When it comes to speaking to an audience of any kind, there is no substitute for credibility. Tonight Benny Nowell spoke to a group of teens at church regarding his ministry to homeless children and teens in the Boulder, CO area. We have quite a gamut of both middle school and high school age students in our church building on Wednesday evenings. Well over half of the teens we host every week come from very economically disadvantaged homes. I am fully aware of their home situations. Many of them are far less than ideal. Every week we hear compelling stories from these kids regarding their situation.
I would like to say that we have all of the answers in serving their needs, but that is not true. I have more questions than answers. Every week it is a battle just to deal with security for the entire group. We hire an off duty sheriff’s deputy to assist, but even at that it is still difficult. We continue to tweak our plans and try new strategies. But it is still a discouraging venture at times. Volunteers reach their limit and burnout. But Benny had the interest of our teen guests tonight.
As he showed them slides via power-point of some of his friends on the streets that he is striving to serve, it got their attention. I don’t think it was a shock value type experience. I am convinced that the kids sensed that Benny loves the people he is serving in Boulder. THAT had their attention. You could have heard a pin drop in a room with over 50 teenagers tonight, because they knew he was genuine.
Of course I would like to think I am genuine too. But I don’t have cool tattoos, an even cooler beard, and ear piercings that cause the teens to envy. And I don’t work with homeless teens everyday. So Benny gets a hearing. And that is good news. He impressed on those kids that they are worthy human beings. I appreciated his contribution to their lives tonight. As an instructor, I need to be reminded, credibility is everything.