“Hi-O-Silver… Away!” Recently, Armie Hammer starred with Johnny Depp in a movie-remake of the television classic, The Lone Ranger. While the concept of an “I work alone” epic-hero works great in a Hollywood theatrical release, it greatly diminishes the effectiveness of youth pastors and youth speakers every week.
Think about it.
Most youth leaders and speakers do a majority of their message preparation, delivery and review in isolation. For some reason, they have bought into the myth that their creativity is squelched when someone else speaks into their talk. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, the more you involve other people in the message preparation process, the better your message will be.
Here are seven benefits to developing a teaching team for your student ministry:
1. Your content will be better.
When you involve others on the front end of your message preparation, they will help you see what you can’t see. Youth communicators, when left on their own, miss holes in their content all of the time. When you bring someone else into the process, they will help fill in the gaps.
2. Your illustrations will move from good to great.
Involving a teaching team will expand your illustration options by leaps and bounds. Why just settle for o.k. illustrations and examples, when you can have a plethora of great illustrations at your fingertips.
3. You will connect better with the students you are speaking to.
Face it, you are old. Youth culture changes every six months. Choose a student or two to speak into your message content. They will help you discover creative and relevant ways to communicate your content so that it connects with their peers.
4. You will gain buy-in from volunteers and students.
Aside from just involving some students, when you involve a few adult volunteers in the process, they will immediately feel valued and buy into you, your leadership, your vision, your message and your ministry in a greater way.
5. Your students will get to hear a variety of speakers.
Your students need to hear from more speakers than just you. When you involve others from your teaching team, the students get a different perspective. They will hear God’s Word communicated through a different personality. There will be other students who connect with a particular speaker on your teaching team (who don’t connect with you as well).
6. You will become a much better youth communicator.
When you involve others on the back-end of your message (review, evaluation and feedback), you automatically begin to improve as a communicator. Your teaching team will help you realize unconscious speaking habits that you have and help you improve every week.
7. You get to invest in other communicators.
Mentoring is one if the most exciting parts of ministry. Developing a teaching team will allow you to mentor select students, youth staff and adult volunteers as you entrust them with the teaching and communication of God’s Word.
Matt Maiberger has been involved in student ministry for two decades. He is currently the Associate Pastor of Life Church, in Fort Collins, CO and the founder of Youth Speaker’s Coach.