student ministry, youth ministry, youth worker

The Thin Line Between Grace with Challenge

By Doug Franklin June 22, 2010

One the toughest skills to master in youth ministry is knowing when to challenge a student and when to offer grace. We all know that students grow by going through challenge and by learning the lessons it has to offer. We also know that students who are challenged beyond their limits can be turned off to a relationship with a youth worker. We are walking a thin line, but we do it because we know that if we get it right we can ignite a student’s heart for growth. A couple of things to keep in mind while challenging students.

1. Challenge yourself first

When we have experienced challenge in our own lives, we understand it better and are more prepared to challenge students. At LeaderTreks we put our staff through three challenging trips before we let them challenge students.

2. You can’t challenge a student unless they know you love them

Build strong relationships before you start challenging students. If a student knows you love them, they will follow you through fire.

3. Challenge the heart
We often challenge students to do things they don’t like; how about challenging them through things they like or even love. The problem with most students is not that they don’t try, its that they never put out a complete effort. Challenge the good things they do so that they will be great.

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