This is the art of taking someone under your wings. It is defined as a wise and trusted counselor or teacher; an influential senior or supporter (Dictionary.com). To me, it is encouraging someone to do their best, by coaching them and sharing needed life skills that were given to you by life circumstances. It is also a way to secure a quality of moral excellence. Longevity is an offspring of mentoring because it affects generations. True mentoring is servant-hood in action, leading others to be better and enabling them to accomplish greater. I expect those that God gives me the opportunity to mentor to become a better person than I could even imagine being, it is changing the guard. In the work world it is called working your way out of a job; elevating you to another. Personally, I believe that the greatest mentoring leader for these times is servant leaders.
Mentoring – Just Being There
Just being there as a support can help tremendously. Encouragement is so important in mentoring. Mentoring can help turn or change destructive behavior that causes problems in communities all across this world. It can help in descending occupants of our prisons. The movie Courageous, one of my favorite, show how damaging it is when a man is not in the life of his children. This is a mentoring area that is much needed to help vulnerable children. There is an overwhelming number of children that have little or no relationship with their dads. This brings on anger, frustration, and confusion to children. This sometimes brings out adverse behavior and some time hopelessness. The wisdom of the Bible tells us to train up a child in the way they should go. This is so crucial for children as they grow up. We as a society should do whatever we can to make sure that our young are safe and able to function in life,
However just mentoring the children is not enough, young mothers and fathers as well need to be encouraged and mentored. It is common knowledge that it is one thing to have a baby and a totally different thing to raise a child. The lack of child rearing and or training is showing up in all areas of society, including our churches, political officials, schools, and communities. Integrity and moral excellence are on the brink of extinction. Both integrity and moral excellence would do so much to help in society: One cannot be selfish when mentoring and should be a servant leader. Traditional wisdom cautions us on selfishness and encourages us in servant-hood. It is an awesome act to place someone, even a stranger, well-being in front of yours, but that is what it takes for a strong society. Think about this in every prison there is a father that some child needs. In every juvenile facility, there is a child that needs a mature loving man in their life. Personally one of my greatest accomplishment, was when I met a 14-year-old boy and took up time with him, shared with him things about life and called him a son.
To the men that read this: we are accountable to and is our little brother’s keeper. This does require a sacrifice of time and resources, however, compared to the time we spend on watching sports and or on a game or tablet, encouraging a child is much more valuable and is much needed.
Community – Give Back
Community support is vital to it own health. and it should be all-inclusive. All communities should work together for the common good of our youths. The question becomes what do you as an individual want your community to be? Family and community relationship go hand and hand because strong families make a strong community.
The community is everywhere, in the stores, on the playground, in public facilities like schools and churches; as far as you can see is the community. Its goal is to meet the need of the people that live in them, young and elderly. The challenge to this is understanding what the people need. Most generally need similar things; good paying jobs, access to good health care, a good education, a safe environment, recreational opportunities, and others needs could be added. Meeting these needs is an asset to the community that will pay off again and again. The better each of us is the better all of us will be and it is all about how we value each other.
Consider this; there is no crime problem, there is no drug problem, there is no gang problem, there is no injustice, there is no poverty, there is no abuse, there is no isolation; none of those could occur without a community problem. Each of us as members of a community must stand up for what is right for our community. Counting on one or two want produce what a community needs. All inclusive is the key.
Churches play an important role in their community. They can create a safe and stable environment that will be a benefit to the community. Service to the community from churches and member of the community rendering service as an ambassador of Christ will always be a win-win. This will make a strong community. It all begins with mentoring, or what the church call disciplining.