Empowering Youth with Nick Petro
Nick Petro is a motivational speaker, author and mentor. He travels around the world empowering youth by sharing a message of hope and asking them, “What is your Life?” Petro was interviewed by Risen in 2011 and talked about what prompted him to start Mpowered Youth and what his message is to kids who are struggling with self-esteem.
“It was in Maui when I was sitting at a retreat for investors and real estate brokers, people that owned their own businesses, and there was an exercise where you close your eyes and envision what it was that your life would look like if you could do anything…if there were no limitations to what it was that you wanted to do. And I had been in real estate and mortgage for a few years, but prior that that I was in youth ministry, teaching, coaching, and speaking. When I closed my eyes-20 minutes into this four-hour exercise-I knew exactly what it was I wanted to do. It was to create this tidal wave movement of youth to realize their purpose and to actively give back to their community. I wanted to do that by fostering a mentorship program where we can align and train young adults and really be in their lives on a weekly basis, challenging them and holding them accountable and helping them fulfill what they want to do in their life and what is God’s plan for their life.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Petro opens up on his message to kids that seem to struggle with their identity or have low self-esteem.
“I would ponder the four words, ‘What is your life?’ For those who struggle with self-esteem issues, take an inventory of the gifts and talents that you do have; don’t concentrate on things that you don’t. There is an acronym that I made up called CHRIS – compassion, honesty, respect, integrity, and self-control. That acronym represents the five key values that make up our character. Without having an identity of who our character really is we are going to flounder, or continue to compare ourselves to other people. My message would be, understand what your life is by identifying those five key values that make up character.”
Be inspired. Take time this month to slow down and reflect. It might mean blocking of a couple hours, a whole day or maybe even an entire weekend. Take your Bible, a book, journal and leave the phone or laptop at home or turned off. Whether you have an important decision to make or just need perspective, slowing down and spending concentrated time with God might be just what you need. If your church or ministry has a retreat coming up, sign up for it. These are often great opportunities to get away from the business of life and slow down and spend time with God. If you aren’t able to go away for a whole weekend, block off a day or a couple hours where you can have some uninterrupted time. Try not to schedule anything that way if you go past your time, you are not rushed.
Focus on what you have. Whether it is a physical item, talent, skill or character quality, it can be easy to get caught in the trap of comparison. Rather than focus on what you don’t have, focus on the gifts, talents and things that you do have. God has entrusted each of us with time, talent and treasure. Take time this week to write down all of the talents and treasures that you have. Think through how you are using them and if there are other opportunities that you have yet to take advantage of. Pray and ask God if there is something that he wants you to do, start
Be an encourager. All around us are people who are hurting, have low self-esteem, or just need some encouragement. It can be something as simple as writing a note to a classmate or friend on how they have been a blessing to you or it might be doing an act of service for someone. Our words have the power to bring life to others. Take time this week and pray about someone that you can encourage. Be open. God might want to use you to encourage someone that you don’t even know.
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