Ministry of Presence: Being a Safe Place for Teens by Mary Glenn
Can I tell you a secret?
Will you promise not to tell anyone?
Am I safe with you?
If you’re like me, I’m guessing you’ve been asked questions like these before. Teenagers, like all of us, long to have safe places to be heard, known, and loved.
But what makes students feel safe? And what does “safety” actually mean?
Providing safe places for students results in emotional well-being. Ultimately, reflecting God’s love and care for our students also helps them to feel free to be the people God has made them to be.
Students at Peace
A young person’s well-being is impacted by their environment, including their community, family relationships, and support. Research on well-being encompasses emotional, mental, and physical health as well as social competence and healthy relationships. 1 In other words, well-being is a comprehensive term that indicates wholeness, safety, rootedness, and a sense of being at peace with self, others, and God. Teenagers who know they are loved and have purpose in life feel this sense of wholeness.
But for many, that peace is elusive.