In youth ministry, telling good stories is a skill that really matters.
Think about it. Whether we’re communicating from a platform, or in a video, or at a table for two over a nice caramel frappuccino, stories are one of the best tools we have for communicating truth in a way that sticks in a kid’s heart.
So, as youth pastors, I think we need to take our storytelling skills pretty seriously. Because in youth ministry, we’ve got a lot of stories to tell.
We’ve got to tell stories that clearly communicate truths and are compelling enough to hold our students’ attention.
We’ve got to retell the ancient stories of Scripture in ways that engage and connect with kids in this time and place and culture.
We’ve got to tell our own stories – to trace the thread of God’s love and grace in our lives, so that kids can see redemption at work in the life of a person that they can see, and hear, and know.
And we’ve got to help teenagers find that same thread in their own lives, so they can someday learn to tell their own stories.
I happen to be one of those people who shops for Halloween candy at 5:00pm on October 31. I am not proud of this fact. But do you know what happens when you shop for Halloween candy at the last possible second? (Probably not, so I will tell you.) You get to watch stores roll out the first fruits of their Christmas merchandise.
Which, of course, is an excellent reminder that… well…
CHRISTMAS IS COMING.
Before you get angry with me for contributing to this way-too-early-for-Christmas plague that is sweeping the nation, hang on. There’s a really good reason I want us to think about Christmas in early November.
Because we need Christmas presents for our volunteers!
One of the best things we can do to help a kid experience community is to give them a small group leader who knows them, loves them, and shows up consistently.
But if there’s one thing every church probably has in common, it’s this: no one has enough consistent small group leaders.
Maybe you don’t have very many leaders at all.
Or maybe you have a bunch of leaders, but they’re not very consistent.
So, how do we find more consistent small group leaders?
How do we inspire the leaders we’ve got to show up more often?
How do we turn inconsistent volunteers into fully engaged, can’t-get-enough, this-is-what-I’m-made-to-do SGLs?
I have some news.
And I think you’re going to like it.
You see, last week, Kenny and I went on a bit of a road trip. And when Kenny and I go on road trips, things get dangerous. Not like car-accident-dangerous (usually). More like brainstorm-overload-dangerous. Because when you’re stuck in a confined space for hours with nothing to do but listen to Taylor Swift (me) and Pat Flynn (Kenny) and occasionally take breaks to discuss your hopes/dreams/future, of course you’re going to do something crazy…
Like decide to start a podcast.