Have you ever been in a situation where you really did not know what to do or say? Of course you have, you are in student ministry. We all have been (or I promise you will be at some point) in a position where we step back and think to ourselves, “I don’t even know what to do in this position. I don’t think I signed up for this.” We get that random call from a student or parent explaining some heart breaking situation from their student or from a friend that blows you out of your seat. And you are the person they call because you are the pastor, expecting something.
I can write this because I am in the middle of something right now with a former student of mine. I have never been in a situation quite like this, so I’m taken back a little bit. So what do we do in situations like this when we come to them? I thought I would share some of my own thoughts as I go through this process:
I can do nothing- Really though. I cannot change anybody. I do not have this power. The Lord does though and I know he can work through me. I know I can be there and be present, so that is what I am going to do. (Just wrote a full post on this, click HERE to read it.)
Pray- Be praying for the student involved. Be praying for their family. And be praying for yourself. Pray for the student and family’s mind and hearts for Him to move. Pray for the Lord to use you in a way that is effective.
Seek knoweldge- In the past few days I have called a few pastors and volunteers who have dealt with situations that are similar to what I am now. I have seen what they have done and any advice they can give me to best handle the situation in a Godly manner.
I’m there to serve, not to fix- I constantly need to remind myself I’m there to serve the student and their family. It’s not about me saying anything or doing anything, but being there to serve. Sometimes in the midst of craziness, your being there is one of the most comforting things.
Listen- I tend to walk to fill awkwardness with my dumb mouth. When we go into some scenarios we tend to talk too much when we really need to be asking good questions and listen instead. If we look how Jesus handled difficult situations, he was the master at asking great questions. Let us learn from him.
Seek His peace- Finally, we need to seek His peace daily by filling our minds with His Word, lifting all things to Him in prayer, and sitting at His feet in awe and reverence. It is only by His grace, mercy and love that the stresses in our lives (and students lives) can be managed.