Anthony D. Bobo, Jr. (Senior Associate, The Joseph Factor Group) walks into the gym at New Chapel Baptist Church gym in Camp Springs, MD and the young men are ready for basketball workouts. He calls the young men to center court and says, “Young men! It’s great to see you all this morning! Who is going to pray us in?” Most of them look down, but one of them raises his hand and offers up a prayer. They then discuss goals, why they are important, how to set them, and each one sets three goals and shares them with the group. After the “T.A.L.K”., they go straight into their workout.
If you came to the New Chapel Baptist Church gym every Saturday morning you would find this same series of the events. This is a part of 4 Point Play, Inc. (4PP) a vision of Rev. Duane McKinney, Senior Pastor of Encounter Life Church, Hillcrest Heights, Maryland. Rev. McKinney, a sports advocate, established 4PP as he saw the need for a youth sports organization that incorporates mentoring, thought provoking action, healthy lifestyle, and community awareness.
The Joseph Factor Group partnered with 4PP to develop the mentoring piece of the program. The T.A.L.K. weekly mentoring sessions, in line with the 4PP mission to “build the mind, body, spirit and community through sports and mentorship.” These 20-minute sessions led by community inspirational leaders are guided by the following acrostic:
T- Tell- Personal sharing and stories that will engage the young men.
A- Affirm- Encourage the young men in the possible.
L- Love- God’s love is expressed in all our intentions and interactions.
K- Knowledge- Give the young men something that maybe they did not know, or a different way of looking at what they know.
“We know sports get our young men’s attention.” Bobo explains, “...but we are irresponsible if we only teach them to dribble a ball and not engage their minds to think about the community around them. The obligation they must show is to have love in community and be what God wants them to be.”
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THE YOUNG MEN IN ACTION!