Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders What Students Really Need from Their Youth Leaders

What Students Really Need from Their Youth Leaders

Students crave the attention of an older adult who takes an interest in them. Just go up to a middle school student and show interest in his life, and you will become one of his best friends. High school students may not be that quick, but the principle is still the same.

So how does this impact our student ministry? We know students need something from older, godly adults, but what is it exactly they need? I believe there are a few things students need from a youth leader. This can be from the student pastor or a volunteer in the ministry.

Someone whom they can follow toward Jesus

Before you get all “super spiritual” on me and say students don’t need to follow a person, they need to follow Jesus, let me share with you Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 11:1. Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Paul knew he was following Jesus in such a way he could tell others to follow him. This wasn’t a prideful suggestion but a humble recommendation of a man who knew Whom he was following. Students need youth leaders who are following Jesus in such a way they can look them in the eyes and say, “Follow me.

Can students follow you and find Jesus? Are you truly pointing them toward the “finish line”?

Someone who really loves them

Students are looking for someone who will accept them for who they are and love them through their struggles. Students in our culture are struggling with addictions, relationships and faith. They need youth leaders who will spend less time judging them and spending more time loving them with a Christ-centered love.

Don’t get me wrong—we don’t have to approve of their sin, but we need to hate the sin so much, we need to love them in such a way as to help them overcome whatever it is in their life. I am always encouraging youth leaders to not be afraid to get down and dirty with their student’s struggles. Students need youth leaders who will do just that.

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Austin McCann is currently the student ministries director at Christ Community Chapel (Stow Campus) in Stow, OH. He holds a Masters of Arts in Religion from Liberty University.