Board Of Directors: Creating One For Your Son (Part 1)
What would you have done as a teen if your parents had created a personal Christian board of directors for your life made up of people you both respected? Sound like a good idea? I know I wish I had it. And now that I have seen the fruit of it in the life of my two sons I am even more convinced of the power of being intentional about a life style of discipleship and mentoring. But, how do we as parents make this happen? Words like discipleship, mentoring and rites of passage are impressive ideas and important but can seem overloaded and nebulous with no clear set of steps to implement them. How can the ideas of a personalized Christian rite of passage that results in both the teen being recognized as a Godly young man or woman with more privileges and responsibilities AND having a personal board of directors for the teen be wrapped up in a program? What would we call it? How much time will it take in my busy schedule?
According to Jewish custom, when I was 12 years old I began training for my Bar Mitzvah. I spent a year learning to read Hebrew from the Torah. It was special point of transition in my life where I was recognized as a young man. Although I cannot go through the entire history of the Bar Mitzvah (see history), it has always meant the time when a young man is recognized as participant in proper adult Jewish culture. Later in life I converted to Christianity. So I was confronted with this issue when my oldest son turned 12, and I wanted to give him a significant point of transition. However, it needed to have a Christian basis. Bar Mitzvah means “Son of the law” or one who is old enough to participate in Jewish culture. What I wanted for my son was in essence a “Christian BarMitzvah” ™ (We even put the words together to symbolize the unity). I wanted a time of transition that brought together both the Old and New Testament and solidified my son’s unique identity and destiny from God. As my co-founder, Tom, and I discussed the idea with other fathers from our church, it gained great momentum and they were eager to participate.
The next bunch of posts or so are going to go over in detail how to successfully create a personalized Christian rite of passage that results in both the teen being recognized as a Godly young man or woman with more privileges and responsibilities AND having personal board of directors.