We all need to feel loved, and Christian youth mentoring instills loving and approval-based messages into young people in a safe and reassuring way. At-risk youth, kids who have lost familiar reference points and are experimenting with dangerous activities, can be brought back into the fold by regular mentoring straight from the Bible. Youth clubs and youth activities that are primarily God-centred, or Christ-centred, are much needed in an age when liberalised views are encouraging young people to experiment earlier in life. These clubs do not have to be boring. They can offer many of the same activities that kids enjoy on a daily basis, sport, orienteering, computers, movies, etc, but with the added safeguard of a Christian adult or group of adults who are reacting positively to their questions and demands.
The key requirement of a good Christian youth mentoring society is to set an example. Brainwashing children into accepting your beliefs is not the solution. Kids have the right to choose, so by presenting them with the loving alternative of Jesus you are offering them new guidelines which it is up to them to accept or reject. Above all, your example should be a good moral one, which obeys Biblical morality. An untutored child does not know the boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. Unacceptable behaviour can seem like fun and becomes addictive, but if they are shown the consequences of such behaviour, it can help them make a safer choice.
Kids who are already down the road of drug abuse or promiscuous activities are difficult to bring back to within safe bounds but it is not impossible. Many organisations have proved that “cold turkey plus loving prayer plus religious culture” can alter the habits of young people at any stage and can restore them to regular, sociable practices. If we can get youngsters into a regular habit of church and prayer, together with praise and worship, we are giving them a new sense of self-importance which comes from the love of their creator, and not the approval of their peers.
With the incessant media hype surrounding youth today, that more often than not involves unacceptable behavioural aspirations, it is more important than ever to have a strong Bible mentoring alternative so that kids at least are given a choice. The worst scenario is that religious teaching is removed entirely from the curriculum so that our young people don’t even know there is a choice in life. Certain children will always want to experiment, but unless they have an alternative to compare themselves to, they will think the road of immorality is the only one open to them. The saddest thing to hear, late in life, is that “no one told me I could be different.” As a society it ought to be the responsibility of Christians to ensure that young people everywhere know they can be different, that they have a choice, one that will save them from danger and put them on the road to solid, loving, acceptance.