[ad_1]

Gordon MacDonald tells a story of young man (Tom) who has nothing much of note going for him; sloppy, disorganized, a coaster. This young guy seems slow to learn and is generally disinterested in the flow of life that most others his age find a breeze. His prospects are slim indeed.

Does anyone see a prospective, well-known and highly successful church leader here?

What is revealed in this story is the ability for five normal people, including two couples (one older, one younger), to get in beside Tom and patiently model to him a way of living; a good way of living.

He learns patience and a passion for people and 'the lost' with couple number one – the younger couple. Not that they 'teach' him per se. He uses (or even abuses) lunch invitations for a free feed – the couple's response? – they receive him with open arms. They don't push him away.

What is he learning from them? What is he learning about life? How is this changing his perspective on how he wants to live his life?

The older couple model (a pastor's family) model what family life should be about. They help him with things like his laundry, and invite him to dinner every other Sunday. He observes a well-adjusted family and likes what he sees.

What is he learning from them? What is he learning about life? How is this changing his perspective on how he wants to live his life?

The fifth person is an associate pastor (AP) of a church and Tom lives with him. Now, what he learns from the AP is hard. It's putting the toilet seat down; putting another roll of toilet paper on the dispenser; taking the garbage out; doing the dishes straight away; staying tidy and organized etc.

There are many heated discussions but the mid-30s AP patiently persists. And he simply models how to keep a house.

What is he learning from him? What is he learning about life? How is this changing his perspective on how he wants to live his life?

He just observes each of these models like most human beings do. And he's a sponge. What he sees he judges good or bad, right or wrong … he asks, 'Is that how I want to be?'

And what is he learning through all this role modeling? Love, patience, kindness, acceptance, values โ€‹โ€‹…? And probably a lot more.

With young people there is often very little seen potential. If they're low on confidence it is even more apparent.

What the young people of this society need – or any society for that matter – is sufficient and adequate adult support via role modeling of good values โ€‹โ€‹of love, patience and acceptance, because they will learn.

Tom, by the way, was or is Gordon MacDonald himself – Thomas Gordon MacDonald. No hoper teen turned highly successful adult and leader.

What role model are you? What is the young person in your life seeing in you, that they either want to replicate or incinerate?

[ad_2]

Source by Steve Wickham