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Top 10 Basic Needs of Students

I have been working with students for over 20 years, and believe me when I tell you youth culture has changed. I will spare you all the culture changes I have seen over the years, but I do remember when it was cool to have the latest Swatch watch, and some students would even have more than one. We have gone from Swatches to iPhones, iPods, and to actually having to schedule time to hang out with students. Although youth culture has changed, the needs students have seem to not only be timeless but also cross all cultural boundaries. In Matthew 9:36 it says, “When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Jesus knew and understood the needs of the people he was ministering to, from the leper he reaches out and touches to challenging the rich young ruler to follow him.

I believe that to affectively impact a student’s life we need to understand the basic needs they might have. As we become aware of the needs of students we will recognize the importance to of investing in their lives.

Top 10 Basic Needs of Students

 

1.  To Know That Someone Sincerely Cares

As youth workers, how do we demonstrate that we care? Each student is in a unique place in life and we have to find ways to show that we care.

2.  Significant Spiritual Guidance

Students question their own faith and need to have you base their questions and faith in reality. I believe the best way to do this is through pointing students to Gods road map for life “The Bible:” The Bible is full of real life stories that the Holy Spirit can use to soften even the hardest of hearts and closed minded individuals.

3.  Adults Who Tell The Truth

Students need role models and other adults who live what they say, people of integrity. As  youth workers we need to be whole heartedly committed to following Christ as a life style. We need to ask ourselves how is my daily life reflecting Christ. In other words we need to live a life worth following. In 1Corinthians 11:1 Paul tells the Corinthians to “follow me as I follow the example of Christ.” Our lives should be an arrow pointing to Christ.

4.  To Be Challenged To See A Greater Purpose In Life…

…beyond their own needs, wants, and desires.  In other words students need a cause and purpose bigger than themselves. For too long in youth ministry students have been recognized as objects of ministry and we need to take them from being objects to being partners in ministry. Our culture has very low expectations for teenagers and I believe they want more. I see that every summer when I lead teams with Royal Servants. I would like to recommend a book that is about a teenage rebellion against low expectations called “Do Hard Things” by Alex & Brett Harris.

5.  Unconditional Love And Acceptance

They don’t need the message of “if you change, then I will accept you.” We must love and accept each student for who they are and as God brings them to us.

6.  To Play And Have Fun

Many students today don’t know how to play and enjoy life. They need you as a leader, to create experiences. Creating experiences gives the opportunity meet them where they are at and also breaks down many of the walls that students build to keep people from getting into their lives.

7.  To Feel Significant-Not Trivialized Or Part Of An Obligation

When we go out of our way and invite them into our lives it communicates that they matter to us. Once a month my wife and I invite students from our youth group to our house for “Dinner at the Burnams” and they love it. We don’t do anything huge just eat together, hang out, watch a movie, and play games but most of all we are making them feel cared for.

8.  A Mom And Dad Who Love Each Other As Well As Love Them

This is why it is so important to remember that youth ministry entails family ministry. God can use us as youth workers to minister to the parents as well. In my years of youth ministry experience I have learned that understanding a students family situation helps explain how, why, and who they are right now.

9.  Feedback On How They Are Doing-Both Good And Bad

Whether students realize it or not they need boundaries. Discipline and encouragement is key for them to develop in a healthy way and it needs to be done with the “truth” being “spoken in love.”

10. To Be Talked To-Not At

It is important that we talk with them about things that are important to them. When we do this it allows us to get into their world of what they are feeling and living in everyday life.

Bottom line Youth Ministry is about relationships with: Christ, peers, adults, and family members.

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A Parents Perspective

STUDENT TESTIMONIES

Evan (RS Student)

If anyone is thinking of Royal Servants you should do it for sure. So many people are famished for the...
2013-10-31T18:38:52-05:00
If anyone is thinking of Royal Servants you should do it for sure. So many people are famished for the truth, peace, and love of Christ. Not only can you see their life change but yours will as well. God will and can use you if you allow Him. So thank you Royal Servants and thank you Lord! – Evan

Abby (Student)

I had an amazing time on the Poland team in 2013! God showed me how to trust Him in all...
2013-10-31T18:39:36-05:00
I had an amazing time on the Poland team in 2013! God showed me how to trust Him in all circumstances and give up control of my life. I met some amazing people and I will never forget it. It was an awesome experience! – Abby

Matthew (Student)

Royal Servants has giving me the opportunity to serve others, share my faith, grow deeper in love, experience a new...
2013-10-31T18:40:27-05:00
Royal Servants has giving me the opportunity to serve others, share my faith, grow deeper in love, experience a new culture, find a new understanding of scripture, have a family of teens that are on fire for God and fall in love with my Father who loves me. I feel prepared to take what I have learned from this summer of service and begin a lifetime of ministry. – Matthew

Devin (Student)

I now have a much greater confidence in talking to strangers about Christ. – Devin
2013-10-31T18:41:10-05:00
I now have a much greater confidence in talking to strangers about Christ. – Devin

Phoebe (Student)

During this summer, I have fallen more deeply in love with God and have begun the life-long journey of getting...
2013-10-31T18:41:56-05:00
During this summer, I have fallen more deeply in love with God and have begun the life-long journey of getting to know him more. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be on a Royal Servant team this summer, and I am so excited to see how God uses this experience in the years to come. – Phoebe

Kevin

My son went with Royal Servants to Sierra Leone Africa this summer. While in Africa he was able to share...
2013-10-31T18:21:58-05:00
My son went with Royal Servants to Sierra Leone Africa this summer. While in Africa he was able to share the gospel with people in cities and villages. I really appreciate this. Some trips are just work projects. Not with Royal Servants. The students are trained to share the gospel and have many chances to do so. My son grew spiritually, was able to deal with sin issues in his life, and grew in his confidence to share the gospel. I would strongly encourage anyone considering going on a trip with reign to send their child. It is not for the faint of heart, but it is for those who are looking for an experience that will help your child grow to be more like Christ. – Kevin

Paula

The Royal Servants program is time-tested and mother-approved!! We've sent two sons (ages 15 and 16) overseas with R.S. with...
2013-10-31T18:23:09-05:00
The Royal Servants program is time-tested and mother-approved!! We've sent two sons (ages 15 and 16) overseas with R.S. with faith in the Lord to protect and keep them under the watchful guidance of the Royal Servants staff. We have not been disappointed. No lost passports, no lost luggage, no lost boys!!! They came face-to-face with the lost world and came home with great appreciation for their blessings and a level of awareness that makes them even more responsible and faithful at home!! – Paula

Karen

I can highly recommend Royal Servants to anyone who might be considering sending their son or daughter. Royal Servants took...
2013-10-31T18:23:56-05:00
I can highly recommend Royal Servants to anyone who might be considering sending their son or daughter. Royal Servants took a real personal interest in the safety, well being and spiritual growth of our daughter. God was so faithful to provide the needed funds, so quickly, through our generous and loving church family. Our daughter had only to pray and to ask. As parents, we said many times, "We feel so blessed that our daughter had this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! – Karen