Question: Do your leaders know what to do if a student comes to them in a crisis? As I met with my Small Group Leaders over the past month, a common desire was to know how to respond to students walking through a difficult season. For this reason, I shot a video to cover our 3 Step Crisis Response. Check it out:
In this video I covered the three steps I want our Small Group Leaders to take when a student approaches them with a crisis situation.
- Clarify – Before jumping to conclusions or dismissing a statement as irrelevant, it’s important to clarify what a student is saying. Use phrases like: What do you mean? Explain that to me. What does that look like? This will ensure you are seeing and understanding what the student is actually telling you.
- Notify – When a student confesses that they are walking through a troubling time, it’s always the best bet to play it safe and relay the situation to a paid staff member. They will help you with your response and determine what steps need to be taken next. As a youth worker, you are a mandated reporter and must notify the appropriate authorities if a student confides that they are in harms way. When it doubt…notify the youth pastor!
- Follow-through – It doesn’t matter if the crisis situation was monumental catastrophe or a momentary unwarranted worry, you will earn the trust of students if you follow-through. In the follow-through you get to be pastoral and regardless of the situation, point them back to the love, grace, mercy, and comfort of Christ.
I hope this helps you think through how you are communicating with leaders and encourage you to steal this video or remake it yourself. Just give your leaders a plan for crisis situations!
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David Hanson: Texas native, Texas Tech Red Raider, M.Div. at Truett Seminary, husband to Ashley, father to Ava, Ben & Madelyn, Student Pastor at The Fellowship in Round Rock, Tx, table tennis (ping-pong) extraordinaire, addicted to coffee. For anything else…you’ll just have to ask.