While there may be some sweeping gesture that could impact youth, such heroic efforts usually fail to reach those who are numbed by life’s disappointments. We have learned that it’s often the small, everyday interactions that shape a life.
This is what we call life-on-life mentoring
This form of mentoring has three main components—
Love, Model, and Coach
Youth today are used to their authority figures being revolving doors—here today, gone tomorrow, and not to be trusted. Showing up and showing love consistently is what builds trust, the key to transformational mentoring relationships.
Youth learn more from what they see us do than what they hear us say. Even our struggles and failures are opportunities to model humility and apology. Seeing our life of faith and integrity, youth begin to desire our guidance.
Only after we have established trust and proven integrity can we expect a youth to heed our advice. Sometimes it takes months to get here. We take courage from Christ’s example, that while we were sinners, he loved us, he came to us, he lived real life among us, and he sacrificed himself for us.
How can we, who are called to be
imitators of Him, do anything less?