Sometimes small problems are BIG problems to others. I have found this to be especially true in student ministry. A student will call me with a problem and he will be just beside himself with worry and my first thought sometimes is, “Wow, you’re this worked up over this trivial problem?” The answer is yes, they are! I have to remember back to my teen years and something that now seems like nothing was a big deal back then.
It’s important to remember that some times, students know the right answer to solve a problem, they just need some affirmation. This past week I had a student call me in a panic over something and I gave him some advice and without revealing the problem, my answer to him was simple, “Honestly is always the best policy, just call your mom and tell her what happened and I bet it all works out.” I know he knew that. I know he knew that was what he was going to do; he just needed someone to tell him that was the right thing to do.
He made a mistake, he called his mom and told her what happened and then called me back. He was totally at ease now, his mom understood what happened and he didn’t spend the rest of the day worrying about it. This was an easy problem to solve, but I felt good for a couple of reasons. First, he trusted me enough to confide in me what happened. Second, he wanted advice from me, and third he followed the advice!
Sometimes students just need you to be there for them. They need a sounding board, or they need someone to tell them they are doing the right thing. I don’t mind being that guy one bit.
Are you there for your students for little problems and big problems?