After my high school small group met a couple of weeks ago, I got a text from one of my guys and later he and I talked on the phone for almost an hour. He had an issue and he didn’t know what to do and didn’t know who to turn to for some advice. I was able to answer his question and give him some advice and pray for him in about fifteen minutes and the rest of the conversation I realized that he had some other issues that is he is not quite ready to talk about, but I feel confident that when the time is right he will come around for some spiritual guidance and help.
I had to fight back the urge to ask him, “What’s really bothering you? TELL ME NOW!” I came close but it dawned on me that he is not ready yet to talk about a big issue that is going on in his life with his family. If you push too hard you run the risk of a student not being comfortable in talking with you. If I had known him longer I probably would have pushed it. But this is a student that I’ve only known since July when he was in my cabin at high school camp.
However this is not to say, I just rolled over and didn’t say anything. I let him know that I can tell there is more on his mind than what we just talked about, and I let him know five simple words. “I’m here when you’re ready”.
I think for students going through a tough time, half the battle is just knowing that someone is there for you, someone cares and someone will be there to support them during turbulent times in their life.
As a student ministry leader, that’s what you need to be in a student’s life. Doug Fields just wrote an awesome post on his blog about small group leaders from a “Dad’s prospective”. (Check it out here)
Sometimes you’re just the guy who is there for them when they need some extra help.
If you’re a small group leader, are you that person for your students?