The hustle and bustle of business can be time consuming, but it's important to take time and give back. During today's troubling times, it's important to give of your time and talents to issues of great importance. And what's more important than today's youth? This last week has been plagued with a lack of understanding and love and now, more than ever, is the time to instill those lessons into our future leaders...the youth.
Untamed Publishing was founded on divine intervention, and we are a proud supporter of Royalty Teen Ministries. To speak on the subject of mentoring, we are proud to have guest blogger, Crystal McDonald, Mentor of Royalty Teen Ministry of Macedonia Baptist Church.
What do you do when you when to get involved and give back? When you are full of knowledge and a have a strong desire to share it? You can be a mentor! Whether in a corporate setting, your local neighborhood, or in the church, mentoring is a necessity. My decision to mentor teenage girls was a very long and scary process. I had all the knowledge I needed to complete this daunting task, but I lacked one thing...CONFIDENCE. I spent years in prayer going back and forth, asking God if this was really what he was calling me to do. The calling was greater than my desire, but my faith was stronger than any issue I could conceive. My experience with mentoring has been extremely challenging, but also life changing and fulfilling.
I will admit; fear paralyzed me, and almost prevented me from fulfilling a calling and experiencing the joy that I now have. In 2015, I proved, to not only myself but to others, that I had all the tools to change the lives of the teen girls I would encounter. I wanted to work with the “lost generation”, so the Royalty Teen Ministry of Macedonia Baptist Church was created. This ministry is for girl’s grades 6-12 from all races and backgrounds.
We address topics such as teen pregnancy, abstinence, friendship, how to conduct yourself on social media (that was so necessary, but we still have our work cut out for us), establishing healthy/respectable relationships with parents/adults, and being God’s girl. I think the most impactful topic we had was “Guy Talk”. We gave the girls the opportunity to ask a panel of Christian males, what they really thought about females. They were able to gain a different perspective from males who were in high school, college, and married with children. They were very candid and withheld nothing from them. Many of our older girls received that light bulb moment during this class. Not only are we providing real world experiences, we provide them from a biblical standpoint.
Although we did a lot of classroom work, community service was their favorite. We volunteered to cook for the families of the Ronald McDonald house at our local Augusta University Medical Center. The girls absolutely loved the idea of making sure the families of children who were ill and could not go home or afford a nice meal had something to eat. This was truly a meal made with love. In the world we live in today, it is imperative that we teach each other how to love and embrace others, and this was definitely one experience that drove that message home.
At the end of our 7 month journey, we have a formal dinner event where we celebrate each girl and crown her as Royalty. We then pack our bags for a trip to expand their knowledge of different cultures and the world around them. This provides an experience that most parents can’t afford, and allows them to have some fun. This year was a trip to our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.! They were able to learn a lot of great historical lessons and see the White House! I was able to witness an excitement and determination that I had never seen before.
God completely blew our minds by sending 24 girls to join the ministry. We knew we were going in the right direction when many of the girls were ready to sign up for the next year by our third session.
In the process, I realized that there were 3 crucial steps to mentoring.
Step 1: Know your audience. You are pouring out information to a vulnerable group. This could be detrimental to them if it is not delivered properly. Don’t offer anything you aren’t completely certain about or have experience with. Make sure you take the questions below into consideration before you begin.
What is my target group?
What are the major issues?
Why is this an important subject?
Am I well versed in this area to provide my expertise?
Step 2: Be prepared for the hard questions. I’ve learned that teenagers have the most farfetched and uncomfortable questions you could imagine. I have never felt so antsy holding a conversation with a group of girls. Believe it or not, parents no longer give the birds and the bees talk, it has become just figure it out. So get ready, here’s your chance for high anxiety and profuse sweating. Think of it as running a never ending marathon.
Step 3. Be available even when you’re not “on the clock”. We never know when those critical, life altering situations may arise. As you continue to share, listen, and interact with the individual(s) you are mentoring, you form a bond. They begin to feel comfortable with you and at that time, the need may be greater than the allotted amount of time that you have available. So when these moments arise and you are just about to go to dinner, take a relaxing bath, or even watch your favorite T.V. show, stop and evaluate the situation to determine if the inconvenience is more important that changing someone’s day, night, or life.
So you’ve read all the steps and you realize that mentoring just doesn’t suit you, it’s not your calling, or you just don’t have the time and skill to devote to it. That’s quite alright! However, you still have room to help. You can volunteer for a day, teach a class on your subject of expertise (you have no clue how they love to see new faces with new information), or you can donate monetarily to help the ministry or organization. Locate a mentoring program in your area or online and see how you can help. It’s easy to do and knowing that you have shifted the direction of someone’s life could greatly enrich yours.
If you would like to donate to the Royalty Teen Ministry or obtain more information, please email us at MACROYALTYMIN@GMAIL.COM.
Light and Love
Royalty Teen Ministry is a dynamic group, and donations are always being accepted to support this phenomenal girls' youth ministry.
We may not all have the ability to be a mentor, but as a writer and/or reader, you can make a difference through literacy programs that offer reading and writing services. Donate your works to literary groups or become a teacher mentor to assist groups like Royalty Teen Ministry. Change is needed and it begins with us. Invest in others and you'll see the blessings manifest in U!
Until next time...