Titus Chapter 2 contains a teaching that could be paraphrased, “Be a godly mentor for young people.” Mentoring is a major part of making disciples. However, the very thought seems a bit intimidating and…a lot of work. I recently saw an internet meme that simplified the idea of being a mentor. “Be the person you needed when you were younger.” I really like that!
As the young men and women in our community receive the achievement of their high school diploma we have a very good opportunity to, “be a godly mentor for young people.” This is one of the most difficult transitions our young people make. They begin to embrace independence and have less supervision than they have ever experienced. This is healthy step into adulthood requires a healthy response by Christians that are in these young people’s life. People in the church can commit to a supportive relationship with these young people so they will know they are not forgotten.
Pew Research, Fuller Youth Institute and Barna Research have documented the reality that young people are walking away from the church during this transition. That is certainly not what I want to hear, but if that is what is truly going on, I am better off facing the reality and deciding to respond. The Scriptures contain “Words For Living” so, let’s live by them and be, “godly mentors for young people.” This is what I’m challenging you to do:
You can make the decision to invest time, prayer and effort in the young people who are at this transition. You can decide to, “Be the person you needed when you were younger.” No matter your age, you can make a monthly commitment to sending cards, letters and gifts to a young person as a reminder that they “church” has not forgotten about them. Your commitment does not require the young person to reciprocate. This is your decision to serve in the name and reputation of Christ and allow Him to work through you by encouragement and building a relationship with a young person. Consistent relationships open the door for conversations and support that young people not only need but also desire.
It may be a little clunky on the front end. Both of you may be a little uncomfortable but the payoff of investing in a young person will be worth the discomfort on the front end. I conjecture that you will end up with a great story God has lead you into by following His “Words For Living.” As a person of faith, speak life and encouragement into a young person in your faith community. This is what Paul did to Timothy and Titus. His efforts resulted in the advancement of the Kingdom and one of the greatest stories recorded in the annuals of history.
I’d love to hear about your decision to take this challenge and hear about the journey along the way. If you want to share your commitment and the story that follows you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.