I remember my first year of college, everything was new, everyone seemingly knew what was going on, and most distinctly everyone was telling me how to think. I’m 26 now and moved out of my parents’ home when I was 18 to go to college and moved countries at 22 after graduating. I had to figure out what was going on pretty quickly. There’s not much I know, but this I know for sure; I needed help.
Today, more than ever, culture, the news, our universities, even our high schools are telling young men how to live their lives. We live in a culture running rampant with addiction, escapism, and individualism and as young men, I can tell you honestly, we need your help sifting through all this information.
I’ve talked with my dad a lot about the topic of mentorship as I have gotten older, and there’s something distinct that we discovered together: a young man was created by God to journey and adventure out to create a path of his own. The writer of Genesis makes note of this during the creation account, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24 ESV)
Something interesting about this passage, it’s written to men. Men are called to leave their father and mother… but what happens next? No 18-year-old, or even 26-year-old is ready to leave all wisdom and teaching from parents or older and mature influences in their lives at that point. But that begs the question, then what? We leave our parents and the only solution that our culture offers is that age-old saying that rings in my mind, “just get it together.”
Every young man will reach that age where he begins to step away from his parents, and there are often many assumptions about how poorly that process will go. But let me ask you, that deacon in your church, what if he reached out to your son as he was moving off to college, and took him out to lunch every week? And what if you did that for his son, and so on, and so forth.
Mentorship has a long-standing tradition inside of Christianity. We are a people who value community, wisdom, accountability, and so much more that mentoring provides. Jesus himself took young men and invested in them, he invested into them for 3 years. After that, they started the first churches, which would lead to hundreds of millions of salvations over the next two thousand years. Something distinct about those relationships that Jesus held was that in many cases he sought them out. (Matthew 4:19-22)
So, I will leave you with this. That cocky 21-year-old sitting two rows in front of you at church, annoying you because he’s distracted on his phone the whole time. Please, ask him to coffee, buy him lunch, get to know him. We are a generation of young men who need your help. Invest in us, care about our lives, take the first step and show interest in what we are doing and I will promise you, one meal at a time, not only will you see a change in our lives, but you will see a change in your church. The church needs young men who are mentored and guided by you.