If you only pay attention to mainstream media outlets, you will only get a distorted, narrow, and negative image of young people from urban communities. This powerful story of Taharka Bros. Ice Cream in Baltimore is a great example of young leaders from an urban community turning their passion and concern into positive action that will not only benefit themselves but others also. What excites me even more about this story is the entrepreneurial creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance they demonstrated to bring into reality their dream of impacting their community through ice cream. I hope this inspires you...
The future of Taharka Brothers, purveyors of ice cream and social change, hinges on the success of a crowdfunding campaign. If successful, they will be able to grow their business by launching a “Food for Thought” ice cream truck, a literal vehicle for change. With a looming deadline, and what seems like an insurmountable goal: $28,000 in 29 days, Taharka Brothers takes to the streets to raise awareness, inspire, and turn out some supremely delicious ice cream – voted Best in Baltimore.
If you have been working in ministry or the community for any amount of time it is not uncommon for God to work in ways that are not necessarily mysterious, but are definitely unexpected. Recently, I was facilitating a youth business training with Greater Works Vocational Discipleship Program for a group of at-risk youth in Atlanta.
I had my lesson plan laid out to teach them how to start a purpose driven business. However, I found as I was going through my curriculum, it was not connecting with them. I tried different "trainer techniques" to get them to engage, but nothing seemed to work.
It wasn't until I started focusing more on asking them questions than teaching content did I start to make a connection. I began inquiring about the problems they saw in their communities and the causes they believed were the culprits.
The energy in the room skyrocketed when I became the student and I opened myself to be taught by them. At that moment I had two choices: 1) stick to what I had planned to teach them, or 2) become a sponge so that I could better determine how best to reach them based on what they were facing. Fortunately, I chose the latter.
So what began as a youth entrepreneurship training became a millennial focus group for community transformation. It was very revealing what they saw as the issues and causes in their own communities, as well as some of the potential solutions. The top 4 issues they listed were:
That's why we need more Joshua's to lead the younger generation to their promise land. Sometimes it's easy for adults to talk at or over teenagers without really talking to them to hear their perspectives. With the complex issues that we are facing our communities these days, it behooves all of us to seek wisdom from whatever source God may bring it.
You can learn more about how Kinsman Community Ministries is working with youth to transform their communities through social enterprises at www.mykinsman.org/youth.
Tim Elmore, one of the foremost experts in youth development, has written a powerful article, Seven Shifts as Generation Z Becomes Generation Y. In this article he explains what's happening with the "next" generation of kids as they morph into adulthood, and shift away from old realities into new ones. Here are a few of his points...
These are some great points for those who want to understand and serve those in the millennial generation.
Read the entire article at: http://growingleaders.com/blog/seven-shifts-as-generation-y-becomes-generation-z
I recently had the opportunity to have a repeat appearance on the Success Edge Podcast hosted by Tyler McCart. This is a great resource for young or new Christian entrepreneurs.
In a recent blog post, Fearlessly All In for Our Youth, I discussed how God was moving me in a new business and ministry direction related to dealing with millennial leaders. In this podcast you will hear about how God has taken me on a whole new adventure in the marketplace that I never thought or dreamed would be a full-time assignment. Hopefully this will inspire and motivate you to be willing to take that new direction that God is calling you toward. Enjoy!
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