The Mentor Program: Giving of oneself
Social activities and sports are arranged every week for youth between the ages of 12 and 17 in the various local branches of Brunstad Christian Church. Training to be a mentor for others is important for young people involved in these activities.
By: Anne Lea Nielsen
Annie Larsen is a mentor for younger teenagers. She is 24 years old, studies business, and in her spare time she volunteers for the badminton team at her local church in Holstebro, Denmark. She is part of creating a healthy, positive environment for younger girls, and points out that young people in their early teen years need affirmation and relationships built on trust.
“Sometimes it seems like you need to be that one has to be the best, the prettiest, or perhaps the most popular in the gang to get attention. But the intention of the mentoring program is that all of our young people have at least one person who sees them, praises them, and gives them room to be just the way they are.”
“It’s actually not that hard”
“It’s not especially difficult to be a mentor,” says Annie. For example, she sends messages or Snaps a few times a week to her mentees, and sometimes they find things to do together in their spare time.
“I get so much out of doing good for those who are younger,” she says with a smile. “Seeing the girls gain confidence or for example improving at badminton are part of what I love about this,” she explains.
A message that inspires
Annie is a resourceful person and characterizes herself as sure in her Christian faith. She would therefore like to convey this by giving herself and her time to being a mentor. “It’s about being there for them and being interested in them.
“The mentor program creates safe environments for young people to discover their interests and personalities. We also have an encouraging Christian message which has made me personally very happy, and I would like to share this with them.”
Framework for a safe adolescence
She is aware that young people need time and space to find their way during their youth time, and to find happiness in their Christian faith. “I want to be one who shows by how I live, not just with words, that faith has made me happy,” she concludes.
For the past 20 years, BCC has worked actively for children and young people to have a good framework for a safe and healthy adolescence. The mentoring work where young people learn to care and do something good for those younger than themselves, whether it’s teenagers or children, has become an important part of the church’s culture, not only in Denmark and Norway, but in local communities around the world.