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Your Mentor is not good enough.

15 Nov

 

You may have a good mentor.  You may have a great mentor. You may have the world’s best mentor. However, I have bad news for you.

 

Your mentor is not good enough.

I believe in mentoring relationships.  Well, I actually believe in symbiotic relationships which better expresses the mutual benefits of the relationship.  I also prefer the word discipleship (2 Timothy 2:2), but since neither of those words are trending, I will stick with the word mentor (imagine your favorite sad emoji – here).

Here are four reasons why your mentor is not good enough.

The instability of life.

The geographical instability of Emerging Adults causes instability in many other areas of life including: income, living situations, and relationships.  Distance affects our relationships, and it doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder.  While relationships can continue long distance, you can’t get a hug online.  Make sure you have multiple healthy relationships in case your life (or their life) makes a sudden left turn.

 

 Your mentor is not fully equipped to meet all your needs.

I am high maintenance.  Ask my mentors.  Ask my wife.  Ask my friends.
The good news for them is that I am worth it. And so are you.

One individual cannot possibly meet all your needs. Even the best mentors are limited in their own skills, knowledge, and bandwidth. There are people who perform some elements of what mentors do, while failing altogether in other elements.  (Parks 2000)  We all have various needs which may include:  social, vocational, relational, financial, and academic. Take time to reflect and understand the depths of your needs and identify several individuals who can support you.

Your mentor doesn’t have the time to meet your needs.

We all live under time constraints, and have a limited network of relationships.  While our mentor may want to spend time with you, other issues may rightly take precedence in their life.  No single relationship can satisfy the casting needs for the drama of our becoming. (Parks 2000)  We are all needy – at times in life. We need regular support, and putting that pressure on one individual to meet your needs moves a mentor towards burnout. If you always see Jane on the weekends, but she works during the week, maybe you can locate someone who has a similar schedule as you to connect with during the week.

Your mentor cannot give you a proper concept of community.

Mentoring should not simply be done exclusively in coffee shops, but should extend into everyday, dynamic contexts.  While a mentor can help you process the issues in life, you also need mentors with whom you can experience life together.  According to Parks, places that typically represent the power of mentoring communities in young adult lives are higher education, professional education, workplaces, travel, the natural environment, families, and religion.  (Parks 2000)  In a community setting, mentors can see the individual’s behavior, and observe how others respond.

Your mentor is not enough.  This is the purpose of mentoring community and the beauty of the body of Christ.  A church which seeks to build intergenerational relationships is naturally designed to fulfill this purpose.

 
Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, and the Founder of the EA Network – a Facebook community focused on those who minister to emerging adults.

Drew Dyck on Depression and Anxiety

18 Apr

Drew Dyck is an acquisitions editor at Moody Publishers and a senior editor at CTPastors.com.  Drew Dyck is the author of Generation Ex-Christian (of which I am a fan).  In this article, Drew writes about his journey through anxiety and depression.

I have had my own struggle with depression – due to PTCD (Post-Traumatic Church Disorder).  So I know the destruction it can bring.  I hope this article will be an encouragement to you.

Three months ago I took my last antidepressant.

Well, it was more like a sliver of an antidepressant, a pink little tab cracked off from a larger one. I had been weaning off Paroxetine (the generic form of Paxil) for a month, taking increasingly small doses—25mg, 20mg, 15mg, 10mg …

Here is the rest of the article.

So this is my 40.

6 Dec

So this is my 40.

My reflection on turning 40, has come a little late.  Part of the delay is that I have had a few big issues to wrestle with in the last couple of years (including a career shift, an interstate move, a severely ill spouse, and a crisis of faith.  

Actually my reflection is really late as I am now 41.  I probably would have let it totally pass, but endless requests for letters for friends reaching this same milestone- have completely forced me to reflect on reaching the top of the hill, and I am apparently on my decent.  

So this is my 40.

I still remember the day that I knew I was old.  I was driving to work and was happily enjoying public radio.  As if this recognition wasn’t enough, a glance in the rear view mirror revealed to me that there were now specks of white growing from my chin.  

So this is my 40.

White specks and public radio.  

