We all want to feel cared for and valued by the significant people in our world. The students you and I lead are no different.
If you and I are going to be effective in ministry as leaders, we must responsibly grow the relationships in our lives. Ministry is not about special effect lights, smoke machines, cool t-shirts or events; but rather ministry is about people.
Below are a few suggestions and tips on how to improve/ add value to your relationships with students:
1. Be in prayer.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will truly help you see them like Jesus sees them: with eyes of compassion and love.
- Pray for them, that God will continue to guide, protect, and bless every area of their life.
- Pray for opportunities to grow your relationship with them.
2. Be intentional.
- With your time - we make time for the things that are important to us. If we are too busy to spend time with people, are we really leading anybody? I’m not saying you have to spend an entire day with them, but having lunch, going to a movie, or even talking with them 5 minutes after service can make a huge difference in their lives.
- With your words - The Bible says, that in our tongue/speech is the power of life and death. Use your words to edify, encourage, and build people. Contact them frequently via facebook, text, phone, email, etc… just to say hi or even pray for them. Don’t become someone who just calls people when they need something. The world today says focus on yourself, and don’t worry about anybody else; while the Bible commands us to love our neighbor.
- With your ears - We can learn so much about others just by listening to them. Because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. I don’t think it’s an accident that God designed us with two ears and only one mouth, maybe so that we could listen the double that we speak. When we fail to listen, we shut off much of our learning potential. Listening establishes trust.
3. Be consistent.
- Become genuinely interested in the people you are leading. Somebody once said, “We can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
- Dr. John C Maxwell says, “Leaders touch a heart, before they ask for a hand.” In other words, get to know who they really are.
- Make others feel important. I heard a definition of success that really impacted me, which was: “Success is leaving people better than how you first found them. That people would say after spending time with us: ‘I really enjoy him/her’, ‘They encourage me’, ‘I feel a lot better now.’”
In conclusion, months and years from now the people we lead will probably not remember our sermons and PowerPoint’s but they will remember our actions towards them. Let us be found faithful with God’s most prized possessions, which are people, whom He has entrusted into our hands. I don’t expect you to put into practice over night everything you just read, but start with one thing and watch how your relationships go to the next level.
Joey Salazar is an evangelist that God is using powerfully to reach people all across the nation. Called into ministry at a very young age, he has committed his life to passionately delivering God’s Word to both youth and adults from various walks of life. With his ability to communicate in both English and Spanish, Joey Salazar challenges hearers with a creative, upfront, and anointed message. Joey and his beautiful wife, Zerelys, and two children reside in Mission, TX.