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Saving Your Students: The Art of Mentoring Youth

mentoring means rescuing

G e n e s i s 1 4 : 1 6

He recovered all the goods and brought back his relative Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other people.

You gotta feel for Lot. First, he parts ways with a trusted friend and family member. Then he moves to a bad neighborhood, and leaders in the area start fighting. His household gets caught up in the violence and is taken by invading tribal leaders. Abram is told by an escapee what transpired, and he gathers a force to rescue his nephew. He meets up with the invading group, defeats them, and rescues Lot and his household.

This story rubs up against a common mentoring truism: Failure is the best teacher. Though it is true, there is rarely any qualifier to that proverb that calls for discernment on the part of the mentor. The story of Abram and Lot pushes us to ask, When does a mentor step in and rescue?

Just like Abram, you are called to rescue when a student’s life is on the line. That includes the possibility of physical, moral, or emotional harm to themselves or others. Remember, they trust that you will teach them by sharing your life with them. What they may not know is that you are called to rescue them when their lives are on the line.

May God strengthen you to act when your students’ lives are on the line.

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Paul Sheneman is an author, speaker and youth pastor. He serves with the Macedonia Methodist Church in Ohio. He drinks way too much coffee for his own good. His main interest is exploring Christian formation. You can follow most of his ramblings on his blog at www.discipleshipremix.com or on Twitter @PaulSheneman.