One Thing That Is Not Helping Your Youth Ministry

by: Zach Dickson, CKM Speaker

I am halfway through getting my Master's Degree in Professional Counseling, and it has been going great! It's wild to actually love school. I don't love the sacrifice always, but I love learning what I'm learning. A stand out moment for me so far was in one of my early classes, where my professor asked our class a simple question,

"Class, why are you here?"

As you might imagine, quite a few people expressed a desire to help people. Our professor then went on to say something along the lines of,

"I want to caution you. If your sole reason for wanting to be professional counselor is to help people, you may want to consider another career path."

My first inward thought to myself was, "What do you mean? What is wrong with wanting to help people?!"

Then as the class continued throughout the semester, I began to understand where he was coming from, and I even agree with his statement now. It's true because I don't believe I can ultimately help or change anyone. The truth, in my opinion, is that only God changes and heals people-not me.

It is a prideful day when we, as youth leaders, think we always hold the "magic key" to unlock every student's problem in life. Oftentimes when I'm counseling someone, I find myself not even paying attention to them. Why? Because I am so focused on what I am going to say to that person, because they are coming to me for advice. Also, I don't want to just sit there in silence and seem like an idiot after they get done pouring their heart to me, so I need to have some sort of response ready, right?!? 

What is the one thing that we may not be doing to help our students? What is the one thing that we don't do sometimes that consequently disqualifies us from being able to help that particular student in our youth ministry?

Listening. We're not listening.

Listen to this. If we don't truly listen to our students, we will never help our students. There was a man that a lot of people say was the wisest man to ever live on this earth, King Solomon. That man said in Proverbs 18:13

"To answer before listening—
 that is folly and shame."

Friends, let's make sure that we're actually listening to our students.


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