This is something I learned in Youth Ministry… It’s a really simple thing that I think we need to make sure we think about as we talk to new students and existing students within our ministry. We need to be aware of this especially with new students. We as youth workers, whether you are a volunteer or paid staff member, must own the conversation with students.
- Alone if they are by themselves.
- An outsider if they come with a friend.
- Nervous about coming to a place where they don’t know anyone.
- Weirded out by being approached by people who they don’t know.
- Awkward because church can be an awkward place to an unbeliever.
- Anxiety about what to expect because they don’t know what to expect.
So we as volunteer leaders and paid staff must be four things:
- Be confident – You are there to greet, meet, connect and pray with them. You need to own it.
- Be assertive – Don’t expect the student to drive the greeting or conversation. When you approach the student they will expect you to lead the greeting. Tip: Don’t expect the student to ask any questions because they won’t.
- Be focused on the student – You intensify everything I listed above when you are distracted with other things while you are talking with a student.
- Be attentive – Know when it’s time to end the conversation.
hope it helps