Something to Celebrate!

We have so much to thank God for as an organization and today I want to take the time to celebrate our young people who are taking godly leadership seriously!

We completed our 2017 Summer Leadership Intensive Program a couple of weeks ago and it was such a joyous experience. Often times when I find myself outlining curriculum, setting up tours, planning meals and figuring out the day to day logistics; I think of how much it will impact those being served. Will it be beneficial? Will it have a lasting effect? Will they even enjoy the experience? I put out of my mind how it will affect me; and that’s when God shows up.

Part of our hope and mission at Champions of Hope is to develop leaders of godly character. 3 young people made the decision to fill out an application, write an essay and commit to the guidelines set before them to participate in the program. They learned what it meant and looked like to be an extraordinary leader and the skills necessary for marketplace readiness. They were also taken on college and business tours for inspiration for life after high school; in addition to service projects here in their community.

Rejoice with me in the Lord for what He is doing in and through the lives of Kyndall Brown, Eddie Simmons and Jerick Buckley…again I say Rejoice!

It is my hope that they learned new, useful and most importantly godly information that will begin to shape how they view themselves as Christ honoring leaders. But I would be remiss if I didn’t say I believe they blessed me far greater. In these three young leaders I saw beautiful character traits that showed in arriving before time everyday, being attentive, respectful, inquisitive and positive towards one another. They lit our office up with laughter and great stories. It was encouraging to see the fruit of seeds their parents and you as their mentors have sown into their lives.

Love and Prayers,
Marquita Johnson

 

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The Why?!

Why did I get married? Why did I go back to school after all these years? Why did I sign up for this? Often times we can lose sight of why we made a decision to do what we are currently doing, especially when it’s not going how we “expected” it to go. Though all of the questions I posed where we commonly set our thoughts all have blessed answers to help you press on; I want to focus on the latter one for obvious reasons.

The mission of Champions of Hope is a ministry seeking the transformation of individuals and a community through the Gospel of Jesus Christ by Gospel-driven relationships. We work to see one area of our city, South Dallas, filled with hope and healing through Christ-centered relationships that start with mentoring, lead to discipleship, and eventually develop leaders of Godly character. The mission statement is only two sentences long, but these two sentences pack a lot of weight, and hold a great deal of responsibility, but most of all it’s why you signed up in the first place. I believe I can confidently say the reason you signed up with this organization is because you are a believer. Now the question becomes a believer in what?

You believe Jesus Christ is the only answer to the brokenness and sin that we all carry. You also believe the only way a person’s heart can change is by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord through sharing and living the Gospel out loud. As a result of believing these things you didn’t say why not sign up with CoH, you said why wouldn’t I sign up with CoH?! There will be days on your mentoring journey just like your journey through every other aspect of life where you will feel defeated, tired, uncertain and confused but remembering the why puts all those things into the proper perspective. Remembering why you signed up will be the only thing that keeps you in the fight!

Love and Prayers,

Marquita Johnson

 

P.S.  If your protege is entering 9th – 12th grade and you think they are an extraordinary leader, then the Leadership Intensive is just for them! Our aim with this summer program is to develop, train and send out godly leaders from South Dallas. The Intensive will take place at the CoH Office July 10th-28th Monday through Friday 11am-3pm. Only 10 spots available so get those apps in quickly! Application deadline is June 26th. To receive an application, e-mail Marquita Johnson at marquita@championsofhope.org.

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Summertime in Sunny South Dallas

Growing up Muslim, my first exposure to church came through a Vacation Bible School.  Some of our now faithful mentors first exposure to South Dallas came through a Vacation Bible School at a local church.  Your protege’s are anxiously anticipating the fun and freedom of summer, if they don’t already have plans, they are forming them; some are away with relatives for weeks and others just can’t wait to wake up to cartoons for a while and find adventure out of the house for the day.

The summertime is like the fourth quarter of mentoring. In sports, it’s the time where you use your best go-to plays or the ones you’ve been holding onto for a while to use at the right time–in mentoring it’s often the same, a crucial time to connect with your protege.  They are out of school and where and with whom they invest their time shows what they value but also shapes them and what they value as well.  Some of the most fun, informative and memorable moments happen in the summer.

