Often when we speak to youth we can get stuck. You know what I mean. No matter how many years we’ve been in youth ministry, there are just those moments. Perhaps it’s when we realize our point is taking too long and we’re losing students’ attention. Or, perhaps when we conclude our talk or lesson, we can tell that students aren’t responding in that way we had hoped.
In this video, I share three ways you can hone your speaking and teaching to help improve your students’ learning.
Last year I was invited to speak on student leadership at conVERGE 2011 at Huntington University. I was blown away by the conference’s tech-savvy highly-interactive format and its Christ-centered worship (having Tim Timmons as your worship leader certainly helps). When I came back I blogged that conVERGE broke the mold for regional conferences. Students who attended came away even more impressed.
This weekend I will be speaking at one of Miracle Camp’s ICE CAMPS. For a variety of reasons, I limit the amount of speaking and travel I do. One of the benefits of this is that Kel and I can choose where we want to spend those open times. And one rule we have at home is that I am not gone back-to-back weekends. However, this month we’re making an exception to that rule so that I can participate with two groups that I admire and think are doing an amazing work.
Miracle Camp is one of my favorite camps in the US and whenever Jason and Emily Coon ask me to come speak, I work it out so that I can say, “Yes.” Miracle Camp has incredible and versatile facilities just south of Kalamazoo, Michigan. But better than the facilities, the staff are seasoned professionals who care about camping …. and do it well. I’m also excited to see Michelle Mason, one of our Bethel College youth ministry graduates, working on her post-grad internship there.
I remember the first time I ever preached a sermon in a church. I kid you not, as I walked up the steps of the platform, a series of hidden emotions surprised me. Scenes like memories from church history flooded my mind as I neared the podium. I thought of Matthew 16 when Jesus declared to Peter and the others the authoritative and missional role his Church would have in the world. I thought of John Wesley and the circuit riders who worked so diligently and faithfully to plant churches throughout my country. And I thought of my dad, a pastor who I watched minister faithfully and effectively for years in his local communities. I knew that I was participating in a rich tradition … and taking on a great responsibility. And I wanted to do my best with that opportunity.
I was fortunate to be asked to speak at conVERGE 2011 this past February, a small student leadership conference that I said “broke the mold” and set a new high-tech cool and savvy standard for how to communicate, connect with, and motivate teenagers. I was super impressed. Here, you can check out the highlights video:
For those of you in the northern parts of the globe, I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start. For those in the southern hemisphere, hang in there. The days are getting longer now and summer is on its way.
We just returned from a week-long vacation to Arizona. Believe it or not, with all of my travels this was the first time for me to see the Grand Canyon in person. It was overwhelming. In spite of all of the pictures and videos you may have seen, they don’t do it justice. It is spectacular to see it in person, almost worshipful at God’s creative abilities. I recommend a trip there, Flagstaff, and then to Sedona as well. If you go to Sedona, get out of town and tour around the amazing red rock formations.