School has started, homework loads have begun, Facebook venting is at a premium over the insanity of teachers & your students are nowhere in site thanks to this lovely word…BUSINESS.
It’s sad when the fall hits and you actually anticipate a certain % decrease in attendance because of business—so why not fight it! That’s right…stand against it, and show your students how to fight it as well.
Meet them where they are. Old School I know, but seriously carve out time to meet them after school to spend some time in a bible study or just connecting together. Use local food venues or coffee shops as a neutral location and you might be surprised how many of their friends you can meet. Get this on your calendar and work schedule, pass out flyers at youth group, and show students that spending time with them is critical for you.
Increase your texting and Facebook messages—but add in phone calls. It seems that whenever I contact a teenager to let him or her know they were missed at an event, I usually see them at the next youth group or small group meeting. There is something about a human voice of care instead of a digital screen message that can communicate much deeper to a human being.
Take a youth night and create a plan to show students how to manage time. Help them by giving them an example of stepping into adulthood with their time. Seriously, I am in awe when I sit down with a student, have them replay a day and show them how much wasted time they have in a day that they could use to tackle the necessities—but also have fun. In one 45-minute conversation with a senior I helped him gain 6 HOURS back into his week for him to surf more and be able to commit to a Bible study once a week. Students need mentors to model for them mature decisions in time management.
Don’t guilt them. To be honest sometimes it is so easy for me to ask the, “Where were you last week?” question. I hated the attendance police in high school cause even if my absence was justified they still made me feel terrible. My students don’t need that from me.
Business will tear at any relationship we have, and diminish it. If we don’t help our students fight for the sake of healthy communities, and encourage students to embrace the gospel daily, who will?