Hope it Helps: Hand Shake Hi to a Hug Goodbye!

I love connecting with students one on one.  I believe that it’s a huge part of moving students from the weekend crowd into community within the ministry.  When a student feels known by the ministry they feel apart of it.  Whether it’s by a student leader, volunteer or staff member it’s important that they are known by someone.  Here are just a few things I think about when I’m interacting with students.

  1. I want to be super intentional. – I want to make the best of every opportunity I get to effect a students life.  My intentions are to share Christ love for them through our time of interaction.  I do not apologize for my ulterior motive.ha
  2. I make sure they have my attention. – I want them to know that I understand its important that they are here.  So for however long I’m with them I’m completely engaged.
  3. I make sure I’m being myself. – The worse thing you can do is try and be your version of hip and cool.  You will come off super cheesy and weird.  You will be known for being that guy/woman who is super cheesy and to new students visiting for the first time they will tell every other student they know.  So just be yourself.  Remember you are not just representing yourself but you are representing the ministry.
  4. I ask follow up questions. – this just says to the student “I really want to know how you are doing”.  You show their importance/your concern with follow up questions.  Even if they just say fine I move to a specific area of life like school, family or sports.
  5. I always try and greet them goodbye. – If I wasn’t able to find a way to follow up with them in the initial greeting I try to do it in the goodbye after service.  Facebook has made it super easy for me to follow up with students.  If you’re not a Facebook type of person you need to make sure they have some type of information about the youth ministry or a way to contact someone in the future.  Follow up is SUPER important.

My goal is to go from hand shake hi to a hug goodbye.  I never push the conversation piece, I want it to be super natural and not forced.  I know there are some students that will be super closed off and that’s OK. You will probably have to give them some space. Making sure they know you’re glad they are there and exchanging follow up info becomes your goal.

hope it helps.

3 thoughts on “Hope it Helps: Hand Shake Hi to a Hug Goodbye!”

  1. #4 is huge. In a large group setting, you probably won't get into life stories (although sometimes students will open up in a big way when you least expect it). However, by taking an interest in someone's life, you show they care. Great post!

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