Anticipation is building right now tests are being taken as the school year is winding down and the teachers are looking forward to reprieve from a long year.  But mentors remain available year round, always available to lend a hand, stepping into a teachable moment whether it is through a phone call with a parent you’ve built trust with or just from being a consistent presence–this is great!  I’m excited for this time for you and your protege and I am praying this would be a summer where you take that next step in your relationship with your protege.  Thank you all for your commitment to your proteges and their families in South Dallas, your presence is a consistent picture of the body of Jesus.

Let’s capitalize on this crucial fourth quarter stretch and prepare to reload for the next school year and all the changes that it can bring about for the kids.

  1. If you haven’t yet, ask you protege and their guardian what their summer plans are.

  2. If they are going out of town try to plan a way to stay involved, definitely calling but maybe you could even visit once in the summer or send something in the mail to let them know you are thinking of them. Or you could plan/work on something to give to them when they get back.

  3. If they are in town for the summer, sit down with your calendar and mark off some dates to hangout, plan an adventure or something a little more fun for the summer since it will be hot outside (think water, water  & more water :-).

Check out this flyer for movies down at Fair Park to start the summer off strong!

-Tairi Mobley, 4th-6th Guys Relationship Coordinator

P.S. With all the traveling, trips, visits, summer camps and busyness please keep me in the loop by filling out your logs.  I’ll be having a focused time of prayer everyday in the summer and would love the updates on what is going on.  If you missed April log it here, we are halfway through May so we can log those and set a goal for consistency throughout the summer period.

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Let’s Talk About Sex [Pt. 2]

Let’s Talk About Sex Pt. 2:

Learning How to Have the Sex Talk with Your Protégé

The key is to building rapport is creating a foundation with your protégé that can eventually lead to the more in-depth sexual purity conversations. Yet, readers are encouraged to know that the burden of sexual purity conversations doesn’t fall on the mentor alone. The protégé needs to be willing and able to participate in these conversations. Diving straight into the, “Are you having sex?” question without any framework is unwise and could lead to a wall of miscommunication that makes having the conversation even more challenging. This is another reason that parental partnership concerning sexual purity is even more important – there is strength in numbers. No mentor should feel obligated to be the only person who the protégé hears anything regarding sex from. Partnering with and/or building upon what the parent has already discussed is a wise way to talk about sexuality with your protégé, especially from a biblical framework.

If you find that you started on the wrong path in your attempts to talk sexual purity with your protégé leading to a wall of miscommunication, please realize that it’s never too late to start over. Acknowledging the awkwardness (previous and future) can be one of the most valuable ways to initiate or re-establish a conduit by which sexual purity conversations can freely flow. Tell your protégé that you care about them holistically and know that sex is an important aspect of life, hence your desire to talk about it with them.

More Harm Than Help:

Like many of the patients who I spoke with (many of whom had little to no sexual education). I often wondered how different some of their lives would’ve been had someone engaged them in a candid conversation regarding sexual purity (especially at a young age). I served patients whose age ranged from 15 – 80+, and the common thread seemed to be limited knowledge concerning God’s design for sexuality. Although the conversation may seem uncomfortable, remember what was address in the first section check your own heart (2 Corinthians 13:5). Please don’t withhold valuable information or a safe space to vet questions because of personal fears. Also, remember that God is the one who designed sex. Sex is good because God created it for our flourishing and His glory; He is Good. If you can help your protégé to avoid sitting in the chair of a local clinic with little to no understanding of God’s design for sexuality, how sin distorts it, and how to have a healthy relationship with God’s creation – please do it.

Same Sex Attraction:

It’s important that mentors are mindful that some protégés (including elementary aged students) are dealing with and exploring same sex attraction. Considering the media and American culture that seems to value gender fluidity, be mindful that same sex attraction may be more prevalent and more accepted amongst this generation than the generations prior. This article from the Huffington Post states that, “48 percent of “Generation Z,” defined as those between the ages of 13 and 20 in 2016, identified themselves as “exclusively heterosexual.” That means that 52% (more than half) of students age 13 – 20, don’t identify as heterosexual. Gender fluidity has become the new normal, and it’s important for believers to know this and learn how to address it in a loving, biblical, and grace-filled manner. Praying for and seeking God for guidance and going straight to the Bible concerning this area is essential. Share God’s design for sexuality and human flourishing. Sex is meant to be enjoyed between one man and one woman within the context of marriage (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:5). Sin distorts everything including sex, but through Christ all of creation is restored.

