Suicidal Thoughts: When A Teenager Asks You Not To Tell
When the Topic of Suicide Comes Up in Small Group
You have been the Small Group Leader for a 15-year-old girl since she was in middle school. It took a long time for her to let her walls down, but she’s finally started to let you into her life. You tried a million different things, but the only thing that worked was time. The longer you were in her life, the more she trusted you.
Then one day she texts you and tells you she is having dark thoughts. Thoughts that scare her. Thoughts of hurting herself. Thoughts of potentially ending her life.
Three Things to Remember When Talking to Middle Schoolers About Forgiveness
When a student chooses to open up with you and be vulnerable about what they’re really feeling inside, we as Small Group Leaders need to be prepared to take the needed and necessary steps to keep the hearts and lives of those teenagers we’ve been entrusted with safe.
A GREATER STORY: FIND YOUR VOICE
Let’s be honest: Forgiveness isn’t easy for any of us. Letting go of and moving on from hurts caused by others in our lives just doesn’t come naturally. That’s why we need God’s help to actually do it!
Keep in mind that while this is a difficult choice for so many of us to make, it’s especially challenging for middle schoolers. Why?
5 Vital Things Youth Workers Should Keep in Mind When Talking About Bullying
In this episode of the Radio-Podcast, A GREATER STORY, Sam Collier is interviewed with Reach Records Recording Artist, Tedashii, about his latest book: FIND YOUR VOICE! They are interviewed by Ashley Bohinc (Orange) and Dave Adamson (North Point Ministries). This episode is sponsored by and presented with the “Think Orange Podcast”.
What Your Church Needs to Know About Generation Z
If you’ve spent any time in youth ministry over the last decade (if you’re reading this, chances are you have!), then you don’t need us to tell you that bullying is a hard-to-handle hot topic in the lives of most students. You’ve probably dealt with your fair share of it in your own ministry context. And even if you haven’t yet, a quick Google search or scan of the news will show you just how much bullying is impacting the lives of middle schoolers around the country. It’s a trending topic in their world, and because of that, it’s something we want to talk about in an environment that’s safe and healthy for students—an environment like our youth ministries.
When addressing the topic of bullying in your youth ministry, here are just a few things to keep in mind:
Engaging Middle School Students in Large Group
The story of Gen Z is one currently being written—one that will continue to morph as they continue to grow up. We can’t predict their defining moments or the key cultural and historical movements that will shape their story, but that doesn’t mean they are unknowable. In fact, maybe our best bet at understanding where Generation Z is going is to take a glance at where they come from.
After all, the characteristics that define a generation tends to be a reaction to, not a reflection of, the generation that came before them. If this is true, then it’s safe to assume that Gen Z is a product of their Gen X and Millennial parents.
So what does that mean for Gen Z?
Navigating the Awkward in Middle School Small Groups
Have you ever been in front of a room full of middle schoolers and wanted to throw something at them? Have you ever felt like they make it simply impossible for you to teach?
If you have, then you’re not alone. Because there’s something about being in a room full of middle schoolers that leaves you wondering, “Are they even capable of listening?”
The truth is a room full of middle school students requires a lot more room management. While you can let middle schoolers in a Small Group setting have a little more freedom, middle schoolers in a large group space need a lot more structure in order to avoid total and complete chaos.
The Biggest Difference Between Recruiting Middle and High School Small Group Leaders
Have you ever walked into a room full of middle schoolers, and they just stared at you?
Or avoided eye contact?
Or pretended not to notice that you walked into the room?
Or immediately looked down at their phone?
Or started whispering?
Have you ever tried to talk to a group of middle schoolers that you didn’t know very well?
You asked a question, and nobody wanted to be the first one to answer.
And if they did answer, it’s with only one word.
One thing I would guess most youth pastors have in common is that they don’t have enough volunteers. And when you don’t have a ton of volunteers, you can’t really be too picky about who you choose to lead your students.
Or can you?
At a conference this past year, I was asked this question: “What are the qualities and characteristics you look for in a middle school Small Group Leader versus a high school Small Group Leader?”