Thursday, May 27, 2010
You'll Be In MY Heart
(This is the last of the articles I wrote for LNF Newsletter. My next post will be back to normal whatever that means.)
One of my first Bibles was given to me by my youth minister when I was in high school. The Bible was an Easy-to-Read version that I liked because I could understand it better. I think the Bible was given to him and whoever gave it to him wrote this on the inside cover: “To be in a child’s heart tomorrow, you have to be in their life today.” I remember those words a lot when I think about the type of person I want to be. One of the things I see in the life of Jesus is that he was always in people’s lives today, so he could be in their hearts tomorrow.
If I could give advice to people who would like to be mentors in the lives of kids, I would give them this advice:
1. Remember the quote from above. You have to be with them today, to impact their tomorrow. One of the most underrated things about mentoring is not what you do, but simply that you are there. You do not have to come up with great games. You don’t have to be the coolest person in the room. It is as easy as showing up. Everyone comes in and out of their lives, from mom’s boyfriend to their father or even their own mother, in this day and age. They don’t need the people who are supposed to be a positive influence to come in and out of their lives.
2. Keep it simple- the level of your impact is not based on the complexity of your input. The message only has to be “Jesus loves you this I know for the Bible tells me so.” One of my favorite quotes about impact is this: “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Let your message be simple with words and deeds. “I care about you!”
3. Interested is interesting – (If you know where this quote comes from, don’t judge me for loving chick flicks.) The quote is so true. The more you show kids that you care and you are there for them, the more they become engaged and tuned in to you. Come ready for fun and have intriguing questions for the student.
4. The last thing I would suggest is to be prepared to improve their lives, not fix them. Mentors get overwhelmed sometimes at how big the problem seems. It is not our job to fix them. Leave that to God. We are here to help God show them and prepare them to be the best possible version of themselves.
Mentoring at LNF is a life-changing thing for the students and the mentor. It does not take a superhero to be a mentor. It just takes a person who wants to be a kid’s hero. Here is a list of tasks that I have witnessed that have made a significant impact on our kids’ lives.: Working though 20 sight word flash cards and multiplication flash cards, teaching a girl how to bump a volleyball, sitting with a child and working though every detail of his math homework, letting a girl beat you in checkers to see her eyes light up and confidence soar, and just showing up to things that matter to them to let them know you care i.e. soccer games, baseball games, school assemblies. All of these things are done in the name of Jesus to show the students of LNF that we care.