students crave attention, pursuit chart, youth ministry, student ministry

This Post Is Not About Miley Cyrus

By Doug Franklin August 29, 2013

It’s about what Miley Cyrus wants and for that matter what every student in our ministries want; attention. I don’t think Miley and her handlers were thinking about an artist expression of talent when it came to the VMA performance the other night. They were thinking, how do we get as much attention as possible? How do we get everyone to talk about us for the next few days and weeks? Attention is a powerful thing for celebrities, its how they measure success, but for our students its how they measure love.

If we give students attention, they will blossom like a flower in water because our students are starving for it. Just think about it; thousands of students fighting for a few people’s attention, acting like gold fish fighting over three crumbs of food in a Japanese restaurant’s pond. What if we give out our attention like it was going out of style? What if we heap it on; asking questions about their lives, discovering what they love and what’s important to them.

To do this we would have to leave our own desires behind; dumping some of our programs and schedules. We would have to re-train our adult volunteers in how to ask questions without talking about themselves, and how to follow up each question with another because all we want to do is shower students with attention.

What if we gossiped about how great our students are because we actually knew what makes them special? What if parents heard that you would going around taking great about their kid?

How about this: take a wall in your office and write down the right side of the wall all your students names. Across the top of the wall write the names of all the adults that are involved in your ministry. When an adult builds a relationship with a student, place a big red dot in the area (or square) where the adult’s name and the student’s name cross paths. Challenge your adults to have as many dots on the wall as possible. Make it your mission to see every student have multiple dots across from their name.

If it’s attention they want, let’s give it to them. If attention will make them feel love, lets shower them in it. Students will never listen to you unless they know you love them. Once students are in a relationship with us, we can challenge them in their relationship with Christ. We can give them leadership of the youth ministry and we can hold them accountable as followers of Jesus.

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