The Gospel & Sex:

Ultimately, as a Christian ministry, Champions of Hope believes that the gospel transcends every area of our lives, especially sexuality. The reason sexual purity conversations are often a challenge is because of sin and a spiritual enemy who attempts to make what God deemed beautiful and good, detestable and wicked. Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, their sexualized lives were considered “good,” just as God intended them to be. It’s after sin entered the world through disobedience that sex become taboo, perverted, and a conduit for more sin and ultimately death (James 1:15). But the good news is that God’s love for His creation is what led Him to give us Jesus; God’s only son as a ransom for our salvation. Moreover, as redeemed creation, we can put our hope in the glory that has yet to come, when Christ returns for the final time and judges the living and the dead. He will make all things new and completely in alignment with God’s original design – this certainly applies to our sexuality.

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Let’s Talk About Sex [Pt. 1]

Let’s Talk About Sex Pt. 1:

Learning How to Have the Sex Talk with Your Protégé

Let’s Talk About Sex. For many people, that statement alone produces a cringe-worthy uneasiness. For others, the title may lead to the recollection of a song from the early 90s by Salt ‘N’ Pepa.  Wherever you land on the spectrum between terrified of the very word sex, or a Licensed Sex Therapist, this blog is for you. I lean more on the comfortable side of talking about sex; this is because prior to coming on staff with Champions of Hope, I spent a year working in HIV/STD intervention & prevention as a Disease Intervention Specialist (DIS). A DIS is a fancy title for the health professionals who serve communities by interviewing, educating, testing, and notifying community members of any exposure to diseases that can be transmitted sexually (including HIV/AIDS). I learned a lot during my time serving in HIV/STD intervention and prevention. One of the most invaluable life skills was learning to become more comfortable having conversations about sex with complete strangers (without it being too awkward). This required a considerable amount of training, time, hands on experience and literally, the grace of God. But ultimately the most important aspect of my  job was treating each patient like human beings who are created in the Imago Dei.

This brief overview of experience is provided simply to inform readers that although I may feel comfortable having sexual purity conversations this took time and intentionality. The hope is that this blog will serve as a resource to better equip readers to have sexual purity conversations from a biblical framework. The ultimate hope is that through prayer, perseverance, and proximity (to the protégé and their family), sexual purity conversations will become less intimidating and more of a naturally occurring byproduct of Christian mentorship and discipleship.

Partner with the Parent/ Guardian:

Before having sexual purity conversation with your protégé, it is wise to speak with their parent. Ask them if they are comfortable with you talking to their child about sexuality? Ask them how their conversations (or attempted conversations) have gone so far? Share your desire to serve your protégé and them as their parent/ guardian well, and share the Champions of Hope encouragement to have conversations regarding sexual purity with your protégé. Some (but certainly not all) parents may be reluctant about you having sexual purity conversations with their child. If a parent conveys that they don’t want you to talk about sex with their child, please honor their request, and inform your Relationship Coordinator. If they are open to you talking with their child about sexual purity, ask if you can partner with the parents during these conversations.

It’s important to note that not all parents share a Christian view of sexuality. If this is the case for in your relationship, pray for heart transformation and that God will lead your protégé and their family to embrace His truth. Choose to be non-judgmental, and pray for salvation over their entire household. Also, please be reminded an unbiblical perspective of sexuality doesn’t mean that God cannot use you to influence both your protégé and their parent. Move forward with sharing the benefits of sexual purity from a biblical standpoint with your protégé as long as their parents consent. As we will learn in the next section, checking our own hearts, and learning how to serve the protégé and their family (in a non judgmental manner), is one of the most important ways to encourage them to pursue a lifestyle of sexual purity based out of love and obedience to God.

Check Your Heart:

After communicating with the parent and ensuring that they support ongoing conversation with your protégé regarding sexual purity, the next step is extremely important. Before having the sexual purity conversation with anyone (especially your protégé), we must assess our own hearts. Ask yourself, how do I feel about sex personally? What experiences, conversations, beliefs, values, etc. have shaped the way I view sexuality? How did my parents discuss and model sexual purity? Did they speak openly about it? Were they more liberal or conservative within this arena? Did they condemn conversation surrounding sex? Taking a moment to evaluate yourself and your own heart is the first step to having impactful conversations about purity with your protégé.

