We're in our 7th year of the amazing students-do-everything youth group teaching series You Own the Weekend. It was a huge success! My friend Jessica was the adult mentor for students this past week and wrote up some of her learnings for the other adult mentors for the rest of the 7 weeks in the series. I thought they were helpful points for anyone empowerng students in ministry, especially if you are considering doing a You Own the Weeend of your own. Check out the resource right here to help guide you through it!
Trabuco Owns the Weekend was a great experience and we had such a wonderful time coaching the students who we a part of it! We also learned a few things through this specific year and group of students that we’d like to share with you…
#1 Communicate expectations often and clearly.
When you think you’ve been clear about expectations, deadlines and requirements, say them one more time – you can never over communicate with students because they have a lot on their plates and forget things you’ve told them.
#2 Invest most of your coaching time on the sermon prep.
We spent countless hours re-reading/editing sermon drafts and meeting (face to face) with our speakers as they developed their message. It was a lot of work but we really think it payed off because the Gospel was clearly communicated and the students walked if feeling extremely confident! *this doesn’t mean you don’t invest in other areas, but truly, the sermon is the area students are least experienced in and it’s the key element of the weekend for visitors coming to faith in Christ.
#3 Work really hard on your actual weekend so that it’s effortless for everone else.
You have to be the one to be on top of things on your actual YOTW weekend. Of course, you are only one person, which means you will need help (someone helped us teach a student where the kitchen was so they could make lemonade, someone picked food up for us during Comedy Sportz, etc) - but ultimately you should be aware of everything and oversee the program elements. Lean into the team in small ways but don’t assume anyone else is taking care of things that are you responsibility – if you need help, ask, but the help should be minimal because you are aware and well prepared for your weekend!
#4 Be your students’ #1 fan!
Cheer them on, celebrate them every step of the way and help them constantly. Be positive on their weekend, even when things don’t work out the way they hoped they would, remind them (and yourself) to: HAVE FUN!
This is my favorite ... and our very best series of the year!