Posts Tagged ‘Students’

Engage Me!

In March our youth staff hear from Dr. Tim Elmore, writer of the Habitudes books, and leadership development guru. He spends a lot of his time studying and researching generations in the past to help us understand where generations of the future will go. He is passionate about shaping the future of the next generation of students. Text Message

In one of his sessions we talked about what he calls generation iY. It’s generation Y, but with the influence of all things Apple, iPhone, iTunes, iTouch, iPad… etc. He helped us discover that the generation we are currently working with in our student ministries desires one thing: to engage them. No longer will students of today respond to someone telling them what to think. They want to come to the conclusion themselves, they want to discover. This generation of students is the first generation that doesn’t need a leader to get information. They have the internet for that. What they need from us is help interpreting that information. But we can’t just tell them what to thing, we have to help them discover, we have to engage them.

Our team at took this seriously as they prepared the next series of content. They came up with the idea that before a youth pastor got up on stage and “told” the students what to think through preaching, we asked the students to first upload their thoughts on the subject. How did we do this? In our ministry we meet in small groups led by adult leaders. Instead of meeting in our small groups at the end of the night, we met at the beginning. We told the students that as a group we had the opportunity to upload our thoughts through text messages. We came up with what our group thought was the biggest lesson we learned from our discussion and then one member text the lesson to the youth pastor who would use it in his short sermon at the end of the night.

We spoke their language! You should’ve seen the excitement. Getting to use their phones, which are appendages to their bodies, to engage them on their level changed the game in many of our small groups. The students loved the idea of formulating a thought on their own and then using technology to make that thought known. We engage them. Instead of telling them what to think, we helped them learn how to think.

In this day and age with students, we need everything we can get to help reach them. Try it at your church and let me know the impact engaging your students brings to the group.

Letters From Last Night

Last night for SWITCH we talked about the Bible, and how the Bible is God’s note to us. To start this conversation with our students we had each of them write a note to anyone they wanted. Below are some of the best! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Max, I love you. You’re the best dog in the whole world. I tell you everything because you’re the only guy I actually trust. You’ll never hurt me, leave me and you’ll always love me, kinda like God.–Lindsey

Dear Tyree, You look so weird and ugly! Just kidding! You are a beast!! Like, OMG, I’m serious. You are freakin’ awesome! So, what up, my bro?–from Conner PS: I’m glad to be an American.

Dear Sarah, I feel so blessed that you would come to church with me instead of watching TV. I pray that your eyes open and see how awesome God can be.–Your BFF Emily

Dear Justice, I miss you! It sucks that you’re grounded for like 20 thousand months! -Mariah

I love you God. You’re so freakin’ amazing and I always know you’re there for me.–Love Shawn

Dear SWITCH student, If I could write you anything it would be to tell you how much God loves you and desires to have a personal, real, dynamic relationship. God wants you right now! Don’t wait!–SWITCH Leader

Mrs. Gault, you’re the meanest math teacher ever! You always blame me for everything. You give us too much homework, but it’s ok.–Jess

Dear God, I really need your help. I’m having trouble with fake friends. I feel soo, soo alone and I feel like I can’t trust anybody.–Your friend, Shemetria

Tony, Hey! I like tots. The tater kind.–Chase

Dear Grandma, Life is so weird without you. I miss you a lot. If you get a chance will you ask God to tell my dad to answer the phone the next time I call?–SWITCH student

Dear Students, I am so excited you are here today! I feel totally blessed to be able to share the love of Jesus with you tonight. I am trying to earn your trust by being here every week and by being available outside of SWITCH. Please understand that I love you for who you are, not what you have done.–SWITCH Leader.

I feel incredibly blessed to work with these students and leaders. If you don’t mind, take a moment and offer a prayer for our SWITCH students. Thanks!

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