Looking for Opinions - Big Brothers type ministry

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Ed B, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. Ed B

    Ed B
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    The first thing I need is pretty simple. I need a name for a new ministry at my church aimed at fatherless boys and young men.

    My current idea is "The James 1:27 Project."

    Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)

    We are about launch this ministry in a more formal way and I am the primary candidate to lead it. We have several boys who have no living father figure and no positive male role models in their families. A little over a year ago I began working with a young man (13 at the time - just turned 15) whose father and mother died when he was approximately 5 and 6 respectively. There has been a significant positive difference in him and his life since I have been working with him and all I have really done is be his friend and include him in my life. It has been remarkably easy to incorporate him in my life and into the life of my family and circle of friends...even though he knew none of us and we didn't know him before our relationship began.

    The church has several other boys and young men in similar situations. We are about to make this more formal and start matching solid Christian men with these boys in a big brother style ministry. I want a name that fits the ministry but isn't in any way demeaning to the ones we are trying to help.


    I am not calling it something as obvious and simple as a Mentoring Program because we have a men's mentoring program that is much broader than this and has a more general mentoring focus and mission,. This ministry is different, so our director or men's ministry wants this to have a unique name.
    If we use "The James 1:27 Project" , I realize that orphans are only 1/3 of the equation in that verse. But in my church we have done pretty well looking after our widows. Our orphans or fatherless children have fallen through the cracks.

    Another naming approach I was considering was to name it after biblical examples where a young man or boy is mentored by a godly man and if the boy was an orphan then all the better. Samuel was raised by Eli, but Eli and his sons are not exactly the types of men we want to model this after. Elisha and Elijah might work (Elisha Project?) but Elisha was not fatherless, orphaned or particularly neglected. Then again, maybe that is a good thing for a project like this where I want to avoid making these boys feel like experiments, or someone's attempt to work for Jesus or do their Christian duty.

    I know we are not inventing this. I have read up on some pretty cool ministries like one in Louisiana for children of prisoners . Your opinions are welcomed and I would love to get links to similar ministries so we can model after successful examples at other churches.
     
  2. preacher4truth

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    God bless you in your endeavors, whatever you decide to name it. This part seems to be your biggest dilemma, i.e. 'What shall we name it?'

    Perhaps it should be this as a major focus: Be aware that such a ministry may attract pedophiles who present themselves as ministers of light while seeking to 'serve' in such a ministry.

    We've had these things happen here recently in some Christian 'camps' and some are now imprisoned for their crimes against children.

    May God grant wisdom as you proceed.

    - Blessings
     
  3. agedman

    agedman
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    Why not just call it "James One."

    Or, you could say "Diego Uno."

    Or, "Jim Jr."
     
  4. annsni

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    We have a very similar program and we don't have a name for it because it's very private. But it's been a FANTASTIC program and I've seen great things coming out of it. We have one guy in charge of it and when any of us know of a boy who needs the program, we speak to him ("we" meaning pastors and/or other "upper" ministry people) and he will arrange a meeting with the boy and his mom/guardian/whoever. He will find out what the boy's needs are and then get a suitable mentor for him. I can't speak more highly of it!!
     
  5. preacher4truth

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    Which would be the exception and not the rule. Correct?

    Such was the same here, a 'guy' highly praised, yet in the end he was imprisoned for abuse. Many were fooled by him.

    All spoke highly of him and right now he is behind bars.
     
  6. Ed B

    Ed B
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    Point taken and I have been thinking about that and at least one other potential unintended consequence. Background checks are not a guarantee but I have already mentioned that they must be done. Also, there needs to be some accountability and support for the men who step up to do this. Consider the situation where a vulnerable low-income single mother who has a real tough go at life suddenly has a strong male figure come into the life of her child who is dependable and genuinely cares for her son. perhaps one time out of a hundred there is temptation to make something more of that relationship. There are risks, but these kids need to be loved and ministered to while we mitigate those risks.



    It seems simple and silly but the name is just the first action item now that Church leadership is ready to pursue this ministry in an official way.


    Thanks for the response and I do take the possibility of a pedophile very seriously.
     
  7. annsni

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    What would be the exception and not the rule?

    I'm not speaking highly of one guy - but the whole program.
     
  8. Thousand Hills

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    What about the Timothy Project - "Let no man despise thy youth", Paul was obviously a mentor and thought highly of Timothy, and he spoke of his mother and grandmother (Lois and Eunice) but there was no mention of his father if I recall. ???

    Or something with Titus 2, where the biblical example is given for older believers to encourage younger, etc.
     
  9. Ed B

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    I like James One.

    The whole chapter builds up to the 27th verse and all of it is helpful to the person who would feel called to this kind of ministry. Plus it doesn't place a neon light around the word orphan even if ministry to fatherless children is our initial focus.

    Thanks
     
  10. Ed B

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    I thought about Timothy but I didn't pick up on the mention of his mother and grandmother without mention of his father. That might be a very good choice. I think it should be on the list that I present.

    Thanks
     
  11. preacher4truth

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    I understand Ann. It's the guy who does the wrong things, not the program. If you have a great program then it's the exception and not the rule. Unfortunately in this area we've had several lately who have abused children, from Christian camp workers, to pastors and 'youth pastors'. It's shameful.

    - Blessings
     

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