One of the highlights of my work is mentoring men.
Guys struggle to know what it really means to be a man. Guns, sports and cigars? Success? Leadership? A decade ago, Christian guys were camping in the woods with swords, trying to figure out what it means to be a man. Today, they're fighting over the meaning of "kephale."
I get to help.
I get to help college guys figure out how to live in the world as men. And even better, as Christians.
Mentoring doesn't have to be the core of my job. There's a way to do campus ministry without mentoring. Focus on systems. Training events. Great strategy. You can build a big group, see students follow Christ, do some great ministry without ever mentoring someone.
But why would you?
Here're two great reasons to mentor...
1) Filling the gaps from childhood
So many guys missed something growing up. Parents can't pass on everything. For me, it was practical around-the-house kind of stuff. Mowing the lawn. Plumbing. For other guys it's how to show respect, how to learn, how to keep your word.
We've all heard the myth that parents can teach their kids anything and everything. And it's just not true. Parenting overwhelms us. There's so much we don't know or don't know how to pass on or forget. Spend time with 20somethings and you'll see gaps left by parents, even from the best and most intentional parents.
2) Providing a new pattern
Our theology tells us that even the best parents have been broken by sin. Their best parenting and best intentions fall short. They may try to image God to us, but their image is a broken image, shattered (even so slightly).
Quality mentoring helps us create new narratives and scripts, correcting elements that we inherited broken. Sometimes this involves correcting expectations, reframing "wrong" to "different," pushing for forgiveness and reconciliations, listening and praying for healing.
Can you see how this would have a big impact on young men?