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Take the Quiz: Do You Have THESE Students?

 —  July 8, 2013 — 4 Comments


Look at the students in the picture above.  Would you describe them as unchurched/urban/at-risk/inner-city or community kids?  Why or why not?

Now do me a favor.  Think about the students in your group for a second. What is their background, attitude, and perspective on life?

Take this quiz:

On a separate paper number 1-10. (in any way.)
Next to each that has a yes write the name of the student/parent (or students if there is more than one) that you are thinking of.

1. At least on student is either a child of divorce or growing up in a single parent home.

2. At least one student is suffering from angry outbursts, apathy, or is difficult in some way.

3. At least one student mooches off of others, complains about being hungry or seems to constantly be grubbing for something.

4. At least one student appears to be neglected at home emotionally, spiritually or physically.

5. At least one student lives in a neighborhood, environment or home where you know they rarely feel safe.

6. At least one student seems to always be the victim or feels entitled in some way.

7. At least one student receives more negative feedback than positive encouragement at home. (i.e. You’re never going to be.)

8. At least one parent seems to always be late, complaining, or non-existent when you try to track them down.

9. At least one student who seems to set their own boundaries at home. (i.e curfews, bedtimes, makes most of own meals, runs own life.)

10. At least one student is either overly needy or has extreme trust issues when sharing details about their life. They may offer facts with little or no emotion attached.


The more positives you gave the more students and families you have living in a survival mentality.


One can not merely look at a student and identify what is going on in their hearts or homes.  Those of us in youth ministry may use a variety of ways of “labeling” these students:  unchurched- urban- inner-city- at-risk- or community kids. If I had to pick one,  I would use urban. It does include a demographic area, culture, multi-ethnicity, social ills, and socio-economics. However, I would argue, in terms of the Christian community, this title blurs those lines and moves beyond them. In other words you might be living in the suburbs of New Jersey, rural Kansas or downtown Los Angeles and all have students that fit into our little quiz. The other side of the tracks with their common misconceptions and problems are moving, and reaching each of us in ministry in some way.

Urban = Survival Mode.  Therefore we all have urban students.

This idea came from talking to YOU, the youth workers, all over the country. I have these students and families and I don’t know what to do.   Over and again there is a common thread, families from around this world have forgotten what hope could feel like, and merely exist into tomorrow.

I would love to engage you in this discussion.  What is the mix of your youth programming?





Leneita Fix

Leneita Fix


Leneita Fix is the Director of Ministry Development for Aslan Youth Ministries, a family focused urban ministry serving Monmouth County New Jersey and Haiti. She has been working in some form of youth and family ministry for almost 22 years. In addition she has launched the coaching and resource organization, Front Line Urban Resources with Jeffrey Wallace serving those who work with families living in survival mode. The early years were spent in camp ministry, suburban and rural youth groups. With the Lord’s moving the last 17 of those years have been spent ministering in three different urban areas to primarily unchurched families (New Jersey, Virginia, Florida back to New Jersey). Her responsibilities have included Bible based program direction for children ages 5-18, curriculum writing, staff training and recruiting, discipleship, resource creation and speaking to national audiences. Her passion is to raise up workers in practical, relationship-driven methods while remaining in the trenches with the youth and families she loves. Her goal is to help others understand every student living in a survival mindset can and will be transformed in Christ. One of her greatest joys is serving in ministry as a family with her husband three wonderful children, and her niece. Simply she resides among her friends in the city just living life as a family that loves being there. You can contact her at leneitafix@aslanyouth.org.

4 responses to Take the Quiz: Do You Have THESE Students?

  1. I took the quiz, only for each one, I challenged myself to think of at least 1 student that DIDN”T fit the question :) I do youth min in inner city Columbus, and the list described the vast majority of my teens. Lots of survivalist thinking. It’s not easy, and I have no clue what I’m doing, but I know this is where God has called me.

    • Leneita Fix


      Thanks so much- I work with students that fit all of them as well. I have found over the years that when I think I have a clue to what I’m doing the problem is I stop asking the Lord to work. Being called is the best place to be! Please let me know if you need ANYTHING or simply some prayer. I would love to be a resource to you. I’ve been in the inner city for awhile now and just happen to know what’s out there. In Christ- Leneita (leneitafix@gmail.com)

  2. I work with all of these youth as well. My connection with Christ is the only thing that keeps me confident in the hope of His purpose for my life, the hope that they will be impacted by Him, and that there is hope for the city I call home to be restore daily through the lights of those of us who love and serve Him. I, at times, have to pray to not get used to many of the issues I see daily in my students. I also have to ask God to help me honestly and boldly minister to these students and those who don’t have these issues and yet need the light and Word of Jesus lived before them and taught to them. It is a blessing to work with these “beautiful wrecks” (a term I saw in an article from Group that perfectly describes our students), and yet the challenges are many. Thankfully we serve a God who really does have each of them and us in His hands. Our names truly are written on His palms (Isaiah 49:16).

  3. To all of my co-laborers in the Gospel, let me say that I honor you, the work you do, and the sacrifices you make that no one but God sees. Rest in His promises to never leave or forsake us and to be our Rock, Provider, Strength, Hiding Place, and Peace.

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