|Posted on 25 April, 2016 at 1:50|
On a recent Friday night, I took a young man who is growing up without his dad, to a Peoria Rivermen hockey game. It turned out to be a pretty special night, but first let me tell you how God brought me and Brandon (the young man) to that point.
Brandon is in 7th grade and lives with his mom and younger sister in an apartment 17 miles from my house. I met Brandon at our church's Vacation Bible School two summers ago. On a follow up visit to his home, his mom told me that his dad lived in a distant state and was not very involved in his life.
Brandon's mother doesn't usually attend church, but she drops Brandon off for youth group most Wednesday nights. Though I am not involved in the youth group, I always try to look for Brandon and chat with him for a few minutes after church. I've earned the trust of his mom, too, by introducing my family to her and chatting with her occasionally when she comes to pick him up.
When a couple of free hockey game tickets were made available at my work recently, I immediately thought of Brandon. I'm sure it was the Lord who put him on my mind. When I asked Brandon's mom if I could take him, she was very grateful. And, Brandon's face was beaming.
After the game, everyone was invited to Section 2 where a talented guitarist named Phil led us in singing some songs like "It Is Well With My Soul." Then a former Rivermen player named Mark preached about God's love. He also told us there is a chapel service every Thursday when the Rivermen are home, and he introduced us to three of the players who have given their life to Christ. What an awesome experience this was for me and Brandon after an incredibly exciting game! (Score became tied with 16 seconds remaining then the Rivermen won in overtime.)
I had no idea it was "Faith and Family Night" when we showed up, but it was inspiring to see how God got us there on that particular night. It sparked great conversation with Brandon on the way home, too.
No doubt, there are young men (and adult men) like Brandon in your life. They may not fit his description exactly, but whether they realize it or not, they need a man who follows Christ to befriend, encourage, and invest in them.
We're all busy. We all have good reasons to leave the mentoring to someone else. But let me encourage you to:
Look up - God has probably placed someone nearby to whom you should minister. Look for him.
Speak up - Think of something encouraging to say, or ask questions that show you care.
Step up - Don't commit more to your "Brandon" than you can give, but don't keep from giving because you fear commitment. And then,
Watch God Show up - you never have to do His work alone! (Matthew 28:20)