Editor’s Note: The following article is a summary of material presented at the Center for Youth Ministry Training’s conference From Txt2Speech: Proclaiming scripture to youth in a digital age, held Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, 2012 in Nashville, Tenn.
Are youth engaged in your youth ministry talks or sermons? Can we give them hearing aides to help them receive the Word better? No, not the in-ear hearing aids that some of your congregation’s older members use; instead, are there tools that we can use or ways we can present the Word so that youth can hear and process better?
What if they were good active listeners? We can use these tools to help youth (and adults) be active listeners and receivers of the Word. Some of the primary things that prevent people from hearing are distractions, mind wandering, environment, and disinterest. The tools and techniques to active listening help to overcome these issues are:
We as teachers and preachers can improve our communication and our audience’s ability to listen if we build active listening techniques for our audiences into our sermons and presentations by doing the following:
Using active listening techniques as a part of your teaching methods will serve as hearing aides for your youth or congregation so that they can hear and respond to the Word.
We are hearing from numerous youth ministers that during this season their plate is just too full. Caring for others is a ministry staple, but often it comes at the expense of caring for oneself. Self care for the Youth MInister is so important. If you don’t take time for yourself and your own relationship with God, not only will you suffer, but eventually your students will too.
We’ve created a Pandemic Youth Week curriculum bundle that combines elements of both a summer camp and a youth week. Many youth are missing out on both of these due to cancelled camps and trips among other cancelled important events your youth would usually attend. We’ve written this curriculum such that it can be used in person while socially distancing, online, or some combination of both.
Despite all the challenges the pandemic has presented to youth ministries, it has also created an opportunity to allow youth more involvement in worship. Although youth sunday will look very different this year, it is a great opportunity to empower our youth to be leaders. Youth’s comfort and familiarity with technology make them a great resource for churches who are seeking to move their worship services online for the first time.