Oh there is a lot more to this phase of life.  There is my growing waistline, my entrenchment in older fashion (Who is glad that plaid is back?), my befuddlement regarding current fashion, and the failing of certain faculties including memory, hearing, and vision.  

So this is my 40.  

My body is not the only thing that has changed.  

Dreams.  Some dreams have been checked off – Others remain unfinished.  While I may have missed the boat for some ambitions, others I intentionally sunk.

Position.  While many have only seen and known me as a leader, I am not in a place of power.  I am not near people of power.  I actually tend to run from them especially if they tote religious authority.

Placement.  My road map has been frequently updated and my compass at times appears broken.  I never expected to obtain a doctorate that would remain dormant.  I never expected to start a new career in an entry level position at this phase of life.  

So this is my 40.

picture with boysFamily.  I have changed due to the arrival of one, then two, then a third  beautiful boy who resemble me in almost every possible way.  My years pass quicker now that I focus on the changes within them, and celebrating their development.

God has blessed me with a wife who has been faithful by my side  walking on mountain tops and in the valley.

So this is my 40.

Faith.  I was a pillar of spirituality for so many.  A servant of the church who would have done anything for his spiritual leaders.  Unfortunately, that misdirected devotion caused me to sacrifice the emotional and spiritual health of my family and my own soul for the sake of an institution.  

Spiritual abuse that forced me to change friends, locations, and careers.  As a young man, I had never experience pain.  Now, I daily wonder whether my dark night of the soul will end.  

So this is my 40.

Am I disillusioned?  Most certainly.  

Am I suffering a midlife crisis?  Possibly.  

This is my 40.  

I am not the same person. 

While growing up, I missed a fundamental point about adulthood.  

You continue to change.  

Adulthood is not a threshold you cross and enter fully completed.  It is not a plaque earned that gets posted on the wall.  It is not the final hoop that ends the race.  

I somehow missed the fact that adulthood is not the ending but  the beginning.  Adulthood is not the end of development, but simply leads to more change.  I felt adulthood would mean – No more changing.  No more reflecting.  No more wrestling- over who I am or what I want to be.  

But I am so different than I was at 20.  I am much different that who I was at 30.  I am beginning to see that I will not be the same person at 50. 

Life changes you.  

So this is my forty.  

My dear friends from the past, they do not know who I am today because I am different.   They are different too- this is probably why “friends are friends forever” may have rocked our graduation ceremonies in the 90’s, but these relationships failed to last even in a world filled with digital communication. 

So this is my 40.

I have changed, and you have changed.  The world around us has changed.  

So this is my 40. 

My life is strangely beautiful.  At times it is painfully peaceful.  It is better than I imagined and harder than I dreamed.  

But I am here, and I have discovered that I am not alone.  

God is here.  And those whom I love are near.  So whether the future brings me one day, one year, or 40 years, I am hopeful and expectant.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to equip parents and churches to engage emerging adults. He is also the founder of the EA Network, a community of people who serve and love emerging adults.

Seminary Now Offering Degree In Celebrity Pastoring – The Babylon Bee

13 Sep

I laughed so hard… you will too!

NASHVILLE, TN—Life Journey Bible College & Seminary, known for its readily attainable degrees in practical theology and missional outreach, announced its latest degree offering Friday morning: celebrity pastoring.

Seminarians wishing to attain a bachelor’s degree in being a wildly celebrated public figure within Christian culture will be asked to tackle a heavy course load packed with classes like “Shifting The Blame For Your Public Scandals To Others,” “Turning Your Forgettable Quotes Into Image Macros,” and “Finding The Right Ghostwriter.” Continue reading

Pinned but not down.

9 Aug

© 2012 David Hunt, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

When he was eleven, my son decided to try out for the wrestling team.  We got the gear, and showed up for practice.  Now you need to understand that this wasn’t just any program, but this was the club team for Apple Valley, Minnesota.  Apple Valley is a team that has won national championships.  People move across the nation to be a part of this program.

It is intense to say the least.

As practice began, the boys were sent running and running, then crawling, then skipping around the gym.  I was exhausted just by watching.

Then they began to pair off for wrestling.  My son saw a friend and the two of them ran off to their mat.  I tried not to watch the entire night, but when I did catch his eye, I knew that it was not going so well.  When the coach called the practice, he could barely stand, but he had not given up.

