Recently I was speaking at a conference and had a couple youth leaders say that all students really need is to have leaders in their life who are authentic followers of Jesus Christ. I don't disagree with the statement, I just feel like there is more to it. Just like there are different "stages" of a person's journey as a Christian, there are different needs for those different stages. Some students need a friend; others need a leader while some need someone just to spend time with them. All of these roles are different and usually only a small number of students are looking for authentic followers of Christ, at first.
Students are looking for more than adults who are authentic; they are looking for adults who actually want to spent time with them. They want to have someone, anyone believe in them enough to invest in them as a person. Students aren't looking for authentic followers of Jesus, they are looking for Jesus.