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During my first year in full-time youth ministry, a student approached me with a major crisis. When I was in Bible college, I never imagined that I would be counseling a student through this kind of crisis…this soon! When I was sitting in counseling class, and in my homework, and during my discussions with fellow-students, something like this was sort of like a unicorn – you never imagined you would encounter one. But here I was, without much preparation, face to face with a student who had her concept of God totally destroyed, and she wanted me to help her process it all.
As I have gone back to reflect and process that interaction, there are a few things I want to mention. The first is, thankfully, is that God gave me the wisdom to counsel her through the situation appropriately. Her situation was not “fixed,” but I am confident that her relationship with God is growing and becoming healthier. I praise God for that. But He also helped me to avoid some things that could have compromised my ministry to her.
Moment - Others - Things - Student - Crisis
Reflecting on that moment (and others), I’ve dug out five things to avoid when a student comes to us with a crisis:
Don’t forget to pray throughout the entire process. The power of God is more effective then your brightest ideas – 1000 times more.
Shock - Awe - Situation - Something - Lot
Don’t display shock or awe. Don’t act as though their situation is something to be feared or studied. They are not a unicorn. They are a normal human being who is experiencing a lot of pain. They need assurance and confidence. It is fine if you don’t have all the answers; they didn’t approach you because you do. They came to you to feel the love of God and to process their pain.
Don’t tell everybody. The more...
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