Came across this video from Chick-fil-a. The purpose of the video was to “Remind us that everyone we interact with is a chance to create a remarkable experience.” It made me think about the stories that walk in through our ministry and how we approach them on a regular basis.
It’s easy to get stuck in the grind of producing program week in and week out. You show up, turn on the light, set-up the room, unlock the doors and wait for the teens. Then it’s game, music, and a message (Not necessarily in that order) and then you send them home. If your ministry is just a grind then you are missing out on some incredible stories and you are missing out on some incredible experiences.
- Welcome And Hospitality: You need to have people at the door welcoming teens into the program. Not only is this polite; but, it’s the perfect opportunity to engage a student as they leave the “real world” to enter into your ministry. Notice their body language and how they respond to your greeting. You can sometimes tell who is excited to be there and who has had a rough week. When you notice how someone walks in the door you have the perfect opportunity to remind them that they are loved and valued. When your students remember that, they’ll be able to let their guards down, so that the Spirit can work through them in your ministry.
- Delivery Of Your Message: When you speak it’s your moment to share your story, the Gospel and to speak into their lives. To be effective in doing this you need to know their story. Take the time to meet one on one with teens, lead a small group or invest in their lives outside the church (i.e. Go to a school football game). When you know their story well, you have the opportunity to challenge them to engage in remarkable experiences of their own.
- Time In Small Groups: Small groups are the perfect place to affirm teens in their identity. If they know that this is a place where they can share life and be prayed over, then they’ll learn to trust. Your teens will not only learn to trust the group; but, trust God in their lives. It’s in small groups where their faith can really blossom because it’s being cultivated and encouraged.
- Service Opportunities: It’s through ministry and missions that a teen will discover his or her gifts and passions. When you serve you have the opportunity to connect with Christ out of your comfort zone. For a teen this can be essential to helping them discover the path God has set them on. As a youth minister you can use service inside and outside the church as an opportunity for a teen to connect with Christ in a tangible way.
Your ministry exists for more than a fun and engaging experience, it exists to give teens a remarkable one. While you might not feel like you hit it out of the park every week, you do have the opportunity to plant seeds. When you build, tweak and shape your ministry make sure that you incorporate opportunities for a teen to let down their guards, build trust and embrace the challenge to grow. The remarkable experience you can give a teen is the one where they see how God is involved in their life.
Where and how are you creating remarkable experiences in your ministry?