[ictt-tweet-inline]The number one way to invest in your students is to show up. [/ictt-tweet-inline] But, that can mean a lot of different things in one student’s life. Here’s a list of ways to show up in your students’ life. And then some other random ways to invest in their life as well.
1. Show up to their sporting event, musical, play, band performance, art show, black belt showcase, speech, etc. Students love it when you are there (at least in my experience, even if they don’t show it). It’s a great way to show support.
2. Take them out one-on-one. It can be to coffee, to the park, out for a meal; you name it. As awkward as it might be to sit with a “one-word answer giver,” just by you taking the initiative to hang out with them, it goes a long way.
3. Show up emotionally. Be vulnerable with them. Share your life with them. Laugh with them. Cry with them.
4. Be silly with them. Show them your weird side. Pull a prank at camp with them (I mean of course if that is allowed and it doesn’t harm anyone ;)). Have them dare you to do funny things at youth group. Let them scare you. (<<< pretty much every week my girls hide from me in our small group room with the lights off, thinking that they’re going to get me this time. Sometimes a little scream can go a long way. Haha).
5. Send them a text. I’ve found that they respond faster this way. Although, sometimes they do call and need to have a longer conversation. A text could open up that door to having a longer conversation. Or even try shooting them a verse in the morning or an encouraging word.
6. Give them a shout out on social media! Ever since this new group Snapchat has started, it’s been a wonderful way for my small group to connect together (people have their opinions on Snapchat, so if that doesn’t work for you try another mode of social media)! Post a picture of one student or your entire group on Instagram. #wcw #mcm. It could make them smile or laugh because you never do hashtags…
7. Celebrate with them. Throw a party when someone made the team, got the role in a play, got a B on their really hard test, etc. Be excited with them. Make a big deal out of it. They may not get that anywhere else.
8. Take them with you on your regular errands. Grocery shopping is a good one. You have to get it done anyways. Could make room for some good conversations or some good laughs.
9. Write them a meaningful card. Receiving mail is the bomb. Especially when you check for something with your name on it every day and all it is is bills for your parents.
10. Pray for them. Pray for them daily. Write it on your mirror, set a reminder on your phone, put a post-it note it at your desk. Take those prayer requests you do in the group or they tell you through text and actually pray for them. Middle school and high school is a huge pivotal point in a student’s life. (we know that thought).
As a leader, invest in your students’ lives. Whether you are a small group leader, the youth leader, or maybe you’re a student reading this and you want to invest in your friends’ lives. Take one or two of these and try and apply them to your life.
And thank you! From a leader to a leader, thank you for investing in students! You make a difference. And people recognize it!
Becca has done youth ministry in various places across the US and is currently doing youth ministry in Modesto, CA.
© 2016, Never The Same