Over the next few days I'll be sharing what I've learned about youth ministry. My views have changed over the years. I'm sure they may change again. I hope this helps someone get unstuck so they can show teens how to live for Jesus.
Authentic Relationships This is square one. Treat students as adults let them know you love and respect them. You can't fake this. If you want them to let you speak into their life you have to make the effort to show up in theirs outside of traditional church time. This includes being real about your struggles in an age appropriate way. We have a whole policy book that governs these kinds of interactions. Be on social media. Txt like souls depend on it. They do.
When was the last time you cried with a parent? It should be often. Parents should know you have their back. You are their assistant coach. If you are working against mom and dad then you are shooting yourself in the foot. You must establish authentic relationships with mom and dad.