Things change, and things change regularly.
There was a time where we had the privilege of having good Christian role models in our lives: seeing and experiencing how the good life was done, being encouraged, being made accountable to someone older and more mature in the faith, having an ever deeper understand of scripture with bible study done in a context that guarantees more attention than in a group context. All these in the accountability and mentor-ship of regular one-to-one meet ups.
For me, that drastically changed when our staff workers were uprooted from the Christian Fellowship. It was a tumultuous time for all of us student leaders, and that kind of mentor-ship simply disappeared: there’s no one around who could/would take up that role to that level as the full-time staff-workers did.
The second great change came when the remaining ex-staff-worker who was in our church left with his family to Australia for theological studies. It’s a good thing. But as a result, I was suddenly left with the immense responsibility of taking over leadership of the youth group in his place, be it implicit or hinted at. That meant that the last solid source of accountability for me was gone, the second big blow.
What happened after which is something that no self-respecting blogger would want to write in his/her domain: I simply ran from my responsibilities and abandoned the youths. I didn’t physically leave them, but I simply did nothing at all to discharge my responsibilities to this church/group, allowing it to die off slowly right in front of my blinded eyes. Whilst there was good that came from it (the older guys/girls stood up after a while to take lead and control the situation, and I’m really proud of them till today), this also serves as a painful reminder of my failings too, till today.
The Tioman trip where I took my Open Water Diver course probably was one of the great turning points for me in this aspect: seeing how even in a “secular” trip context, people like Seating were still fiercely seeking to read the Word almost entirely thoughout the trip, how the whole group showed love to the new friends we met, how P Tai opened up the ground eventually by asking them about the more serious matters whilst still showing great and genuine concern, how the guys all generally did a good job at establishing relationships with the new friends too, how our dear brother JY provided medical help when I started going down with fever before the c.pox outbreak (I ate a hell lot of Panadol I think)…the list goes on, but hopefully this captures the geist of it.
It’s way past time to grow up, and move on.
At least I/we have had the great priviledge of having gone under a mentor-ship for a while, where most people probably have no idea what it would have been like to be Timothy under Paul’s care.
Even if there’s a lack of people to be mentors in here, there definitely are people who NEED to be mentored still.
Even if the same-gender peer accountability amongst isn’t very much there like before, even that might be changing soon for the better. If not, it probably would be hard to find someone though, abandoning the church for the past few years certainly does have its consequence in drifting away from the peers group in general.
The chance to carry on what I abandoned is still there, thank God. But I have to be serious about doing it right, for their sake. That’s also why I will seriously consider mentoring someone younger as suggested, but I will also need to be prepared to give up my life/time/energy for them. Nothing less will do.
Words from Paul the Apostle, quoted by a fellow sister in the work: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”