Ask yourself: Are my beliefs biblical? Is my apprehension rooted in fear or genuine concern for my protégé’s wellbeing? Read these scriptures for a heart check concerning those questions:

  • 1 John 4:18 – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
  • 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
  • John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
  • Psalm 27:1 – The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?

Our own hearts shape the comfort level surrounding sexual purity (or lack thereof) in many mentor-protégé relationships. But the good news is that through prayer, community (support from your RC), and perseverance, these conversations can become normalized and mutually beneficial. Moreover, if you experience any apprehension that is not in alignment with what God’s Word says is true concerning sexuality, please be open to communicating with your RC or a trusted friend who can help you to sort through it.

Take Baby Steps:

The way you start is essential to encouraging  comfort and responsiveness. The more comfortable a person feels, the more personal information they would typically divulge concerning their lifestyle and risk factors. The same tactic can be applied in conversations between mentors and protégés regarding sexual purity. Mentors are encouraged to begin with simple conversation starters like:

  • Is there anyone that you have a crush on at school? Does anyone have a crush on you?
  • Do any of your friends have a boyfriend/ girlfriend? How are their relationships going?
  • What do you think about marriage?
  • Do you want to be married someday? Why or why not?

Monique Alleyne

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The Cross and Culture

There was a level of curiosity being raised through the roof as the keeper of the inn hears the story of the introduction of one stranger to another. The guest of the inn, clearly from the other side of town than his “friend” leaves a look only to be imagined on the hotel manager’s face. Only one day prior, the payor met his floundering acquaintance on the side of the road. His compadre was robbed, beaten out of his clothes and left half dead. Moved with compassion this stranger from the other side of town proceeded to clean him up, gave him a ride and put his lodging cost on his hotel tab. What an unconventional love being displayed towards a stranger.

The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) gives us a model of what it looks like to love our cross-cultural neighbor as our self. Cross cultural ministry is the tough work of uncomfortable empathy, compassion and love towards a “stranger”. By stranger I’m referring to a person of a different culture. In Andy Crouch’s Culture Maker, he defines culture as “what we make of the world”. He communicates that God creates the world and human beings cultivate what he has made; we are to one degree or another culture makers. From the construction of our houses to fashion preferences to behavioral patterns to various social constructs each one of these things are distinct aspects of culture. To be a faithful cross cultural missionary is to acknowledge that we are engaging human beings that have made different things out of the world than us. However, even though we can acknowledge the differences we leave our comfort zone to love them as we would want to be loved in their circumstance.

For the Christian, the cross of Jesus Christ should serve as an impetus to our pursuit of cross cultural engagement. At the cross Jesus literally became what human beings made within the world as our sin substitute (2 Corinthians 5:21 and Genesis 3 for context). Through the peace accomplished through his blood spilt on the cross (Ephesians 2:13-16) he allows every nation the opportunity to be made in right standing with Him. Lastly, the message of what he did on the cross provides the same eternal hope for every nation, tribe or tongue (Revelation 7:9-12) despite our cultural differences.

Points of Application

Appreciate culture but don’t view it as ultimate – While the forgiveness of sins (1 Corinthian 15:3) is of first importance in the Christian experience. A faithful understanding of a cultural narrative can help a cross cultural missionary create a sense of awareness and compassion as they seek to love their neighbors. An informal resource helpful in understanding the cultural narrative of South Dallas is entitled the “Learn to Serve” South Dallas Project and it was created by a South Dallas based home group of the Village Church Dallas Northway Campus. (Summary –  http://bit.ly/2cmoKBd Full – http://bit.ly/29zr3OX)

View the message of the cross as ultimate while loving the people – Understand the gospel and its implications. A faithful comprehension of what God has done for His people should move you to want to share this message of love to people of every walk of life.

Remember the 2nd greatest commandment (Matt. 22:39) – A lot of cross cultural care is no different than same cultural care. Consider intercessory prayer for your protégé, keeping your promises, seeking to understand before trying to be understood or other ways someone would be a blessing to you. Love your neighbor as yourself.

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Wisdom in Future Planning

There are many key things to remember as we help our protégés plan their future. We begin by framing our vision through God’s vison for vocational work as seen biblically. With an objective lens, we assess our protégé’s current life stage. Lastly, we seek to connect the dots between our protégé’s present and their desired vocational future.

