As you work with the kids it is important that you know how to ask the right questions at the right time.
My husband heard the following story from a seminary student.
It was Christmas Eve and Tom (not real name) had gone to serve at the Juvenile Delinquent Center. At midnight there was a midnight mass and the Cardinal was there to serve the boys.
In the midst of the service two boys got into a violent fight and as they were led to cells a Nun got up and followed them. Tom got up to follow too.
“I was so angry knowing how many people around Los Angeles would have loved to have the Cardinal say Mass at their church. The boys had no respect, it was even worse than that. I was filled with anger as I followed after them. I was looking forward to hearing the Nun tear into them.”
“She walked into the cell of one of the boys sat on the cot next to him, took his hand and asked, ‘Who did you lose this week?’”
“The boy began to sob uncontrollably, through the sobs came, ‘My brother was killed in a drive-by this week.’”
“I can get out of my head how important it was to know the right question to ask at that moment.”
Think about the kids you serve – do you react to behavior without thinking through what question will get you to a deeper place with the kid?
Think of the most difficult kid in your after school ministry. Ask the Lord to give you some good questions to get you into the inner kid to know and understand what is driving him. Such questioning might even be helpful to him. He might not be aware of why he feels the way he does, why he does what he does.
We must learn to go deeper than the surface.