It’s The Thought That Counts
By Jay Helms | Mt. Sylvan United Methodist Church | Durham, North Carolina
One of the most rewarding aspects of being involved in youth ministry is showing God’s love in practical ways. Giving gifts, the “assumed” method at Christmastime, is just one way to show love and appreciation to your students. Here are some ideas that may connect even better.
Words. Whether written or spoken, words are food to the soul. Write handwritten letters to your students. Create “Affirmation Awards” (such as “Mr. Selfless,” “Miss Rock Solid,” “Miss Humble,” or “Mr. Fearless”) and present them at a youth meeting. Have your volunteers write out a “What We Love About Billy (or whomever)” letter or poster. Anything that is spoken or written that will communicate clearly of your love and God’s care for your students will have a long lasting impact.
Time. Recently, I took three of our high school guys a movie and then to the Krispy Kreme downtown. They had more fun that Friday night than they would have if they’d done something else with their friends. Bring students a free lunch from their favorite restaurant. Attend one of their performances. Bring them along on a service project. Take them out for dessert after a youth meeting. Play disc golf, or regular golf, together. Everyone craves to have another person pay rapt attention to him or her!
Service. Consider doing one of their chores for them, washing a student’s car, teaching them a skill, helping them find a job, making dinner for them and their family, rebounding for them as they practice shooting basketball, or providing…
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