Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
   A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

I have a high school student (very active) and a leader to two other boys. I want to bring that leader to God so he can be a good influence on two other boys and of course for himself. This boy loves football and he comes to church, but not regularly as he should. If and when he comes, I believe the main reason are his friends and not God. I think his friends in school are a bad influence on him. I can see it from his facebook. The other two boys are both deacons, but I am afraid that we are going to lose them. There is an activity started in the church every Wednesday and I believe that will be a good chance to use that time to do something to get him involved.

The initial step in working with a resistant child or youth is building rapport. Sometimes servants become overly zealous in trying to "save" the individual that they forget that they are dealing with a real person and not a project or just a service. Take some time to set aside the list of "what to do" and get to know the young man better on a personal level. With any doubt, you will discover that he possess depth and beauty when given the chance to allow you to discover him. Servants mean well and are usually sincere when they say they "love" their Sunday school kids, but in reality, it usually takes time to really like those whom you are called to serve on a real personal level. This often creates an inner struggle of subconscious guilt and frustration for the servant who feels that he/she cannot reach that individual. Possess the utmost patience during the process. The child that is the hardest to love is the child that needs the most love. Remember, the child is the goal, not the servant's agenda.

As for your concern regarding whether this child is a negative influence on his peers, try to lead the youth in general discussions and exercises concerning assertive training in addressing the challenges of peer pressure. Group the students to work on projects with positive role models and develop other strategies in bringing the best out of every child by helping each one to develop a strong, healthy, and spiritual concept of self. At this age of adolescence, it is very important to have a sense of belonging. That is why sports are a great outlet for this need and energy. If this young man is befriending rowdy youth at school, it is probably because he feels that they readily accept him and that he is not genuinely accepted in the church community because they think they are "good" and he is "bad". He does not yet possess the wisdom to understand his role in the cycle of these dynamics. Nevertheless, when he is assured of your sincere acceptance of him, he will comply more easily and can then move forward in the right direction at his own pace.

Home | Ask A Question | Search Q&A