Appreciated the post over on VolunteerYouthMinistry.com today about being a sought after counselor. Thought Dennis had some good insight and thoughts, here’s a clip of his thoughts, head there for the rest:
– Longevity in ministry is gold. Stick it out and you’ll be the go-to person eventually. Even if you don’t have your own teenagers, there’s a great amount of relational wisdom to be gained by spending a few years working with students. Your beliefs will be solidified or revolutionized by what you encounter. When you go to counsel a student, you’ll come from the perspective of observational or hands-on experience rather than tentative theory.
– Sharing your story lends credibility. When I talk to students about their issues, I relate something from my own life that shows I understand what they’re going through. I’m careful not to dominate the conversation with my stories, I just share enough to relate and build trust. The key is to not only share a couple of facts, but the emotions that I felt when I went through what I share. Doing this during a regular conversation builds the trust needed to become their go-to person for counseling when they’re ready to open up on a deeper level.