However you voted and whatever your feelings are today, here is a gentle reminder. Children and youth reflect the response of the adults around them. If you are freaked out, they will be freaked out. If you are mean and vindictive, they will be mean and vindictive too. If you are gentle and respectful in the midst of what feels chaotic, they will have a better shot at being kind and respectful as well.

For the student ministers considering how to approach tonight’s mid-week Bible study, here are some suggestions, and perhaps they will help to anticipate avenues for navigating the fractured nature of this day.

1.Take a political sabbath. Ask students to check political opinions at the door tonight.

2. Teens process change best together. Things become real when they are allowed to process life in the same room – and hopefully a little more accountable with a rational adult navigating a respectful conversation.

3. Consider a word wall. Invite students to write ONE word about how they feel today and put it on the wall. Acknowledge every word on the wall deserves to be heard and respected without judgment or response. Point out that the words indicate that not everyone feels the way you do today.

4. Remind yourself and your students that all families disagree. We are all still sisters and brothers in Christ.

5. Have your students reflect of what it means to be a Christ follower and encourage them to go out of their way to be kind to each other.

6. Brainstorm actionable steps to stand up for those at school, at church or on social media, who are feeling marginalized.

7. Have someone read Mark 12:30-31 (CEB)

“and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength The second is this, You will love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

8. Pray for your community. Pray for our country and it’s leaders. Pray for our world and our place in it.

Have any ideas to add to our suggestions? Let us know in the comments.