents and help them on the right path, help them use the Bible as their roadmap, guide them in godly decisions.

2.     Help Solve Problems – Genesis 2:18

God saw it was a problem that Adam was alone, and He fixed it.  He provided a helper for him.  Sure, we are not God, and we cannot solve all the problems of our young generation, no matter how much we would like this to be the case…but we can still help.

Help students find solutions to their problems.  Listen, suicide is the second leading cause of deaths in teenagers.  It is the fourth leading cause of death  in ages 5-15!  We need to help them find solutions, because they are finding the wrong answers all too often. Answers can be found in God’s Word.  Some have parents that will lead them to those right answers, others do not.  Let’s do our part as mentors, and help students solve their problems with God’s Word and prayer.

3.     Give them responsibility – Genesis 2:20

Our motto this year in our student ministry is “Student Takeover”.  My goal is to have students take over multiple ministries.  Sure, it will start small with things like:  announcements and running PowerPoint.  But so far it has evolved into leading prayer groups & small groups, or leading the praise band.  We have even taken it to the point of having the students plan and execute an entire Sunday Night youth group by themselves.  How cool is that!  They are learning ministry.  What’s next in the takeover?  Planning and executing a Community Easter Egg Hunt.  Do I help?  I try not to as much as I can.  You may think that is cruel.  I think it is empowering, teaching, and mentoring!

Keep finding ways to plug students into ministry. Let me give you an example.  There was a 9th grader who was somewhat shy.  So, did I make him be the “announcement guy” or lead a Bible study?  No.  I saw his gifts were in technology and computers.  I talked to his parents and mentioned the idea of getting him plugged into the sound/multimedia team at church and in youth group.  Now he runs PowerPoint for the main service and helps with sound on special events.  How cool is that?  He’s serving!

Sometimes all it takes is recognizing a student’s abilities or gifts, and plugging them in a service opportunity.  God gave Adam the task of naming the animals.  Well, that’s already been done, so find something for the teenager or child you are mentoring to do for God!

Who can you mentor today?

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10 Ways You Can Encourage A Young Person

You want ways you can give future faith to our faith future.  Here’s a start:

1) Attend one of their special events.

2) Every Sunday, Ask them how they are doing

3) Write an encouraging letter/Facebook post

4) Pray with them before a church service.

5) Be a mentor in their life—spiritually & practically.

6) Teach them how to serve in ministry, give them opportunities to serve, & serve alongside them.

7) Find out birthdays of teens/kids & send them birthday cards.  Kids love getting mail.

8) Invite them to help a project—i.e. cleaning a Sunday school room, building a VBS set)

9) Be another godly influence in their life, another godly example, another godly legacy to follow.

10) Pray for them.

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