How to handle students who are intimidating

Have you ever had a student in your ministry who is just flat out intimidating? You might want to just hand over the ministry to this student, because you honestly feel in your heart that they could handle the role as good as you? Well, the student at least thinks and makes that known to the rest of the ministry. We all have students who are like this. It may even be the knowledge that a student may have that intimidates you as the youth leader, or it could be the toughness or drive of the student. We all have some students who intimidate us, and we must know how to handle these students. Here are a few helpful suggestions on handling students who are intimidating:

  1. Establish up front who the leader is– Now, this is not going on a power trip, but rather establishing leadership which is part of your job description by the way. Every student in your ministry must know up front who the leader is.
  2. Do not be afraid to correct the student who is intimidating– This is personally where I struggle. If a student or family intimidates me, the natural reaction is to allow them to get what they want, but this only makes the matter worse. In order to make this better, you cannot be afraid to correct the student when they do wrong.
  3. Be confident in God’s calling on your life– Remember who has called you! it is not this student, their family, or anyone else, but God Himself. Always place your confidence in Him and His call on your life. This will give you more power and confidence, not in you, but in Him who called you!
  4. Limit the responsibility you give to this student– I am not saying that you do not give them any responsibility whatsoever, but be careful not to give them incredible amounts of it, because this can go to their head and their intimidating nature can increase.
  5. Always use this as a teaching tool– Some students are naturally confident in who they are. You can use this to increase humility in the student’s life. Do not shy away from students like this, but embrace it, and use it as a teaching tool.

These are a few things that I have personally learned from working with students like this. I hope that this is a blessing to you.

Published by Josh Evans

Josh is the connections pastor of the Oakleaf campus of Trinity Baptist Church in Jacksonville, FL. Before that, Josh had been a mentor and pastor to students for 10 years. Josh is passionate about empowering church leaders to make a difference. Josh and his wife Abby have two children. You can connect further with Josh on this blog or send him a direct email at

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