Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Youth ministry is a VERY busy job. Meeting with students, watching their sport/activities, planning, writing, recruiting, training, and the list goes on. Not to mention family time. It’s hard to write 2-3 messages a week. That’s one for Jr. High, one for Sr. High, and one for Sunday mornings. So, I’m always looking for good curriculum to use. One that allows me to easily modify it to fit my needs.

I love the resources that lifechurch.tv have come out with, like the youversion bible. While poking around their stuff I came across their Open resources. They have a ton of stuff for speaking to teens. It comes with messages, videos, graphics, even small group questions. I recently used one of their series called “Greater Than” to try out this resource. I have to say…INCREDIBLE. Loved using it. I could easily make it my own. I didn’t have to reinvent graphics. It made my life a lot easier. I highly recommend that you check it out and give it a try. After all…it’s FREE!

Our regular fall schedule started up again last week. Personally, I felt we did great attendance wise. 20+ each night. (See, we have Jr. High meet on Wednesday nights and Sr. High meets on Thursday nights.) I felt the desire to start out with talking to our regulars. They are the ones that start out with us right away. Then, hopefully, we grow a little. So my messages were geared toward those who have a commitment with Jesus.

In Jr. High, I started out talking about evangelism and how to do it. It seems, now correct me if I’m wrong, that Jr. High students are more bold about talking about faith, Jesus, and church than high school students. I think they took my challenge. Guess what happened? The next week, we had almost doubled our attendance!!!

You might be thinking, “It’s not about the numbers.” YES IT IS! That’s more souls we can reach for Christ. More lives we’ll hopefully see in heaven. That’s more people we can turn from darkness to the light. Don’t tell me it not about the numbers.

I’m super excited to see what God is going to do in our ministry this year.

The other day I wrote about creating good discussion. The next morning I asked the counselors how their cabin time when after chapel. They replied in a cool way. They said that they were quite surprised at how open the kids got on the first day. I guess when you bring up topics you know they deal with they like to talk about it.

The past evening…not so sure about it. It was hard to read the audience reaction to the message. I spoke on how God can use anyone. No matter what their past is or present is…God longs to use them. I hope it was another night of good discussion.

I’m really excited about the next message I’m giving. I’ll post about it after I give it because things in my message always seem to change right before I go up to speak.

It’s been a fun year already for me in the area of preaching. Normally, I get maybe one chance a year, but this year I’ve preached twice already. Guess what? I love doing it. It’s fun. I posted the other day about how hard it was to get ready for that, yet I felt that it all came together nicely. In fact, I encourage you to take a listen. The topic was on something I was wrestling with before and during my sabbatical. I also want to encourage you to do the 30 day challenge I give in the message. Many in our congregation took that challenge, which the amount of people doing it surprised me. I was so encouraged, Thanks!

I recently read Doug Fields blog post about speaking at it reminded me of the reaction I get when people ask me if I get nervous before I speak in front of groups. My answer is a huge “YES“.  I always get nervous. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small group of people or a time when I preach on a Sunday morning. The day of, as I think about what I’m going to speak on, I begin to get nervous. Why? Because I wonder if the listener will track with me, see Christ through my words, and if they will encounter Jesus. Will my words make sense? Will I speak clearly? Will I stick my foot in my mouth and regret something I might say? What if I say something theologically wrong? It begins to snowball.

Then right before I begin to speak…as I open my Bible and my notes…I begin to calm down, a little. But once the words start coming out of my mouth I have no nerves or fears. In fact, most of the time I don’t really remember everything I’ve said. Weird, huh?

After I’m done talking, I’m usually thinking…I need water! Other times, I wonder if anyone will come to me to ask questions or to clarify. Sometime I wonder if anyone will come to me with a cool story I can add into it for the next time I use that message.

Overall, it’s that thrill that I get from speaking that keeps me doing it and want to do it more and more. I know most people have a fear of public speaking. Me? Bring it on!

Over the last year, I’d say, I’ve been listening to Pastors Craig Groeschel and Perry Noble. I subscribe to their church’s podcast. Recently, I heard them do a Q & A service where the people in the service text, email, or call in questions for them to answer. I thought to myself, “Wow! That’s pretty cool.” Then I proceeded to think if it would work in my youth ministry. Why wouldn’t it, right? This is how I did it.

I created a phone number through Google Voice. I gave out that number to all the students to text in questions about life, God, spirituality…anything. The reason for the Google Voice number is for anonymity. I wanted to student to feel safe to anything. If it went to my phone I would be too tempted to really find out who they were. Once I read them, I deleted them.

I received some very interesting questions. Everything from dating to Christ’s death. I held it as a discussion. We would hear or read the question and before I answered it I let others chime in. Once it felt like a good time, I would come in with what Scripture says. I think that many students (even some leaders) didn’t agree with me on some things (the more cultural things), but I had to come straight with what God’s Word says. The attitude I had and voiced what that they are free to disagree with me, but I just telling them what God’s word says…the Truth.

We only got through a fraction of the questions because the discussion what so good.

I think this was one of the best teaching moments I’ve had in a long time. What a great way to teach students exactly what they want to hear and learn.

Have you tried something like this? How did it go?

By the way, based on feedback right away after youth group, we will be doing this again…soon!

I know for a fact that I am not the best youth pastor. There are so many great youth pastors/workers out there that I strive to be like. I recently wrote post about trying to getting my students to catch the vision for the ministry and I admit that I struggle in certain areas and this might be one of them. I have a heart and passion for people to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. I long to see people come to faith in Him and to encourage them to strengthen their walk with Christ. Where I feel like I’m failing is that we aren’t getting new students that don’t have Jesus as Lord and Savior.

So, I wonder if I’m failing in equipping them with the right tools to share Christ with their friends?

How do you equip your students to share the Gospel with their friends?