By Ken McCoy / JumpStart Ministries Charlotte, North Carolina / email@example.com
The phone’s ringing woke me from a deep sleep. Jeannie answered it and mumbled, “Yes, he’s here,” and handed the phone to me. A quick glance at the clock told me that this call would be bad news. I was right.
One of the kids in our youth ministry had used a shotgun to end his life.
What happened in the next few hours and over the course of the next several weeks seems as though it all happened in a dream. I went to the home, not knowing what I could do to help. My youth ministry partner came too – together we consoled, prayed, and cried with the parents. Once the body had been taken away, we did the gruesome task of cleaning the bedroom.
The whole experience discombobulated me. I was in over my head, and I knew it.
I wasn’t the only one affected. The whole ministry felt out of whack. Kids, parents, board members, school personnel, and pastors had to come to grips with what had happened, what could have been done to prevent it, and what we would do to make sure it didn’t happen again.
Since you work with teenagers, you’ll encounter hurt kids and you will experience tragedy. I’m not sure you and I can be adequately prepared to handle any crises or situation – after all, we’re youth leaders, not social workers or counselors. We need resources we can turn to during those difficult times to keep from being too discombobulated. This edition of Youth Leaders Only could be a start.
We’ve found some of the very best resources for youth leaders dealing with hurt kids and crisis situations and will include excerpts from them on our Blog in the coming weeks. We have included a “Where To Turn” resource in this PDF that will prove invaluable to you.
All that in addition to the great music-based resources that you’ve come to expect in YLO – Bible studies, worship song chord charts, Heart Of The Artist articles, reTuned discussion guides, Comparison Chart, and more.
Youth ministry can be a tough task. Hopefully these tools will help make what you do more effective!