Students are Like Sponges

Posted on Posted in Strategy

One of the reasons I love working with students is that they’re like sponges.
Students soak up everything they see and hear happening around them.

Even when we think they aren’t listening or watching, they can still tell us almost everything we just said or did!

But this quality that students possess isn’t automatically good. Sometimes it works for them; other times it works against them.

It works against them when they are exposed to harsh words and harmful actions from classmates, coaches, or parents. Also, the power of media – websites, television shows, movies, and music – shouldn’t be minimized on this point. That exposure can form negative patterns in their minds that inform their perception of themselves and others for years to come.

It’s very hard to undo the damage that is done to a student who has digested large doses of harsh words and harmful actions.

A student’s sponge-like quality works in their favor when they’re around people who speak words and model actions that are marked by faithfulness, compassion, joy, forgiveness, and love.

In other words, when we speak and act in a manner consistent with the claim of Christ on our lives, then our words and actions combine to form a powerful combination that demonstrates the goodness of God to the students in our churches.

Because students are like sponges, let’s do what we can to ensure that the words and actions they soak up at our churches are positive and Christ-like. We’ll all be better for it.


Point to Ponder:

What are the messages that students soak up at your church?

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Trevor Hamaker (DMin, McAfee School of Theology) is an author, adjunct professor, and youth ministry coach. He helps youth pastors see their potential, develop their skills, and reach their goals.

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