The definition of courage is “the ability to do something that frightens someone.” We often associate the word with big, grand gestures of bravery, like a soldier running headfirst into the enemy’s battle lines, fearlessly ready for whatever comes next. This is right (and inspirational), but it doesn’t help us much for the daily emotional, cultural, and social battles students face today. Before we run headfirst into the comment section battle on that opinionated Facebook status, let’s take a look at what courage really looks like for us as youth leaders, and how it can make a difference in students’ lives.
To be courageous, we need to first stay grounded. As Christ-followers, there’s nothing more important than regularly reading God’s Word and being in prayer. In Ephesians 6, Paul describes the Word as our armor to go into spiritual battles. Without it, we are susceptible to the enemy. If you haven’t already, make it a habit to be in the Word and in prayer every day. It takes courage and intentionality to put the truth of Scripture over the “truth” of the world. Challenge your students to do the same.
Keep showing up for your students even if they don’t always show up for you. It takes courage (and a little bit of humility) to continue reaching out, checking in, and supporting students when it’s not always reciprocated, but trust that God is using your efforts. Students go through so much change and transition, and you may be the only person they can count on. Be there and point them to Jesus always.
The key to winning any battle is to be aware of where and how the enemy is trying to attack. When we fail to remain aware of what’s happening in culture and in society, we lose the ability to help students where they truly need it. This does not mean we need to go into the dark corners of Tik Tok (we have to protect our own hearts, too), but it does mean we should make an effort to understand what students are fighting so we can help them fight it.
We are praying for you as you navigate the daily battles of students’ lives. Fight courageously!
Director of Soul Exercises