My ceiling is their floor. The 'pawn' in me can become the 'King' or 'Queen' in them.
The pawn in us can create a king or queen if we are willing to make others great. My ceiling becomes their floor!
A few years ago some famous athletes bantered back and forth that they were not role models to the younger generation. What these athletes do not understand is that whether they think they are or not is not the point. The weight of that question is answered by the young people who are looking to them as ICONS.
Here's the point. We are not only raising a FATHERLESS generation, but, we are raising a SIBLING-LESS generation. It is becoming more rare for siblings to be raised together because of the blended nature of our homes in America. And, on top of that, many of the ROLE MODELS young people are following are certainly not healthy role models. Because of these factors, it is actually a must that we see Youth Leaders who are men and women of God, lead this generation the right way. The 'pawn' in me can become the 'king or queen' in a young protege who is following me.
It is not my responsibility to raise princes and princesses. It is my responsibility to raise Kings and Queens. I've heard all the arguments about why some famous icons have stated they are not heroes and role models. Sure, it is up to parents and family to lead the younger generation. But, in the absence of consistent parental roles, where are the teachers, civic leaders, church leaders, para-church leaders, musicians, athletes, coaches, and corporate role models? Someone has to step up and be the example in the vacuum of heroes and role models in our society.
It is important that we as Youth Leaders live as privately and publicly honorable lives as we can. Someone is watching. One of the growing buzz words in culture over the past few years is the idea of mentoring and coaching and the concept of apprenticeships and protege's. The discipline of being people who have walked in the places that young people want to walk someday. People who are willing to live in a glass house on the corner or a city on a hill. There is so much to manage in our lives if we want to lead this generation. To be a significant mentor in the life of a young person today will require managing the following areas of life:
The Personal Life - This would include the psychology of daily life, commitment to spiritual growth and formation, dealing with finances and materialism, and having accountability measures in place for the areas of sexual temptations.
Marriage and Family - Balancing a spouse and children in the ministry is the most important part of a young ministers life. How much to involve them, the use of the home, and limits of how much ministry discussion do we bring home are all areas that must be defined and practices that must be understood. Defining healthy roles within the marriage and family (spouse, parent-child, sibling relations) will compute into successful model for young people to watch.
Professional Development - There are many areas of professional development that can increase the success of Youth Leaders. The philosophy of ministry a young leader develops will become the construct that defines your entire ministry program. It is true that ministry is about relationships, but, anyone who underestimates philosophy and structure will be working harder than the person with it. Our core traits could become the mimicked traits of the generation behind us.
Integrity - Wholeness. An integer is an un-mixed number. To have integrity is to be un-mixed or whole.This would include our language, attitudes, lifestyle, indulgences, freedoms, and habits. In I Corinthians 10.23 Paul urged that "all things are lawful for me, but, not all things are profitable."
This picture tells it all as it relates to the hero and the role model in all of us. The protege is really a shadow of the mentor. And, who we are as an example is really only the beginning of what God wants to do in someone we are willing to mentor and lead. What God has placed inside the younger generation can be drawn out by the veteran leaders who are willing to invest.