student ministry, youth worker, youth ministry

How Transformation Happens

By Doug Franklin February 18, 2013

Transformation happens because a mature Christ follower takes the time to build a deep relationship with an immature believer. Being intentional with relationship is paramount for a disciple. We must throw off the desire to just have fun with students. We must be willing to risk not being liked in order to get to the heart of the matter.

Below is a list of a few of the finer qualities taken from a friend or mentor relationship.  Think about what the student gains from having this kind of relationship with a mature believer.

1. The Hard Truth: Students get plenty of honesty from their friends, but they need a leader who tells them the truth out of love. They need someone who wants to see the best for them and will be honest with them when there is an issue that needs to be addressed

2. Unconditional Love:  Love is one of the most confusing and often misunderstood words to students. Leaders need to model what it looks like to love unconditionally, something they rarely see from their friends.

3. Humble Honesty: Students will be blessed by having a leader who shares their life story with them, not someone who only preaches at them. Glorify God by being open to tell your story (the story of your life that led you to Christ and some of the troubles you had along the way).  Remember, they already know you’re not perfect, it’s what you do with the imperfections that stands out to them.

4. Compassionate Challenge:  A relationship of sensitivity will benefit the students. Not a leader who accepts bad behavior, but one who remembers what it is like to be their age, and can acknowledge the difficult, unpredictable, and unbelievably confusing time of life the student is in.

5. Selflessness: There is one thing that all students can agree they love above all else: themselves. It is a vital responsibility of the leaders to work at teaching their students the act of selflessness. By putting others’ needs first, leaders have the opportunity to consistently show students that life is about more than just themselves.

6. Value: Students are bombarded daily from every direction about who they should be in the eyes of the world: smart, attractive, wealthy, funny, etc. A leader building intentional relationships encourages and edifies them in areas that reach deeper. Remind students of their worth and how much you and God love them as much as you possibly can.

7. Free of Disappointment:  Empty promises are hard to forget. What if our students had a relationship with someone they knew they could always count on? Leaders who are consistent and do what they say they are going to do enable themselves to be someone who their students can depend on.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More