Showing Up During A Crisis
I remember the first crisis I had to face when I first started in youth ministry. I was paralyzed at the idea of going into the home of some students I barely knew whose dad had just passed away. I’ve learned a lot since then. Seeing this article from Kurt Johnston and Josh Griffin confirmed what I’ve learned during the many years between then and now, but also made me wish I had this information back then.
The best way to deal with a crisis is to prepare for it before it ever happens. This article will move youth workers a giant step toward that goal!
Here’s a clip of the article. Read the entire text by clicking here.
Let’s say that someone in your youth ministry was in a pretty bad car accident and it is midnight. How do you respond to a crisis like this? Here are some principles that should translate to this and other situations:
Be the First to Show Up. In a real way, you are a tangible expression of Jesus Christ in the lives of your students. Showing up immediately in crisis assures them of their connection to God and of God’s love for them. They find incredible value in your presence, so show up as soon as possible. Assure them that God loves them and there is hope. If you have any question whether or not you’re welcome, go and be turned away rather than not go and regret it later.
Be Present. When you’re there, make sure you’ve got time to give them your full attention. There’s nothing worse than something that is an all-consuming-crisis for someone else that doesn’t carry that same weight with you. Turn off your cell phone, make great eye contact, cancel other appointments so you can give the situation proper time. In short… give them your full attention.
Be Available. In times of crisis a family or student may make some special requests of you. Do everything in your power to make it happen, even if it isn’t in your talent
Since 1999 Dennis Beckner has been volunteering in the youth ministry at Saddleback Church. Dennis is available for training events, writing projects and speaking engagements. Learn more about Dennis and read more of his work on his blog, www.volunteeryouthministry.com.