Ever since we started running Youth Church nights as part of Youth we’ve got our students up to preach. The goal was to have each of our D Group preach at least once during the year, and more if they wanted to. We’ve continued to include student preachers in our line up at every Youth Church night we have. We just love hearing from our students! So much so that they were the main speakers at our very first youth camp, too.
But aside from this, there are many opportunities created when you include your students in your preaching team.
It creates opportunities for discipleship.
If your students have never done a preach before this is a great opportunity for you to show them the ropes. Help them get started by sharing your expectations, how you plan your own sermons, and give them a scripture as a starting point. You will probably find that you end up having deeper faith conversations during this prep time that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Working on a project such as a preach is something that will challenge your students and make them think about what it is they actually believe.
For more ideas on discipleship, check out these posts.
It’s an opportunity for testimony.
Not every kid that comes through our ministry will fit the mold of “church kid” or “born into a Christian family”, which is what my story is. Your story may be different, but again not everyone in your group may find it relatable. This is why we need to be sharing many different testimonies- to reach many different people. I also feel we need to give our students more opportunities to share their testimonies. The more they get to practice it the more natural it will be for them.
It’s an opportunity for ownership.
When you’re invested into something, you ‘own’ it. You want it to succeed. And when your students ‘own’ the Youth Ministry, they want to see it succeed. They will share your burden for your ministry. They’ll carry the vision and they’ll value the culture. They’ll step up to the challenge and bring their own flavour! This is one of my favourite things about having our students on our preaching team.
It’s an opportunity to invite their friends.
Students can invite their friends along to Youth anyway, but when they’re directly involved in something it’s another level of opportunity. Instead of saying, “come hang out at Youth with me” they can say, “come watch me do this at Youth”. This also provides a space for friends to hear what’s on their hearts. Preaching is probably not the style of communication they use at school, but at Youth it can open the doors for deeper conversations about faith and beliefs.
It’s an opportunity to practice grace and call out the gold.
Not every student will enjoy preaching, or even give it their best effort. In these situations it’s an opportunity for us to grow as their leaders, specifically in how we react when they fall short. Maybe their delivery wasn’t that great but their content and message was. Praise what they did well, call out the gold, and be gracious in areas of lack- because none of us are perfect and we all need grace!
- What’s your experience? Have you ever invited your students to be part of your preaching team?
- What other opportunities came from having your students preach at Youth?