This was question #4 in challenges of chapter 2 of Breaking the Missional Code. As my answer, I searched for websites with Youth Pastors and ministries offering advice regarding the success of their ministry. What I found was a great website, studentministry.org, that was choc full of interviews and accessible tips. Here are some of the stand out links with notes I was taking along the way.
What You Win Them With, Is What You Win Them To (Click here to watch the video)
This was probably the most helpful video. By Michael Kennedy, I took no notes, but have really had a mind shift. He makes crystal clear that whatever it was that draws young people into your ministry in the first place, that is what they are going to want more of, that is what is going to keep them coming back, and that is their functional purpose for coming to ‘youth group’. My sister asked me how this could work, because it seems impossible to draw teens in with just the bible. I agreed with her. I can’t see the teens in my mission field crowding around the doors when they’ve been told we they can receive free scripture reading and win bibles for attentive listening (although I’m sure there are teens who would like that, they are few and far between). However, the principles that the bible teaches and a life enriched by a romantic hero, now there is something young people are looking for!
- Social Justice
- Undeserved compassion and love
- Life with purpose
- Active life beyond social normatives
- Contributing to the greater cause
- Forgiveness, regeneration & empowerment
How To Raise Awareness About Your Student Ministry (Click here to watch the video)
Social Networking. Facebook!!!! FB ads too. Youtube if you can do video it goes viral fast!
Being at local high schools. Build a relationship with students and staff. Show appreciation to the staff for letting you minister in their field.
Get outside the box of Christian networking. Get into the community networking. Get into local rec centres and secular community clubs.
Advertise. Craigslist.com. Direct mail, yes direct mail, it works and it is fundamental, and it has to be frequent, once a quarter minimum. Handing out flyers. Get your students involved and go into public places.
Evaluating Ministry by Journey vs Destination (Click here to watch the video)
Four different stages
1. Spiritually Apathetic
2. Spiritually Interested
3. Spiritually Excited
4. Spiritually Passionate
Outcomes Of Youth Groups Who Serve Their Community (Click here to watch the video)
Events are planned to give students an opportunity to serve the physical and spiritual needs of a (maybe their) community. It’s a camp type situation, but it doesn’t accommodate “entertainment”. The purpose is serving the community and that’s where the focus is. Some skeptical youth leaders have criticized saying “I don’t think our kids are cut out for that, but kids leave saying that was a life defining experience.
If you’re not in a big city, how do you find opportunities to serve in your community? You need to network. Be in your community! Know who is in your community. Contact local food shelters and homeless shelters, they will put you in contact with people in need.
In Campbell River. There are many families in need because of the recession. How can you help?
9 Mistakes That Can Kill Your Ministry
1. Acting like you know everything. Cocky. Arrogant.
2. Being confused by marketing hype. The fad.
3. Not taking action on something. Books, blogs, vlogs, makes no difference unless you do something about it.
5. Worrying about what other people are going to think.
6. Dabble with it. Rather than diving in and committing to something.
7. Unrealistic expectations. for your ministry, your leaders, your growth, etc.
8. Not taking responsibility for yourself. Take rest. Rest your leaders. Exercise your body. Eat healthy.
9. Not invest into your spiritual life. The best thing your can do for your Ministry and the cheapest too is continue to grow spiritually.
TIPS FOR LESSON PREPARATION FOR TEEN BIBLE STUDIES
1. Internalize your message. It’s a real labour putting together a message because you have to put yourself through the Journey you are leading your students through. You can’t vie it away until you experience it. You can’t really give meaning to something unless it means something to you. Kids can tell if your preaching out of duty and/or out of heart.
2. Don’t ask teens to do something that you yourself don’t, can’t expect yourself to do. See how it works so you can share your life experience!
3. Decide how much to teach in one lesson. 3 minutes on one thing, two minutes on another, 4 minutes to finish.
4. Remember that the message has really settled in your brain, but you will be explaining in to people who have probably never heard it before. Don’t give them to much info. Drive home the main point all the way.
5. Consider rehearsing your lesson.
13 TIPS FOR TEACHING AND COMMUNICATION GODS WORD TO TEENAGERS
1. Be real, be yourself.
2. Share your own struggles
3. Teach out of your own transformation
4. Use Stories
5. Get in touch with our audience
6. Don’t try to be funny
7. Relax & practice, Don’t say um… ok….. ah…..
8. Memorize your lesson. Then you will have freedom to move away from your outline, and then return to your message.
9. Bullet point your message,
10. Don’t be afraid of silence
11. Don’t ask a lot of rhetorical questions
12. Give special attention to your transitions between points.
13. Watch your time.
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