You’re a stud! If you hadn’t alerted me, no one @ church would know right now!
Twice this school year, Rene or I have received text messages from students that let us know about a sudden illness and/or hospitalization of a family member. In addition to praying for and with the student, we also passed along the information to our middle school pastor and ministry director, activating intentional care and support from paid staff. But in both cases, one of us was the first to learn of it. Why?
If you asked us, we’d try to stay humble and shrug it off. We would say, “Oh, I don’t know why they picked us. Maybe they couldn’t get a hold of anybody else.” But if you backed each of us into a corner and pressed us for details about our relationships with these students, I think a richer picture would emerge.
For starters, simply exchanging the digits with a student allows them to contact us in the first place. It’s a matter of expedience. But beyond that, kids truly remember the adult who goes out of their way to make them feel welcome and special. They already know we care, so they give us an opportunity to care when their need is acute. Being in the hotel room with them on the retreat. Staying on them to come to Wednesday nights until they do. Treating them like rock stars every time they walk through the door. Of course they’ll let us know when they’re scared or hurting. Trust like that is earned. There is nothing random about it.