Framing work biblically

It is important for us to communicate to our proteges that for a Christian, our work is not the chief end in and of itself. Moreover, we are not primarily working for money, a pat on the back or self-actualization, rather we are working for God to be displayed as ultimate in our work. (Col. 3:23) We see work as a good thing that God has given us as a means of cultivating his creation (Gen. 2:15) even before the emergence of sin into the world (Gen. 3). The Bible also shows us that we pursue our vocational dreams and goals with an understanding that we should be faithful in life planning but with the understanding that God is in charge of the outcome. (Prov. 16:1-4) In brief, as Christians we work Godward. God is the main focus in our work, he has gifted us to be able to work and nothing gets done without Him.

Assessing our protégé’s current life stage

In planning for the future, it is very helpful to critically assess the protégés present life stage. We best make this assessment through asking appropriate probing questions. These questions include but are not limited to, in what areas is my protégé weak? In what areas are they strong? How are they doing academically, interpersonally and Spiritually? What role (if any) does cultural context play in shaping their present reality? Forming an answer to these questions and others like them are key in developing a useful vocational plan for the future.

One resource that our staff would highly recommend to assess the strengths of your protégé is StrengthFinders 2.0 by Tom Rath.

Connecting the dots between the protégé’s present and their desire future

Often one of the major struggles in goal setting with our proteges is helping them connect the dots between their future story and their scholastic and extracurricular performances today. One of the best means of connection is through hearing the full story of their mentors. We encourage mentors to share their full vocational story/testimony (good, bad and ugly) starting when they were their protégé’s age and continuing into the present. We share these stories so that our protégés can see many of our adult pursuits were first engaged and cultivated in the time of our youth.

Helpful Christian resources to help us better understand work –

Every Good Endeavor – Tim Keller

The Call – Oz Guiness, and Culture Maker – Andy Crouch (Artistic or Creative Calling)

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Engaging Families

Today, I want to address a challenge that if ignored often leads to more challenges in mentoring. For many mentors poor communication or lack of relationship with parent/guardian has been the cause of many pitfalls and strains in their mentoring journey. We do not expect you to be best friends with your protege’s guardian but it is important to have a relationship and show respect for their authority in the child’s life. Communicating with the guardian is also something you committed to when you began this process. We know how important that communication is to establishing a solid relationship which is why it is part of the mentoring commitment. That being said, we know and understand it is not always easy. We can easily get discouraged when plans change or phone calls are not returned. I just want to remind you it is not personal. Our families experience everyday challenges like managing work, kids and busyness just as we do. Sometimes though the family loves you and the impact you have had on their child, it may not be their highest priority to get back to you. Be persistent, keep calling and demonstrate Christ’s love and grace not only to your protege but to the family as well.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

As a mentor with Champions of Hope you are laboring for the Lord. You are pressing into a relationship with a child in South Dallas in order to spread the Gospel and advance the kingdom. This task is far from easy. We just ask you to stand firm and continue to press on even during the challenges. A specific area of communication I want to address is protege’s and cell phones. At one point or another your protege will inevitably get a cell phone. When this happens we hope it will increase communication between the two of you but it should not end communication with the parent. It is great to develop a deeper relationship with your protege but do not sacrifice the relationship with the parent in the process. Parents and guardians know the child’s schedule and are also the final authority for hangouts, so they must be consulted before decisions and plans are made. Continuing communication shows respect to the parent or guardian as well as showing interest in the entire family. We desire for you to become a part of your protege’s family as much as they are willing, so showing interest in other family members, attending sporting events and school award ceremonies is a great way to engage and show you care for the entire family. It is also helpful to start the sharing process by being open with your own life and bring your friends and family in as well. If your family is in town make it a point to visit your protege so they can begin to take part of your life also. Remember, this is about mutual transformation.

I am so thankful for each of you and the ways you are already going above and beyond as mentors! Keep up the good work!

