Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders Why You Should Learn to Celebrate the Average Student in Your Ministry

Why You Should Learn to Celebrate the Average Student in Your Ministry

It’s that time of year again, school awards, sports awards and more awards for teens. All of those who care about teens will sit in a chair for what will seem to be the longest hours of your life. Parents will bite their nails, hoping their child will be recognized in some way. There will be accolades based on merit for those who have worked their tails off and got awards based on a GP, or for the most stellar athlete. Then there are those awards like the “principal’s award,” or “most improved” or something of the like that are purely subjective. Schools try to pretend they aren’t. They will tell you these are based on a combination of grades, involvement and recommendations of teachers. It will be said these are the most deserving in the bunch.

Yet, what if these awards are really given to the students who are the most capable of being likable? Think about it. These students are usually not “trouble makers,” they don’t “rock the boat” in any way, they give answers, show up on time and are pretty easy to get along with. It seems to me there is a group of students who always seems to fall through the cracks. They may do well in school, but not the best. They may be a great kid, but not so “great” they stand out to teachers. Somehow the school looks at them with an eye that says, “Is there anything outstanding about you?”

Unfortunately, I watch vibrant students from Junior High lose their luster because they believe the lie that they are simply “average.” It isn’t true of course. The Lord has a plan picked out just for them, their name is written on the palm of His hands and He formed them right from the start with greatness in mind. Sure the world may hold a different definition of success than Christ does, but the last thing the Creator has in mind for any person is “average.” I think part of our role as youth workers is to help students know that the lack of a trophy on awards night does not mean they should settle into the status quo.

How do we do this?
Choose Unlikely Leaders:

The Bible is riddled with stories of leaders who didn’t belong in their position. Moses stuttered, Paul was a murderer, David was a shepherd and the baby of the family, and Timothy was too young. The list goes on and on and on. Our tendency can be to choose student leaders who are leading the way everywhere else too. We pride ourselves that the captain of the football team can be a powerhouse for God as well. Yet, is there a diamond in the rough who would love to step up? Is there a student who faithfully shows up, serves and is trying to pursue the Lord that you need to hone in on? When God picked David as the next King, Samuel the prophet was told, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Let’s do the same …

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Leneita Fix is the founder and lead consultant for Blue Sky/Green Sky Consulting whose heart is : ”Passionate about developing and training youth-oriented programs that are looking to take a generation from surviving to thriving in Christ. In 2012 she will reach the 20 year mark of experience in youth ministry, suburban, urban and rural. Most of her time has been spent in the urban community, living as a neighbor to those around her.