NETology part 3: Adult Coaches inspire Life Choices by Dan & Suzie Potter
She sat on our couch in her last year of high school. She had to make some significant life choices. Suzie began asking questions about her desires, abilities, and what she could see herself doing in 5 to 10 years. The young lady only wanted to help people. Suzie, being a nurse, encouraged her to go on a medical missionary trip and see if the medical field would be a good “help” fit for her. Today this young lady is pursuing a career in nursing.
Suzie was a strong adult support on the right side of this girl’s NET. As an adult coach, she was a consistent voice that helped remind, re-ask, re-focus and reassure this young person on her journey.
The “NET” is a young person’s small network of same age peers and adult friends, who together surround, support and regularly re-launch them towards a life authentically lived for Jesus.
Every successful NET has an adult, who has been invited into the young person’s life, to coach and mentor them through some of the most difficult, life-shaping years they will ever encounter. These adults, as described in James 1:19, are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. They aid their young friend with motivation, direction, and support, as well as sharing with them their life story, and giving them Biblical guidance and experiential wisdom.
Steven Spielberg, in speaking about this kind of adult, said “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves”.
The coach has so much to give to the young person and the older adults possesses so much more life experience than the younger, yet the average age of a mentor is only 20 to 24 years old. Many older Christian adults have told us, “I just don’t understand these young folks”. Please realize young people don’t understand themselves either! When you (an adult), spend time with a young person, you gain valuable generational intelligence, you bridge the generation gap and you become a positive voice to a young man or young woman.
Psalm 71:17-18 (NIV) gives adults this challenge: “Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come”.
It is time for churches, camps and youth ministries around the world to open the doors for adults to step back into their community roles with young people. Statistics say that 43% of all mentors come from religious organizations, and that is good. But imagine if 43% of all Christian adults coached a young person. That would be great! Can you imagine the strength? Can you imagine the connection? Can you imagine the local and global impact? We can!
We have written “NETology” to motivate and equip Christian adults to partner with the next generation. It is our role as adults, to help every young person under our care, build a strong NET with paralleling peers and one or more adult coaches. The benefit is that they might maintain a life authentically lived for Jesus as you journey together.
For the past 30 years, we have journeyed with thousands of adults, helping them hold the NET for the next generation. And the young lady who sat on Suzie’s couch a few years back, is now actively helping young people by being part of their NET. Faith passes from generation to generation through real life connections.
Next week we will look at how NETs are built and how they grow your community’s generational intelligence.
If you have not read the beginning of NETology please click on:
We would love the opportunity to coach, consult or bring a special NETology course to you or your area.
Written by Dan & Suzie Potter November 14, 2016