It has been a day filled with emotion, hurt, fear, drama, anxiety, worry, and chaos. The world of safety and security has been toppled upside-down for so many middle schoolers in the Madison, AL area. I heard from our secretary around 2pm today that the shooting had occurred at Discovery Middle. My phone started blowin-up with calls and text messages from concerned parents and students. Another youth pastor in the area called me and said he could get us into the schools (which were on lockdown) to minister to the kids. We went out there, got on campus, past the perimeter police, but then they wouldn’t let us in the doors.
We had several students from our church in the school during the time of the shooting. A student was in the same hallway as the shooting, a student had just left the hallway right before the shooting, and several others were still in the building. Some of our students knew the victim. Some of our students knew the shooter. One had lunch with him. One had a class with him. To say the least from this huge tragedy, our students are dealing with fear, anxiety, hurt, sadness, worry, vulnerability, doubt, and confusion. A youth pastor’s question is always, “How do we counsel them?”
1. Whenever I counsel a student, I always make sure to listen. Continue reading