Most youth workers, including me, have been doing student ministry since they were students themselves. Because of this reality, there is often an unchecked issue brewing just below the surface. This is that we often fail to differentiate our spiritual development and needs from those of our students.
Remember being a high school student?
There was a time, and maybe you are still in that time, when you remember being a high schooler and you remember the spiritual journey of that time. This memory is one of the things that makes you such a great youth worker. I remember how great it was when I first started out in student ministry. Whatever I was learning, however I was growing, only added fuel to my growing passion for students and for them to encounter the living God who was rocking my world! In fact, I have found that it is always best to teach from a place of authenticity and personal growth.
But as the years wore on, I began to realize that I was outpacing the spiritual development of my students. I found myself trying on new ways of connecting with Jesus. Lectio Devina, candles, solitude. I found that the more I was growing spiritually, the more I wanted to share my new spiritual growth with my students. But now realized, the more I shared with my students, the more I was losing them.
We have different spiritual needs than our students do: