In youth ministry you will come across all types of demeanors and personalities. Every once in a while you have a student who you have trouble with. Some of the students will be extremely introverted and rarely if ever open up to the group. Some of the students will be chatterboxes, and you’ll rarely if ever be able to get them to be quiet. As a youth leader it is important to remember that you are dealing with children to young adults and their actions have not always a representation of themselves but rather their upbringing and their environment. Here are just a few personalities that you will come across in your youth ministry experience.
Let’s start off with the students who like to talk at all times. Sometimes you’ll be teaching a Bible lesson and they will just be yapping away. These are the same students who will take control of a group discussion, which is not always a bad thing. But when they are talking at inappropriate times they can become a distraction for you and the rest of your students.
To deal with students who like to talk a lot, but that’s the way it is more often than not direct confrontation. If you’re teaching a Bible lesson and a student is talking and being a distraction, call them by name and ask if they have any input they would like to share with the group. You can also delegate tasks to the students such as leading a group discussion. As long as the discussion stays on track and doesn’t get out of hand, giving duties to your students is a great way to control that extra energy they have to talk, can make a positive for the group.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you will have some students who rarely if ever open up.
Shy students usually have a lot to contribute, but for whatever reason, don’t feel comfortable opening up in a group environment. You should never put a shy student on the spot; instead give them passive responsibilities to slowly get them to interact with the other students. A few responsibilities that you give to them are taking attendance at the beginning of class or writing answers during a group discussion that the group comes up with on the blackboard. The objective is not to shine a spotlight on them, but instead just get them to start feeling like they are part of the group.
Another very interesting personality that you will come across in your youth ministry is that “Know it all”. Some students have an overabundance of confidence and it shows in how they treat fellow students and also you as the leader. If you are teaching a Bible lesson and make a mistake of some sort they will probably be the first to correct your mistake. The students might also criticize other students or you freely. Be sure to nip this in the bud and contain any out of line behavior. Take the criticism that they may give, and turn it around into a question for the group, this is a great way to cut any tension or stress in the class.
This is just a small cross sampling of the kind of personalities that you will encounter as a youth leader; remember that you are there to lead every single one of your students to a positive relationship with Jesus Christ. Some may take longer than others, and some may need a little more encouragement than others, but respect each and every one of your students, and eventually they will all do the same for you.
To learn more, check out Youth Sermons at http://www.christianteenworld.com/