Every moment we are with students we are modeling a message for them. Every decision we make in ministry sends a message to the girls about life and about themselves.
We model how to treat people by how we treat them and how we treat the other adults. Do we distinguish between people? Do we use our words to build up or put down? Do we use people for our own gain?
We model how to interact with the opposite sex. What dating or marriage should like in the midst of God’s plan.
We model what they become in life and minstry. We tell the stories that acknowledge their potential not based on their gender or their talents but on who they are as God’s child.
We model that we aren’t perfect but that God loves us and can use us anyway.
I’ll admit that I am not a perfect model (although I can be fierce)! At times, it can be easier to hang out with the students or adults that I most connect and relate to…sometimes I avoid the conversations or people that are “hard”. I’ve been known to use my words for painful humor instead of encouragement. And often times, I am surprised when my students do the exact same thing.
AND YET…the longer I am in youth minstry the longer I get to model to students that despite my imperfections and my sin, God can and does use me. In the same way, he can use them.
This may be the only modeling I ever get to do.