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What is the appropriate response as a youth leader to a student who confides something to you?

Discussion in 'Children and Youth Ministry' started by NeedtoSurrender98, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. NeedtoSurrender98

    NeedtoSurrender98 New Member

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    I'm female, 18, training to be a youth leader, and a male student-10/11th grade-confided in me a past sin that he insists he'll never repeat. When he told me not to tell anyone, I felt I should've said "I won't tell anyone as long as it isn't something that would be better for another person to help us out with, and if I do need to tell someone else I'll ask you first" which is what my pastor mentioned in a sermon once. But instead I stuttered "O-of course," my first failure of the night. Then after he told me, I wanted to suggest to him to bring this up with a male youth leader, but instead I spazzed out again and just asked him if he'd already talked to a male youth leader about this, which he said "Not yet, but I'm never going to do (sin) again, so." I also missed my chance to minister to him, encourage him, etc, but I felt that the issue would not be appropriate for me as a female to discuss with him. I guess the question is, what is the appropriate way for a youth leader to respond when in a situation like that with a student that is of opposite gender? Same gender? Close in age? Far apart in age? And do I follow up? Any advice would be great
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
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  2. “Paisios”

    “Paisios” Unworthy servant of God Supporter

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    I don't have a good and brief response right now, but I will think and pray about it, and come back later with my thoughts when I have time to respond more fully.

    I have had to deal with a few difficult situations in which teens have confided things to me which I struggled with discussing with others and how to deal with such.
     
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  3. NJBeliever

    NJBeliever Newbie

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    If he is still alive, you have not missed your opportunity! I would seek him out. The Scriptures tell us:

    If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:8-9.

    I appreciate his "assurance" that he won't commit the sin again but if your spirit is telling you this is something that needs counseling, than that's what he needs. I also give you props for recognizing not all issues should be discussed with someone of the opposite sex. You should tell the youth exactly how you feel and insist he discuss and REPENT in a conversation with a male leader. And if you feel bad about promising to keep it a secret, apologize to him and ask that he initiate the reveal of the sin but insist on the discussion taking place.

    We are not charged to be friends with children we minister to. We are to shepherd them. And much of that mean having difficult conversations. Pray for God's guidance and the fruits of the Spirit but make sure you obey God above all. God bless.
     
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  4. Neckelehamiah

    Neckelehamiah the One with the fire eyes Supporter

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    Always follow up, yes. Is this student in any danger? In danger of being harmed by others OR himself? If he is I would suggest attempting to contact a parent- or any figure of authority you feel could be of assistance to the two of you. With the information you shared, there is no way to know the best advice. We need more detail. I sense this makes you uncomfortable. Have you tried talking to your church's senior pastor about this? Really any church elder would be just as efficient :)
     
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  5. zay

    zay praise Him for your testimony!

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    First, just want to encourage you. For him to feel comfortable enough to reach out to you speaks volumes on how God is using you!

    As your pastor stated, I would follow up in a general way and let him know you've been praying for him. Ask the young man if you can get a trusted male youth worker or pastor involved. It's a golden opportunity to remind him of the importance and solace that can be found in accountability.

    Also, it's a great chance to encourage him that many times what we go through is for our growth in Christ and our testimony. That's why it'd be great to engage with a fellow brother. If he still insists on coming to you, I would get with a male youth minister or senior leader privately later on and let them know, which would be wise in such a sensitive situation. Then, you all are working together as a team so that this young man gets the shepherding he needs without the feeling of mistrust.

    Pray for the Lord to give you wisdom and the words to speak and then walk in faith. No worries, He's going to give you what you need to say.
     
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