youth worker sound off: what role do you play in your students' lives?
[ym360 Note: The is the second post in a series we'll run every once in a while, where we bring the voices of youth workers to the blog.] A couple of weeks ago, we ran a contest on our Facebook wall to give away a free registration to Simply Youth Ministry's Simply Youth Ministry Conference. To enter the contest, we asked that youth workers answer one question. The question? What is the main role you play in the lives of your students? The answers we received offered such a great snapshot of how youth workers interact with students. We wanted to share some of the answers online to get you thinking about the role YOU play with your students. Think about the students you teach as you read the responses. Do you agree? Disagree? Which ones do you think speak to your students? Is there a viewpoint that is missing?
Give me a set of pom-poms! I see myself as a cheerleader to my youth group. I am their biggest fan. I see such potential for the Kingdom of Christ in these kids.
In our youth ministry I play the role of teacher/supporter. Over the past couple of years our ministry attracts a certain type of student. Usually ones that come from economically challenging homes or with one parent or no parent in the home. To love and support them in school activities is huge because they don't see it from family. While loving and supporting them giving them an example of CHRIST, others first.
I would like to say teacher, but sometimes I would say listener, or intercessor (before the Throne).
I see myself as a role model for them. I'm real with them so that they can be real with me. I feel awesome when they entrust me with personal things they're going through and I show them how Biblical principles are relevant even today.
That other adult. Some of my youth only have one parent in the home, so it's nice for them to have another adult around that they can rely on!
The most important role to a student is Mentor.
Reliability/trust/teacher - In a church where the youth have experienced a high turn around of youth ministers, it takes time to gain their trust that I am not going anywhere. I stick by what I say I am going to do and have a policy that if at least 2 youth show up, whatever we have planned will be what we do. I have been truly blessed to have a new youth group that is learning to trust and participate. It takes a lot on their part to trust that I have no intentions of leaving in 6 months or a year.
Discipler and prayer warrior.
I would say the most important is certainly leading by example, but that in our walk with God it's ok to make mistakes and fall or stumble. Bottling up things inside and hiding them under the carpet won't let us live a fulfilling life in Christ.
I hope I mean this with all humility! I believe being the vessel through which God speaks and initiates a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important role I fulfill as a student pastor.
Mentor for sure! Someone who is there to pour into them the Word of God, and someone to equip them for their future life in Christ!
To help aid them in reaching spiritual maturity.
I believe my most important role as a student minister is to be consistent. They need to see someone who lives out there faith all the time no matter the circumstance.
Shepherd : )
My role is to be there. Presence is powerful.
‚Äé3 R's: real, relevant, relentless
My wife and I together play the roles of example. We try to exemplify a Godly man and a Godly woman, we try to exemplify a Godly relationship through our marriage, and we try to exemplify a life that is lived for Christ.
Being someone who cares, no matter who they are or what is going on or where they are from.
Someone who is journeying alongside them helping to point the way to Jesus.
The role I relish in the most is that of connector. Connecting them to God, to each other, to His word, etc. It keeps me on my toes because it causes me to have to stay even more connected to God myself.
Introducing them to Christ and showing them how to have a personal relationship with Him. Also, living a life reflective of Him so they can see it in action and see a contrast to the world around them.
I attempt with Gods help to be a true pastor to them
I am the Jedi Master and they are the young Padwans. [Editor's Note: Winner for originality!]
Spiritual example, teacher, mentor... not one specific but a blend of those and others. Help them understand who Jesus is, who he wants them to be, and how they can follow him.
I believe that I play the role of an example to them of what someone who is walking and loving the Lord looks like. I strive to be able to say with honesty "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."
A friend who will love them unconditionally as Christ does us.
Counselor, encouraged and equipper!
Most important is to be someone who listens without judgment. Most already know right from wrong, but struggle with choosing to make good decisions. Lending an ear without judgment opens the door to establishing a relationship and ultimately helping them to get on and stay on the straight and narrow.
Wow! What an incredible sample of how youth workers are playing significant roles in the lives of students. To those who participated in our poll, thank you SO much. It's a real privilege to serve and equip such dedicated youth workers.