How can you, how can I best support our youth who face enormous stress and pressure? On a daily basis, they are confronted with sickness, violence, death, and uncertainty. Many are expected to assume adult roles and make adult decisions prematurely.
The pressure to excel to satisfy adults, be it coaches or parents, etc, takes the fun out of many activities. Competitiveness and the giving of grades have taken over many extra curricular activities and events. Coupled with this is the lack of security. Even as simple an act as going to school is no longer safe. A 13-year old dies after being shot on a school bus on the way to school. you can read about it here.
This was not our world, but it is theirs, the students with whom we work. And there is so much more. It means we cannot use the same standards to assess them as would have been used on us. It also means that we need to be compassionate in our attitudes toward them, loving them with God’s love.
We do this while pointing them and seeking to help them connect in meaningful ways with the God who loves them so much that this God send Jesus Christ for our sins and our salvation; this God who walks with them in their life and through their stress.
We need to be loving presence. We need to listen, care and support, and pray.
How do you support the youth in your ministry?