Wording is Important

So, my first weekly Student Ministry Thought was sent via email on May 24. I decided I wanted to type it up and post it here so it’d be easier for me to keep up with what I’ve posted. Just for grins and giggles I’m going to include the text from the entire email.

Hey Youth-Working Adults…

I know this probably seems very random, but hang with me until the end. For the past year or two I have had a burden to do more to minister to you guys, the adults that are investing in our students, but have not been able to see much of that come to fruition. I could come up with all kinds of reasons, but the main one is time. It is so hard to find time that we can all get together and chew on things regarding Student Ministry. Over the past week or two I’ve been thinking of ways I can slowly, but steadily give you guys nuggets of information regarding Student Ministry, youth culture, etc. that would help each of us in ministering to the students God has placed in our ministry at Central. One idea I came up with is to send an email once a week with a random thought: it may be an article on youth ministry/youth culture, or an idea for us to try to implement over weeks to follow. I will try to be sure that whatever I send will be valuable, and not excessively wordy (like this email probably will end up). But I do ask that you guys try to find time to read it and chew on it (not just skim every other line). Remember, just because Central may do student ministry well, doesn’t mean we are doing it to the best of our ability… let’s challenge ourselves to keep improving!

This week, I want us to consider how we word things… One thing I have had to retrain my self to do is when I see a student that has been gone for a while to transition from “Where have you been?” or “What’s your name again?” to “Hey, I’ve missed you and we’re so glad you’re here this week!” When we ask ‘where have you been?’ or make quasi-sarcastic comments about a student hardly ever being here, we are trying to convey that we notice they’ve been gone and we feel like they need to be here; however, what students often times hear is a youth worker condemning and judging them to the point that sometimes students who are sporadic at best aren’t excited about coming back because they know they’re going to be picked on for being gone for so long. When we welcome them with “So glad you’re here… we’ve missed you… how has dance competitions/vacations/ball tournaments been?” we are communicating that a) we’ve noticed not only their absence, but their presence and life outside of church & b) we want them here any chance we can have them.

Let’s make it a goal for the next few weeks to be intentional on how we choose our wording… “I’m so glad you’re here” goes a lot smoother than “Who are you again?” ha!

Thanks for all you do to serve the Lord through loving his students!
-T

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