Troubled Youth Background Reading

crisis.jpgI’m spending part of this week working on preparing for a class I’ll be teaching in January on ministering to troubled youth.

Part of the background reading for the class is The Youth Worker’s Guide to Helping Teenagers in Crisis. I read through it and took some notes that should help me in class.

Here are some of my notes on the book, if you want to read them.

Some of the more interesting things from the book are:

  • Crisis is a self-defined experience. Something that is a crisis for me may not be considered a crisis for you.
  • Facts are the raw material for solving a problem. Get them from as many perspectives as possible.
  • On any given day, “Who we are” as helpers in a crisis might be more important than “what we know.”
  • If we’re going to be helpful, especially to young people, we have to be adept at making person-to-person relationships.
  • Empathy is feeling your pain in my heart.
  • Few young people ever have the experience of being really listened to by an adult – someone who takes the time, energy, and focus required to fully understand.
  • Ordinary people felt safe around Jesus. He treated them like people not projects.

There are a ton more important things in the book. It’s a good read, and is really useful in youth ministry. I would highly recommend it. If it were in Spanish, it might be the a textbook for my class on Ministry to Troubled Youth.