Post by: Garrison Polsgrove
Youth Discipleship Pastor at Shepherd Church
“I got your 6!!” is a phrase used by soldiers in battle to communicate blind side coverage. The “6” refers to the number six on a clock dial and represents the backside of a soldiers viewpoint. When a soldier hears “I got your six,” he or she is given an instant bolster of courage due to knowing they have someone supporting them in areas they cannot patrol. Since harm can creep in from anywhere, 360-degree coverage is needed so a soldier can focus on the objective straight ahead in their 12 o’clock viewpoint.
Discipleship Group leaders have a limited viewpoint when it comes to knowing all that goes on in a student’s life. We only know and can speak to the information given to us by the students themselves and even then the information relayed to us can be tainted by immaturity and ignorance. Of course, we want students to disclose personal feelings and experiences, however, we may be only getting part of the story and thus our advice is limited in its effectiveness.
The best way to get a better understanding of a student or a situation is to get their parentals involved by relaying to them the types of things their son or daughter is mentioning in the group. You may or may not need to go into specific detail with the parents, but giving a general overview of your understanding of a situation allows them to confirm or deny your perspective.**
I get it…it is awkward speaking to adults you barely know and telling them things that might be embarrassing for them to hear. However, you have a limited perspective. By clarifying your understanding and giving a student’s parentals a larger perspective you are in a sense creating a 360-degree student discipleship perimeter that brings to light details a student may try to keep hidden.
Make an effort in the following weeks to call the parentals of your D-Group students. Inform them of how grateful you are to have their child in your group and summarize your understanding of their child’s personality and disposition. Ask any questions you may have had over the past several weeks and get ready to listen, listen, and listen some more (parentals love talking about their kids).
Taking the time to give a parental a greater perspective into the discipleship process of their child will endear you to them. Also, it will bolster your confidence knowing the parents… “got your 6!!”
**Please, first notify Shepherd Youth Staff if a student mentions anything that entails the intent to harm themselves or others, or if they imply others are inflicting harm on them