I went in to get more tattoo work done last week, and I was talking with Mike my tattoo artist (to read more about Mike and my relationship click HERE) about how youth today are so much different and deal with things that we would never have thought of only 5 years ago. It got me thinking about what our youth need from their leaders. Here is what immediately come to mind:
Your time- Ultimately, students are not going to remember the sermons you preached or the lessons you taught, they are mostly going to remember the time you spent with them. Doing life with them. Being there for them.
Your authenticity- They need someone who can be real with them. If they can see how their leader handles life and hard situations, how they handle a social life, how they handle social media, someone who is going to be real with them and genuinely care for them with no walls up.
Your ear- They need someone to be able to go to and talk in a real, authentic way. For some reason they might not be able to do that with their friends and with their family and they need to know that there is at least one person who would be able to listen to them. It’s huge.
Your compassion- When they have your ear, some it it might just be a fun conversation about life while others might be super serious and need your counsel and prayer. Knowing that you care for them as Jesus cared for the people means a ton. even more important, showing them in tangible ways that you do. A text when they missed group or a service, a mid-week call, a note. Knowing that when they do come to you in times of need, they have a leader that show compassion for them.
Someone who can call them out- Whether they believe you or not, they will thank you later for being the one to call them out, in love, when they are doing wrong or going down a way that is not right. Having a leader that cares enough to have that tough conversation is huge.
Someone they can follow- The best leaders model a life in which they want their students to follow. That what a disciple is. Students need leaders who can show them how to live a life for Christ. Someone who will be able to show them what Jesus looks like, to the best of their ability, in real life.
Anything else you would add to this list?