You reproduce what you’re exposed to. If you want students to walk with Christ and demonstrate the highest quality of biblical care, you need to set the pace by modeling Christian care. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Then why is it so difficult? Because we don’t have a plan. If you want to help students demonstrate care for others, here’s a MODEL to follow.
Mention frequently what God says about caring for others. Jesus is the ultimate example of compassion in action, but don’t assume students know that. Use teachable moments to share these verses: Matthew 25:40, Luke 10:29-37, and 1 Thessalonians 5:11.
Obey God’s teaching by practicing what you preach. This is more obvious than we want to admit, but it must be stated. Your students will reproduce what they’re exposed to, so practice what you preach. And remember, when you mess up-and you will-admitting you’re wrong is a good example.
Define what care looks like. Illustrate over and over and over again. After students hear God’s Word and see it lived out in your life, expand their vision. Tell stories about your experiences of caring for others and what God taught you through them. Have other adults and students share their experiences. Provide as many examples of real-life caring as possible.
Examine your own life. Have someone you trust give you honest feedback about how you can improve caring for others. This is a much more vulnerable step, but the most effective. If you want to help students demonstrate care, you have to be willing to be the prime example. This is built-in accountability to ensure you’re living the life you profess.
Let your students practice. Provide plenty of formal and informal opportunities for them to put into practice what they learn. Take your students out of the classroom and into the world. Mission opportunities abound in your own area, as well as in your church. By now your students have heard the truth, seen it practiced in your life, and gained a greater understanding of what they can do, so let them practice caring for others!
Being an effective Christian MODEL requires more than setting a good example. It involves teaching (Mention), applying (Obey), illustrating (Define), accountability (Examine), and practice (Let). If you apply all five of these steps, you will reproduce care in your students.