Do you know who your students look up to? Do you know who their heroes are? Sometimes that can tell you a lot about a student when you know who they place on a pedestal and who they try and emulate. When I was a kid my heroes were baseball players and hockey players. I grew up in Detroit and everyone was a Red Wings fan. I wanted to be like James Bond because he was cool and could get out of any situation he landed in. Batman was cool because of all of his gadgets. My biggest hero was my dad. He was a World War II veteran who served in Patton’s Third Army and even as a kid I knew that was a big deal. He worked hard to support his family and somehow always found time for us kids.
I’ve had students who had rap stars as their heroes. I don’t think singers (sorry, I still don’t think of “rapping” as singing) who write and sing songs that degrade women and drop F bombs make for a good role model. Students that pick certain actors as their role model either don’t know much about them or don’t care that some of them are on their third or fourth marriage, or that they openly live with their girlfriends. I don’t think that makes a good role model.
I would hope that you as a student small group leader are one of their heroes. That students would see that you live your life in a biblical way, that you trust God no matter what the situation and they want to be like you. That they see how you handle stress and pressure and turn to God for help as the way they want to work on their problems and not turn to drugs or alcohol for temporary relief.
Are you hero material or are there things in your life you need to change?