I love events and outings with youth (With the exception of lock-ins…they are evil), but they shouldn’t be the backbone of anyone’s ministry. You need something that’s going to help teens grow deeper and wider in their faith.
At our church that’s through MESSAGE SERIES. A message series is taking a specific theme or topic and digging into it over 3 to 6 weeks. It allows teenagers to process some heavy life and faith topics. It attracts newcomers and gives your ministry a flow. While there are several ways to develop a message series we start by:
KNOWING THE AUDIENCE
Before you select themes and topics you need to know who you are trying to reach. While you have a vision of an ideal disciple, knowing where to start is essential. To learn more about your target audience check out these posts:
STUDYING THE LITURGICAL CALENDAR
The liturgical calendar was created to help us focus on certain seasons in our faith. They were developed through prayer, research and discussion so they weren’t put together randomly. Study the readings and you will discover themes and topics that are relevant today.
Not only will it help you break up your year into different message series but provide for you scripture that you can base each week and message on. Don’t be afraid to use what’s been given to you.
CONSTRUCTING AN OUTLINE
Picking the topic is one step, but deciding how to break it down is another challenge. You need to decide if you are going to dig deep into one topic or cover a variety that are connected. An outline will give your message series flow.
Again, look at the liturgical calendar and use the readings to narrow down the topic. Decide each week what you want people to know and do with the information you are giving them.
The purpose of an outline is to keep you focused and the team you are working with aligned. The more you can plan out a message series the more powerful it will be.
POINTING EVERYTHING TOWARDS THE TOPIC
On top of your teachings and lessons make sure other components of your programs point to your topic. That includes:
- Activities and games.
- Music and videos.
- Decor and environments.
- Promotions like flyers, postcards, etc. (Check out Parishdesigner.com HERE).
The more you can drive home the theme the more memorable it will be.
MAKING IT A TEAM EFFORT
Just like anything in ministry, a message series is not meant to be developed by one person. Surround yourself with men, women and teens who can help you explore a topic.
Build a team that’s going to help you:
- Do research and write the actual messages.
- Develop a look to visually engage your audience.
- Create activities and games to approach a subject in a new light.
- Coordinate skits, musical performances or spoken word that will hit different emotions.
- Market and get word out.
The more people that can work on a message series the more rich it will be.
GIVING IT TIME IN SMALL GROUPS
If you have a small group program you can use messages series to explore a topic even further. There is already trust, which allows participants to be vulnerable. It’s through small groups and message series where life change can begin to happen. To learn more about small groups check out these posts:
- Basic Traits For Small Groups
- How To Start A Strong Small Group Program
- 6 Characteristics Of A Strong Small Group Leader
Is this the only way to do a message series? No, but this is what’s worked for us. A message series will help you deliver content to the next generation in a focused and impactful way.
Question: Do you use message series? Please leave any Comment. Questions. Thoughts. You can leave a comment by clicking here.