When they're given space to explore their natural feelings, respect is granted.
A great way to mentor young people is to listen more than we speak.
Plenty of youth programs provide activities to keep young people busy. The Relationship Mentors at YWAP's Teen Action Night go the extra mile to give teens space to explore their deepest thoughts and life questions.
Once a month we separate the guys and girls into their own space. Here's a quote from one of the mentors about what went on with the girls on Space Thursday: "So Evelyn teaches the young girls at youth, every last Thursday of the month. Every last Thursday, I'm blown away. Tonight was no different. She just has a way of capturing you. She teaches these girls who come off the street high, from broken homes, abused ect....and every eye is peeled and every ear is at attention. There's just something about the way her words touch you. She's been my mom for 36 years and I've probably heard her speak to the youth, a million times. I'm still in awe. God blessed us with a good one."
The guys had their own version of Space Thursday. At YWAP, we like to use what we call "Power Moment Mentoring." That simply means that your relationship is built in the moment of the current experience. The guys volunteered to serve and fill a space created by the illness of the Church Custodian. Each week the chairs are removed to make space for a volleyball net. At the end of the night, everything is put back in its proper space for Sunday Service. Usually the Custodian takes care of those duties. With his illness, a space was created for guys to step up and become servants.
We're fortunate to have such great mentors led by Buffalo YWAP Director Becky Rogowski. Evelyn Guach does a phenomenal job with the girls on Space Thursday. They work with a team of dedicated mentors from the Bread of Life. Tomorrow's world will be a better space because they've created a safe space for teens today.