Tips for Speaking to Youth
Youth ministry is an ever revolving door of changes and differences. And within those changes there are always things that attempt to distract our teens from listening to the Word of God. It might be the girl across the room, the text from "mom", or the way that you're saying "um" all the time; no matter what it is, there is always something. One of our goals as ministers to youth ought to be to reduce those distractions as we preach from the ONLY book that is living and active, with the power to transform the lives of these teenagers.
Here are a few tips that have been picked up over the years that you can employ to reduce distractions, increase attention, and help facilitate a greater understanding of God's Word in your youth group.
- Always have your bible/open it
- Look presentable
- Don’t chew gum
- Use Altoids (bad breath is gross!)
- Don’t rely on props
- Take advantage of object lessons
- Mention kids by name
- Set the tone the 1st night if its a weekend long event (perhaps don’t go long)
- Ask for feedback
- Don’t fiddle with the mic/drawing unnecessary attention
- Strategic movement
- Be aware-sensitive to the kid’s day (especially if it is or will be a weekend long event)
- Relevant illustrations
- The way you enter onto the stage/pulpit
- Know where your props are if not using technology
- Careful of pace & volume/inflection
- Level of vulnerability
- Don’t put your hands in your pocket
- Don't stand on one foot, plant both feet on the ground
- Use powerpoint/video/images whenever possible
THese are just a few suggestions. I hope as you browse through these you are doing all of them. If not, maybe consider how you might improve as a speaker to teens and how your youth ministry might grow as you grow as a teacher!
Wes Johnson: Called to Youth Ministry Online Facilitator
Wesley A. Johnson II is committed to engaging this culture through the lens of Christ. He has been called “candid, engaging, and intense”. His approach is conversational & at times you feel he’s talking only to you.
Wes [an ordained minister] frequently speaks to groups of varying size across ethnic, denominational and social backgrounds in the areas of youth & family concentrating in urban & multicultural ministry. Wes has served the Baptist & Presbyterian Church as a youth & young adult pastor and with Young Life as a multicultural/urban area director. He was also a frequent facilitator for the Urban Youth Workers Reload Tour & the Educational Congress for the DC Baptist Convention & vicinity. Wes has had the privilege to share with thousands of young people his unguarded message of hope and encouragement.
He was the initiator of “The Gathering” a community bible study in MD working towards a church plant. A former Jr. College football player he most recently served as the campus youth pastor for Coach Joe Gibbs Youth for Tomorrow program & now serves as a Director for Danbury Young Life in CT.
He has an A.S. degree in Early Childhood Development, and a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies. Wes is married and is the proud dad of 4 children.