Mamma & Poppa B
Even "Ma & Pa" can nurture "young'ns"! Shepherding can be very simple. It can mean just being there when needed, hanging out with the twenty-somethings, being yourself. Just because of being older in the Lord, or just older in age, my wife and I have had several sets of spiritual “young’ns” in our life.
First Young’ns: In our twenties, just married, we opened up our apartment on Friday nights just to hang out. On the first night a nurse from a local nursing school, a blind boy, and “Butter”, a young man on methadone, all three total strangers to me, knocked on my door, but out of the group of kids that came over the next few weeks became the nucleus for a Christian Coffee staff and lasting friendships.
Second Young’ns: When we moved to the country, we opened up our farm house on Fridays for a Bible study, and eventually fixed up the barn for hayrides, making cider, and showing movies off of a screen made up of six queen size sheets sewn together and hung on the side of the barn. I remember when “Jumping Jack Flash”, as we called one young man, knocked on our second floor bedroom door in the middle of the night to seek help from us, and “Jakie” who we found drunk on our porch whom we learn to love like one of our kids.
Third Young’ns: Now as parents, it was a “natural” for kids to hand out at our house with our children, many just to swim in our above ground pool. My small dining room stuffed with young musicians having their own “worship” jam-out.
Fourth Young’ns: With my children now in their twenties, I would hand out with my son at a 20-30’s church group function, and those attending got to know us, even inviting us to their weddings.
Throughout the years we have had the honor of being called Mamma B & Poppa B by four different groups of youth, all who look up to us because we cared, because we shared, and because we were just ourselves opening up our lives, willing to give of our time, while making each one feel safe and loved. That is shepherding in its simplest form!