Somewhere around twelve or thirteen, I stopped telling my parents everything that was going on in my life and through my brain. Despite the consistent, loving influence of my parents, I needed some independence. Of course independence at that point in my life simply meant that I would seek advice from people who were not named “Mom” or “Dad”.
So I looked around my life for other people I could get advice from. Beginning in sixth grade, I talked to my parents less and others more about problems I was facing or questions that I had. In junior high, I went to Chris and Ken. In high school, I would go to Matt and J.D. These four men were not teachers, coaches or pastors. They were simply ministry volunteers who loved students like me.
I was in a small group led by Matt and J.D. for several years and the main verse for that group was Proverbs 27:17. It says, ““As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” The goal of our group was to help each other become more dedicated followers of Jesus. I remember J.D. praying with me on the phone, in the car, or anywhere else it became apparent to him that I needed prayer. I also remember Matt challenging me with hard questions and confronting me when I made stupid mistakes.
Your student is most likely looking elsewhere for advice, just like I did. One of the primary reasons we have small groups for students (ABS, Tribes, etc.) is to provide a place for them to connect with caring leaders. We have amazing adults who love students. They are there to encourage, to pray, and to challenge your student.
If you want a Matt or J.D. investing in your student’s life, make sure they are plugged into a small group.