Are You Fixer Or Facilitator?

Does your ministry style and your ministry program (and philosophy), really help students to seek God for answers and transformation? Do students rely on you and your ministry SO much that they do not fully learn to depend on God? Is it our goal in ministry to help ‘fix’ students, or is it to facilitate a deepening faith when students navigate through pain or tragedy? Before you stop reading, maybe it’s good to pause and consider how you minister to students when trouble comes their way. If you are like me, I think I am helping them, but am I really?

Last week, Jason Ostrander from Simply Youth Ministry, created some chaos for me as I considered the way I minister to students who are encountering challenges and pain in their lives:

If we are the fixers of students, who are they going to go to after they graduate?

It’s a great question that I believe we must consider as we work with students. So often when students come to us, we automatically search for scriptures, pull out wise sayings from the past, or give advice that has worked on us in previous situations. While this  might seem a great thing to do, are we really helping them to work through a process that helps them to discover truth and healing?

If we try to provide a quick fix to students, it can mean that they have missed out on an important process of owning God’s unique working in them.

It’s hard to watch students struggle through pain, and struggle as they dig through God’s answers to their predicament. But we can’t  allow our compassion to take away from God speaking to our students as they navigate through their circumstances.

It is often the pain of their predicament that serves to allow students to cling closer to God and to grow in their circumstances.

Are we allowing them a growth opportunity, or are we trying to give them a quick fix?

Phil <><


  • Christopher Wesley

    Great question Phil. I too began to wonder whether we were fixing or facilitating. I think we lean to fix because we are afraid of coming off inept and unprofessional. It’s about building confidence not just in ourselves but in God.

  • Tom Shriver

    Wow – great things to consider. Not being a fixer is much easier said than done.

  • Phil Bell

    It is a great question isn’t it. I think this question will result in helping us all consider how much dependence student place on us compared to God. I also think it’s a fair question to ask whether they need to depend on their parents more. After all, parents are with their kids more than us.

    Phil <