He approached me with a smile and said, “3 wins, and 23 losses.”  While I hope that not every night at practice is that difficult, I do know that as I see him struggle, he will not be the same.

The tenacity and strength that he showed that night on the mat is what I need.  When problems weigh me down, when pain has a hold, when I am disoriented from the struggle.  I will not lose heart, but I will smile and rise again.

I feel this may have been how the Apostle Paul felt when he wrote these words…

We are pressed on all sides, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.… (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

David - Prof 2May you find faith in the difficult places of life.  May you know that your weakness will be replenished by His strength.  May you rise from the mat again ready to face a new challenge.

Dr. G. David Boyd is Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit designed to educate parents and churches about emerging adulthood.  He is also the Founder of the EA Network, a networking community for those who minister to emerging adults.

 

Be Not Afraid – A word to those hurt by the church

26 Jul

This article is part of a series that I have written on PTCD called Post Traumatic Church Disorder.  If you want to read the series, please search on the site using the abbreviation – PTCD.

 

This is the most repeated commandment in the Bible.  It was spoken to Joshua as he was about to enter the promise land.  It was spoken by the angel to Mary as God’s plan was revealed to her.  It was spoken to the disciples in the midst of the storm.

A commandment that we as frail humans need to hear.  Maybe because a relationship with God is built upon faith, and fractured by fear.

FEAR from Flickr via Wylio

© 2011 amboo who?, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Fear has always come between humans and God.

It was fear that drove Adam and Eve to hide in the garden.  It was fear that caused the disciples to scatter.  It is fear that drives us to endless diversions to escape the reality of our world.

When it comes to PTCD, we are frozen by fear.  We fear those who claim spiritual authority.  We fear the Bible because of how it had been used against us.  We fear anything that reflects our past trauma as it may subject us to flashbacks that return us to our place of abuse.

God commands us to not fear.  Fear is instinctual when faced with the unknown. 

As a child, I awoke from a late afternoon nap to find myself alone in a dark house.  Muffled voices emerged from somewhere outside the house.  A fire blazed in the darkness.  I became afraid, and did what any normal child would do.

I grabbed a flyswatter and ran to the front porch.  (Okay, so maybe I wasn’t quite normal.)

Once there, I huddled down in the darkness waiting for something to happen.  Something bad.  Apparently something – that I could overcome with my tightly-gripped flyswatter.

In my fear, I didn’t see any other options.

I could have turned on some lights.  I could have pushed away fear to realize that the spooky house was still my home.  I could have overcome my emotions to realize that the voices were strangely familiar.

In the midst of your fear, there are other options.

You may not see them.  You may need someone to see them for you.  You may need someone to talk you through them.  You may need someone to hold your hand.

Faith from Flickr via Wylio

© 2012 Eric Eberhard, Flickr | CC-BY-ND | via Wylio

These options require faith.

In the darkness, I can reach for a light.  In my panic, I may recognize the voice.  In my isolation, I can find those who care.  I can exchange my frozen fetal position into a bold, running embrace.

For this is the life of faith.

Be Strong and Courage.  Do Not Be Afraid for the Lord your God is with you, wherever you will go.                                                                                                                                                  Joshua 1:9

21 Sentences NOT to Say to a Sexual Abuse Survivor

12 Jul

men-887501_1280Author, blogger, and speaker Mary DeMuth recently released a helpful, practical guide for ministering to individuals affected by sexual abuse. The title: 21 sentences not to say to a sexual abuse survivor.

Many of us have friends who have experienced sexual abuse to one extent or another. It’s talked about in the news media. It’s carried around in the hearts of women and men at our churches, schools, and workplaces. Yet, when it comes up? We don’t know what to say. So, all too often, we say things that — while well-intentioned — might be hurtful.

“My intention in writing these,” writes DeMuth, “is not to shame those who want to help, or make them walk on eggshells. Instead it’s to help friends and family members of victims best love and understand the sexual abuse recovery journey.”

In order to better help and not hurt others, we hope you’ll check out the article.

Click HERE to read the 21 Sentences compiled by Mary DeMuth

What do you think? Is there anything you would add? How could you use this awareness (and NOT use these sentences!) in your day-to-day life?

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