This summer has been full of meetings, trips and recruiting ministers. It’s been a most productive summer but I know once July starts to wind down message preparation begins to gear up. Our message series is what drives the youth ministry. It’s the main reason we get students together once a week to worship and praise God. If it weren’t for these messages we would just encourage students to only attend the adult worship.
As of now we have our themes picked for the year, meaning we know the topics we want to talk. We also know most of the scripture we are going to focus on because of our liturgical calendar. All that’s left is to answer three questions:
What Do We Want Them To Know?
If there is one thing that they need to walk away knowing about a certain subject or a certain piece of scripture what would that be? When we hit subjects like money and sex we tend to say too many things, which cancels out any message. You can’t say everything, but you can say the right thing that will later lead them to other truths. So what is it?
What Do We Want Them To Do?What is the vision that you are setting for their lives? Now that they have truth, we need to show them how to live it out. If you can make it tangible great, but if anything you need to make it clear. The step might not be easy but again it should be clear.
How Are We Going To Help Them?What’s the starting point? Where in your ministry are you going to support their actions? Your message may mean risk and failure in their lives, so you need to make sure you have a ministry that helps them refocus. How are small groups, and your ministry team prepared to help these students take that first step and focus on the truth?
While trips and events are important to my ministry, none of them hold the same weight as a message series. Your message is what will take a youth group and turn it into a youth movement. Too many times we rely on the wow factor and what’s new to attract teens. Too many times we’re about growing the group and not so much about growing disciples. If you aren’t spending the majority of the time asking yourself these three questions, then you have to ask yourself, “What am I doing with this ministry?”