Our team just finished up a book called, “Way of the Heart” by Henri J. M. Nouwen. The book brought up a lot of interesting and challenging questions for myself. The biggest one being, “Am I actually believing in students, or am I just holding them back?”
In every ministry, there are always “those” students. The students that are hard to love. Whether they are annoying, obnoxious, etc., they are the ones that push us and help us learn to love better, to put it nicely. But sometimes, it gets to the point where we only see those students by their behavior. We pigeon hole them into being “that” person. When we only see a student as obnoxious, they can’t do anything but be obnoxious to us. When we are forcing our perception on them, we are holding them back.
Bottom line, we can’t actually believe in students if we don’t abandon the negative perception we have of them. As pastors and mentors, we need to help students find out who they are in Christ, help them see themselves as Christ sees them. If we are only seeing these students where they are at now, we can’t look at where they could be, making it impossible to bring them there!
Take a second today to think of a few of those hard-to-love students in your ministry. Pray that your start to see them how Christ sees them. Pray that you stop holding them back, and start believing in them.