Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mentoring Youth "Because" not "So That"

Continuing on the theme of mentoring youth.  I came across an interesting phrase last week that really helped capture the purpose I feel in mentoring youth, or the fact that I am a youth worker at all.  I never actually expected that this is what I would be doing with my life.  As an introvert I find that spending time with people generally drains me not fills me.  I am a researcher and a teacher.  This means that I like to sit and think about things a lot, but being out there is a stretch for me.  However it is BECAUSE of what God has done in my life that I am here.  I know that he is there because he spoke to me in the midst of my despair and told me that he would never leave me and never forsake me.  He spoke with me when I tried to kill myself as a 19 year old who had given up on life and he said, I am taking out of your life all the things are are not healthy.  Of course at the time it felt like he was taking everything from me.  He spoke with me this week and told me not to worry (but that is a story for another post). 

There are a lot of people that will think that I am crazy or ignorant for choosing to follow or believe in God.  Maybe I am.  However I do know that I reach out to youth BECAUSE God has asked me to. I have reached out to youth BECAUSE I see them as being people that God cares about.  I reach out to youth BECAUSE "I see the hope and potential of every young person" (YFC Canada Motto). 

However sometime people may mistake my actions to be that I may reach out to youth "So That" they may be converted to my way of thinking.  SO THAT they accept Jesus.  SO THAT they stop making bad choices.  I have been doing this long enough to know that "SO THAT's" don't work anyway.  I have no power to change people.  I have no power to make people think something different or believe what I believe. 

I just simply love people because Jesus first loved me...  Believe me some days I'm better at it than others.  I'm not perfect but I am trying.  Thanks for reading.
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