Now, I want to talk about my method, how I live out my calling and my passion. This is probably the most misunderstood part of me, the part that is hardest for people who don’t know me well to understand. Which means it will be the longest post too…
If I could sum up my method in one word it would be this:
I have a passion to mentor people here in Gap, but not in your traditional “I’m your mentor, your my mentee, now lets meet once a week for an hour over lunch and we’ll talk about your spiritual growth” kinda way. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, I just know that, for me, it was never very effective, so I can’t try to do that with other people.
I believe that a good mentor/mentee relationship is built on trust. But today’s youth have a very hard time with trust. So building trust takes a long time. And today’s youth are NOT fact-filled, logical people. (despite how it looks, I’m really not either). This generation is a very relationship oriented generation. You can’t list off your credentials and qualifications to make them trust you. You have to build it over time.
Which means you have to start small.
Which means that you start with things like “hanging out”. You eat lunch or dinner, you watch a movie or a tv show, you go see their plays, concerts, sports games, etc. And when you do these things, you don’t necessarily talk about anything deep. Those conversations will come when they are ready and feel comfortable.
The next step after/along side of hanging out with them is that they have to understand that you truly care about them. I once heard it said “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care”. In other words, they aren’t gonna listen to a word you say unless they know that you truly love them. The problem is, in a world where we throw around the word “love” so easily, how do they know that you truly do love them? Also, when love means so many things, what do you mean by love? is it the same love for them as I have for that food I just ate?
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the different types of love, if you want more on them, check out this post. But when I say “love” I mean “Agape”, or unconditional love. (again, if that means nothing to you, read this post). Ok, so now you know what I mean when I say love, but how do they know they are loved?
There is this concept out there that we all have a “love language”, it’s how we tell those around us that we love them. The Love Languages are: Physical Touch (self-explanatory, though the touch isn’t necessarily sexual, it could be a hug, or an arm around the shoulder, high fives, etc), Quality Time (hanging out), Words of Affirmation (not just saying “I love you” but also complimenting, appreciating, and building them up with your words), Acts of Service (doing things for people), and Gifts (giving them stuff). The problem is, not everyone speaks or “listens” the same languages. If your primary love language is Gifts, and I don’t buy you gifts and I only give you hugs (Physical Touch), you aren’t going to feel very loved by me.
So you have to identify people’s love languages and speak that. For me, most natural for me to speak, because it’s what I “hear”, is (in order), Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch. But I take time with each person I hang out with and learn what their love language is, and do my best to make sure that I speak that. For example, my best friend Cameron “hears” quality time, acts of service, and words of affirmation. However, my “little brother” (not my brother by blood, but he’s like my brother) speaks quality time, physical touch, and words of affirmation. Those two are very similar, but my spending time with my little bro also includes hugs, lots of high fives, fist bumps, etc. To some people who don’t know that about my little bro and I, it probably looks really odd, but that’s what’s going on.
All this I do in an attempt to bring people closer to God, and to help shape them into the men that God wants them to be.
I hope this series has cleared up a lot of stuff for you, but if not, or if you have any other questions, PLEASE come talk to me, read the other posts or shoot me a message via the contact page, or something, please don’t just sit on your questions or ask other people, I like to keep the air clear as much as possible because the clearer the air, the faster and better we can move forward…