10-Second Tip: Don’t Let Them See the Fear in Your Eyes

Jacob Eckeberger
June 30th, 2016

At the NATIONAL YOUTH WORKERS CONVENTION, we stopped youth workers from all across the U.S. and asked them to share a 10-second youth ministry tip.


Never, ever let them see the fear in your eyes. Always be in control, always be in charge, but let God take care of things for you.


Part of maintaining control in a situation is to be a calming presence in the midst of the tension. It can be hard to stay calm when a student acts up during an event, when someone gets hurt at camp, or when the van breaks down on the way home from a mission trip. But if you get flustered or panicked, your students and leaders will react in a similar way.So this is how I think about it:

When a duck is swimming, they look fairly calm on the surface of the water. But underneath the surface, their feet are paddling pretty hard.

Here are a few ideas for the next time you need to maintain that calming presence while working quickly toward a solution:

1) Plan ahead for possible emergency situations.

Talk with your adult leaders about the steps you should take as a team in a variety of situations. That way your leaders already know what to do when a student is acting out, when someone gets injured in a game, or when you get a flat-tire with 15 people in a van.

2) Take a few deep breathes.

If you can’t think straight when you’re panicked, then your decisions might make the situation even more difficult than before. Taking 3-5 deep breathes will give you just a quick moment to calm your thoughts and think through the best solution.

3) Create a quiet and safe space.

If the situation involves a group of people, do everything you can to have them stay quiet so that you can talk to them about a solution with a calm voice. If it’s just you and one other person, lead them to an area away from the other students where your calming presence can help their emotions de-escalate.

4) Don’t blow the situation out of proportion.

When you’re in the midst of a tense situation, it usually feels like a bigger deal than it actually is. Keep everything in perspective by only involving the people who need to know, and let your calming presence encourage the rest of the group that everything is going to be fine.

Join us this year for the National Youth Workers Convention in Cincinnati, OH for way more tips and ministry ideas from the 50+ seminars and training opportunities. Register early for NYWC to save BIG: NYWC.COM.

jacob-eckeberger_200_200JACOB ECKEBERGER is the Content Manager at Youth Specialties, an itinerant worship leader, the spouse of a church planter, and a long time volunteer youth worker. You can find him blogging about social media and digital strategy ideas at JACOBECKEBERGER.COM.

Jacob Eckeberger

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.