The final section of When Kids Hurt is by far the most applicable and useful for all adults. It is more straightforward than the sections of Clark's previous book, Hurt. It is where most of the value will lie for readers of Hurt looking for more. The section is simple: ten things we can do to helping hurting kids. Those things can be boiled down even further to a simple axiom: Be aware and get involved.
Often when a youth worker steps away from professional ministry, they step away from being involved in the lives of young people. Perhaps this is necessary for personal reasons, but as people concerned and knowledgeable about youth struggles, we are compelled to get involved. Not because we are paid. Or because we have a child in the youth group. Or because it will look good on the resume. But because we have been called to care, to speak the truth of Christ into the lives of hurting teenagers. This is not easy work. But together, we can stem the tide.
Questions for pondering and responding:
- What is the most difficult thing about working with teenagers? How do you cope?
- How are you challenging yourself to engage more fully in the lives of the young people in your care (family, ministry, etc.)?