 

Chandler Miner

Relationship Coordinator

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The Gospel According to Thanksgiving

give-thanks-5

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and as many of us are gathered around the dinner table with friends and family, it’s important for us to remember the true meaning of why we give thanks. Yes, we celebrate the national holiday that brings us together, however the Christian perspective of gratitude goes much deeper than remembering the Pilgrims and Native Americans. This idea of giving thanks to the Lord is seen in the Gospel:

1. Made for Thanksgiving (Creation)

Plain and simple, God created us to honor and worship Him. In all that we do we are to give thanks for who God is and what he does in our lives – sustaining and redeeming us. That’s it, nothing else. However, it didn’t take long for us to quickly stray from that purpose.

2. Fallen from Thanksgiving (The Fall)

We have all failed to give God the gratitude He deserves. When we lose sight of God’s purpose for our lives, we fall into sin trying to obtain what he has already promised us. We see that in Adam and Eve. They were made in God’s perfect image, yet they weren’t satisfied and fell into temptation. We may not be eating forbidden fruit today, however we lust over men and women when we aren’t satisfied with God’s design of marriage, we cut corners to earn more money when we don’t think He’s able to sustain us, and take matters into our own hands when we don’t think God will serve justice as He’s promised.

3. Saved by Thanksgiving (Redemption & Life of Jesus)

Thankfully, God didn’t leave us alone in our sin. He sent His son Jesus Christ to live a perfect life on our behalf. He lived in complete obedience to God, never sinning once. Jesus was satisfied with the Father and obeyed His will even to the point of death. It’s in the obedience and thankfulness of Christ where we can find hope that one-day God will restore us to be just like Him.

4. Freed for Thanksgiving (Consummation)

Lastly, we are saved from our ingratitude towards God and hell, and born again to live a life full of thankfulness and worship. We are no longer dead in sin, but alive in Christ through His work on the cross. We are now free to live as the redeemed sons and daughter of God, and look forward to the day when God fulfills His promise and returns to take away all sin from the earth.

So this Thanksgiving when everyone goes around the table and shares what they’re thankful for, remember that we exist to appreciate God and all that He has done for us. Yes, our jobs and success are blessings, and we should be grateful for them, but remember what Christ has done, and the freedom we now have in Him.

-Nathan Elizondo, Relationship Coordinator

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What Does it Mean to Be a Mentor? Part 3

brainstorm_whatis

Today we will look at the remainder of the mentor pledge.  We are so thankful you have chosen to serve alongside us in the South Dallas community and want to make sure you have all the right tools to love your protégé and their family well. Read part 1 here and part 2 here.

I commit to recognizing that change often comes in small steps that barely leave footprints, that victories are often unseen or unspoken, and that obstacles will always be present.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.- John 15:16

You may not see the fruit of your labor but I promise you are making a difference. It is so fun to be a coordinator and hear the kids rave about their mentor at school. Each one of them feels so honored to be a part of your life even when it is hard to see. You are planting seeds that we all pray will come to fruition in the future. Know that your time, energy, prayers and investment are not wasted! I know “thank you” is not a common phrase for our kids but that does not mean they do not appreciate what you are doing for them. This is also an opportunity to teach them about gratitude because they may have never heard those words before or seen it modeled.

I commit to remaining sympathetic; to the storms weathered, to the adversity faced, and to the experiences that occur long before this child entered my life.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.  Romans 12:10-12

It is very important to understand the challenges and obstacles these children face everyday. So much occurs in their lives in between the times they get to spend with you twice a month. Understand that when the child is upset or sensitive it could stem from things that happened days or weeks before and rarely a direct result of something you have done. Keep praying for them; more than anything else you can be another person lifting them up in prayer. Be aware of the various challenges, ask for help and constantly pray for these families!

I commit to realizing; that my actions carry new weight and responsibility, that my role can never be taken lightly, that my life will also change with this experience.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.- Matthew 5:16

Your protégé respects and looks up to you in a way they do not anyone else. The word mentor carries a lot of weight in this community and it is not a job you can take lightly. You have the ability to change the course of another’s life.  You might be the only glimpse of Jesus they ever see and that is a powerful thing. You investment in their life will stick with them forever.  Understand this responsibility and do not get discouraged during the more challenging times but push through to the other side!

I commit to being a mentor.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.- Proverbs 22:6

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! We would be nothing without your willingness to invest in the lives of the children and youth of South Dallas. Thank you for walking along side of us and displaying Christ to your protégés, families and this community. Thank you for mentoring!

-Chandler Miner, Relationship Coordinator

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