This weekend was the conclusion of our “You Own the Weekend” series and it really went out with a bang! They had great stage design, great music, and most importantly, great speakers. One of the speakers was talking about man in crisis. He said that everyone is either about to be in crisis, already is in crisis, or just getting out of crisis. I thought this is a really interesting way to look at it.
As youth pastors, we often see students (and adults) in the middle of a crisis. At this point, they are in survival mode. We have to focus of damage control and how to get through it. Luckily, we often get to lead students to the last part of the process—getting out of crisis. It is here that we get to reflect on what the Lord has done because of the situation and students get to learn about themselves and God. Incredible!
But I don’t think that we put nearly as much effort into the first part. We hardly acknowledge the fact that our “summer” will eventually turn into a “winter.” Because of this, we don’t really prepare beforehand for the upcoming crisis, leaving us vulnerable and ultimately forced into damage control.
This is something I brought up to our student leaders. I told them that crisis doesn’t always mean that parents are getting divorced or siblings are sick, but that crisis can be those problems we run into while we are leading a project. Like when the girl that you delegated a huge portion of the event to didn’t pull through or when your principal continually shuts down any event your Christian club tries to throw. While those might not be what most people would call a crisis, I think that those can lead to a crisis of the heart. Those situations can easily cause someone to react sinfully in their mind, hearts, words, or actions (or all four!). So how do we prepare for these “crises?”
The answer is prayer. Praying that you are prepared with what it takes to handle the situation that you are going to be going through. This weekend, we had our student leaders read Galatians 5 and talk through the fruits of the spirit. We had them think about each word, talk about what scripture has to say about it, and find out why it is an important characteristic of a leader. We then hung up a sign for each fruit around the room and gave them time to walk around and stop at each one, praying that God blesses them with a better understanding of the fruit and that He allows them to live it out.
I think it is a great lesson for leaders in general (not just student leaders). This worked really well with our student leadership team and I think it could be a win with others as well! Hope it helps!