That word just about sums up everything I’ve been doing the last 6 yrs – and plan to continue to do. As a public school teacher, it’s much harder to mentor the kids, but as a youth minister I get to do this all the time. I mentor camp coumselors for a short-term period over the summer, and I mentor several others continually throughout the year. It’s not because I feel that I know so much or have so much to offer, but because I want to pour my life and energy into others so they can make an impact in the world. Maybe it’s because I have no children of my own, that I ‘adopt’ my youth and make them my own. But, it’s what makes me happy. It’s a form of parenting. But, without the nagging and excessive punishments! [Although I will give my youth the smackdown if they need it – just ask my boys!]
So, yes – Teaching and Pastoring – those are two professions that dont offer any sort of instant gratification. Not like accounting, or day-trading. In many other professions, there’s a lot of number-crunching and you see instant results, pay back for your labor. Teaching and Pastoring, and even Parenting, are all labors of love. The return on my investment is what my ‘kids’ make of their lives. It will take a life-time to see those results. But, because my youth are awesome, I know they will change the world.