Ask your students the following. Listen closely. The responses will give you crucial implications for your ministry.
Think about all the people you know, school, neighborhoods, work, family, teams, choirs, bands, church, where ever you get to be with others.
I won’t ask for names or details, just a show of hands.
How many of you know someone…
- whose family is going through changes because of divorce or separations?
- who struggles because of over use or abuse of alcohol or drugs?
- who is grieving recently because of the death of someone?
- who lives with more depression than others?
- living without enough means, even homeless?
- that you have had a conversation with who has considered suicide?
- struggling in a bad relationship?
- treated poorly by others? Bullied?
- maybe bullied because of their sexuality?
- self-harming, cutting?
- who has an eating disorder?
- who has had a conversation with someone thinking about suicide?
We could go on with many more issues.
Now… “How many of you wish you knew how to help?”
You are all ready daily talking to people in tough life situations. I want to reassure you tough situations are a normal part of life. Listening, caring conversations is what is called ministry. Now, I want to give you real skills for for knowing how you can help!
If your students are like most, lots of hands will go up. Peer Ministry Leadership is about caring, welcoming and affirming people. PML will not teach participants how to fix or solve issues. It is going to teach how to be a friend who doesn’t walk away or ignore people when life’s issues get tough. It is also going to teach ways for guiding friends to resources and resource people who can help.
We want to create a ministry culture that says all are welcome. This is a place of grace. This is a place where no matter what life is bringing, be it great joys or devastating hurts, all are excepted. We are a safe place, with safe people, having safe conversations. We intentionally listen and support each other.
That kind of culture will not come through talks or preaching. It will come by learning and reinforcing real life caring skills. Peer Ministry Leadership is about giving skills, the skills for loving others, because Christ first loved us.(I Jn 4:19) These are the skills for, “Going and doing likewise.” (Luke 10, Good Samaritan Story)
Peer Ministry training is not just another event, or the newest church fad. Peer Ministry Leadership is a long lasting, culture shifting, purpose producing, life-giving and even life-saving way of equipping people for an every day, everywhere and every relationship practical way of living ministry.
Let’s begin a plan. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org