After I asked him if things were good, he said, "Yeah. Kinda. Not really." So, I asked him to lunch so we could talk.
After I dropped by his house to pick him up, it didn't take long for him to start spilling his guts.
We didn't talk about anything revolutionary. Mostly his desire to belong, what the future might look like, girls, parents, friends. All stuff that was on his mind. (Not to mention constantly on mine.) We had a tremendous lunch at the Chicken Pie Shop and then, just to continue the BRO-venture, we hit IKEA (which he had never been to), and then the mall (where we saw another former student).
It was a great afternoon and provided me with some confirmation on a few things. One, there really is no replacement for relational ministry. Because of the time I've spent and trust I've built in our relationship in the past, I was able to encourage him even in the small amount of time we had today. And two, I can't imagine myself doing anything else but student ministry. I was born to do this. I was made to do this. I love it.
I'm so thankful that I was able to be there for him today. It makes me look forward with even more anticipation to the time that I can once again be a part of leading a ministry...