I love young adults. I'm particularly concerned that we minister well to young men who are the present and future leaders of our congregations.
Here are some ways to minister to a young man in your church, whether he's a teen or young adult:
1. Intentionally and strategically pray for him. Many young men in our churches have no one praying for them unless they're in trouble. Break this pattern by choosing to pray for a brother before he makes a mistake.
2. Work with your student minister to connect to a young man with no other male influence. Just a few minutes with an adult Christian male who cares can make a difference for a young guy who has little influence from other men.
3. If he's married, surprise him and his wife with a gift card to a restaurant. Help out a young guy by providing a meal. He'll probably do that later for someone else when he's financially able.
4. Take a walk with him. That probably sounds too emotionally driven, but here's the point: If you're willing to just hang out with a young man, you'll find somebody waiting for such an opportunity.
5. Invite him to a weekly breakfast, and challenge his spiritual walk. You might be the only person who's ever cared enough to ask about his walk with God.
6. Help cover the costs for an internet filter. Help at least one young man win the battle of pornography by sharing the cost for a filter and accountability system.
7. Offer him odd jobs for additional income. Some of the best mentoring relationships I've had with young men began when I employed them to cut the yard, help with repair work or paint a room.
8. Invite him to help you in ministry. Whatever you do in your church, invite a young man to walk with you, assist you and learn the role. That seems, in fact, to be a biblical way to raise up new leaders.
9. Start a 1:3 mentoring program. A "1:3" program is one man (you) investing in three other young men who are friends. You triple your output, and the young men sharpen one another in the process.
10. Answer the questions you wish someone would have answered for you as a young man. For me, the questions were many (in fact, I've written about those desired conversations). Don't always wait for the question—just address them in the context of a God-given relationship.
11. Create a men's ministry built around recreation and hobbies. Don't neglect teaching the Word, but develop relationships around common interests.
12. Work with your pastors to develop an internship for young men who feel called to ministry. Our churches need to call them out and then help train them along the way. The numbers may be few, but the long-term work of the gospel will prosper.
What other ways would you add to this list?
For the original article, visit chucklawless.com.
Chuck Lawless is dean of doctoral studies and vice president of spiritual formation and ministry centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina, where he also serves as professor of evangelism and missions. In addition, he is team leader for Theological Education Strategists for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
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