I’m always trying to find ways to take conversations with students to the next level. It’s great to make a little small talk once in a while, find out some basic details, but the goal in youth ministry is to get students to open up.
Recently I’ve started using a really simple line that usually leads to some great conversations. First, here’s some background. At least in our context, a typical greeting you’ll hear is, “Hey, how are you?” This is great, but most people don’t really care about the answer to that question. Because of that attitude, students have learned to just come up with a standard answer to the question. “Good, you?” “I’m doing great!” “Can’t complain!”
I want to blow that expectation out of the water, so here’s how it works. I might go through the normal routine:
Me: “Hey, how are you?”
Student: “I’m good, how are you?”
but here’s where things get different:
Me: “I’m doing great. But how are you really?”
More often than not, this opens a door to great conversation. That simple question lets a student know you actually care. You actually want to know about their life. You want to know what’s going on. That kind of thing can open the door to amazing conversation that can lead to drawing students closer to God.