Sandy is ten, big for her age and seemingly unaware that her joyfully, yet aggressive ways are not received well by her peers. She has no friends, and is desperate to change that. Sandy is one of over a hundred children on our waiting list.
Recently, Sandy and her Mom started going to church. This week I had lunch with their new pastor. I asked if he would find this child a mentor. He smiled knowingly at the mention of her name.
“Sandy is a tough one. She just does not fit in any of our other programs. She does not fit in youth group or Sunday school. Believe me, we have tried. But she does not fit. We even cast her as Mary in last month’s play. At the first service, she forgot her line, got embarrassed and while running off, she pushed between the wise man and the speaker stand. The speaker came crashing down onto the communion table. I jumped up, and stood up the speaker. Then I whispered to the youth pastor to figure something out because I do not want Sandy messing up another service.
After we muddled through the play with the director reading the rest of Mary’s lines, we had communion. I stood behind the table and looked down. The cross on the top of the cover of the bread tray was crushed flat on the dented silver. My flash of disgust was quickly replaced with a revelation. Jesus did not die on the cross to give us silver plated traditions. He was crushed for our sins so that hopeless children like Sandy and people like me who lack His compassion can receive forgiveness and life eternal with Him.”
Sandy still waits for a Christian to say yes to be her friend, and she still does not fit in. Most of our kids do not fit in. Traditional youth ministry does not work for them. This is the reason Youth For Christ started this ministry 25 years ago; to effectively minister to troubled kids. As a matter of fact, our kids are the kids who often derail youth ministry until they are pressured out or removed. Any objective onlooker would probably say that these kids are bringing on their own difficulties; that they are at fault. That is correct. It is their fault. Yet, our Lord came to save a people at fault, a helpless people bringing on their own difficulties because of faults so deep they needed their own name: sin. Yet, this same Lord still hears the weeping in the night of troubled kids steeped in fault, even those who don’t fit in well. He has issued a general call in Scripture to you and to me to minister His love to these kids. Our Lord may be giving a specific call to you – right now – to share His love with some seemingly unlovable kid in a way that fits their need. Mentoring is a ministry methodology that fits for these kids.
Please pray. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to call His men and woman to minister to these children. Ask God to send more mentors, especially men. And most of all, if you are not currently a mentor, ask your Lord if He is calling you to be His ambassador of love to some unloved youngster in this wonderful way.