How to Fix Your Students

Student Ministry can be rough. And sometimes it can be really, really rough.

It’s been really, really rough for us lately.

There are times when you feel like you’re battling the entire world. There are times when you feel you are vying for your students’ attention, like you’re in competition with the other 3498 things there are for them to do on a Friday NIght. Truth be told, you probably are. But, there are times you feel you’re winning that battle, and times you feel you’re losing. As their attention drifts toward the world, spiritually things start to fall apart. Eventually, you feel like you’ve completely lost control. At least I’ve been there. Honestly…have you ever looked in the mirror and asked yourself, “How am I going to fix this mess?”

Just being transparent here…I feel like we’ve been in a losing cycle lately.

It has seemed as if we were dealing with problem after problem after problem. Our young people weren’t focused, they weren’t living Godly, they weren’t getting involved in the services, and they weren’t even showing up for Youth Service. Then, suddenly, almost magically, it turned around. So I’m here to help you. It’s not something we’ve never done before; it’s just that we recently re-discovered it.

So, here I am, to share with the entire blogosphere how to fix your students.

You don’t. God does.

I know we all know that in theory. But when it gets intense, we all have the propensity to try to fix it ourselves. We turn on “attack mode” and start trying to attack every problem that pops up:

  • Oh, they’re listening to worldly music…I need to address that in my next sermon
  • They aren’t showing up to Youth Service…let’s put a rule in place that they have to meet certain attendance guidelines to go on trips
  • They’re getting way too physical with each other…we need to have split sessions
  • They aren’t dressing right…time for a holiness series

I’m not against any of those things. We’ve done some of them. But in all of that…what have we done to address their heart?

There’s only one way to address their heart, and that is to connect them to the power and presence of God.

When I took over as Youth Pastor for our group, it was a mess. We were dealing with a lot of crazy things. In general, we were in a much tougher spot then than we are now. So, as I explained in my last blog post, we taught them how to pray. It’s amazing how quickly praying young people will turn things around!

So if your students are struggling, find a way to get yourself out of the way. Instead of trying to address every problem, focus even stronger on being led of the Spirit, and teach your students to be led of the Spirit as well.

Teach them to pray. Teach them to worship. Teach them study. And most importantly, be the example of these things to them. And pray FOR them.

We aren’t God’s gift to Student Ministry; allowing us to be part of the process is His gift to us. He made them; let’s trust Him to fix them.

 

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