Last week at our Student Leadership Conference I held an adult leaders’ meeting at the beginning of the conference and got to share some of my ideas about how to be a leader at a camp/conference. It was a fun meeting, but I forgot to say one thing that I really believe. Here it is:
“Your kids may listen more intently to other people who say the same thing that you always say.”
I was reminded of this truth when I read my dear friend, Matt McGill’s blog titled, “FOUR things I reLEARNED about Youth Ministry from Student Leader Conference.” Matt actually 5 things (but that’s another story)…but, inspire of his difficulty with numbering, he wrote some great learnings–here’s one:
3. Students Love Listening To Other Communicators
About 100 years ago, I was at a conference and Cathi (one of our students) said, “That speaker was amazing, I really need to respect my parents more.” I nearly exploded into a super nova, as I’d been telling her that for the previous 4 months. This time around, I was ready for it, and was genuinely grateful for the new insights our students gained. (even though if they would just listen to everything I say, they would never have another problem, question, or conflict in their life ever again). 😉
You could come speak to my youth group and say what I’ve been saying for years and my kids could say, “Wow! Wasn’t she a great speaker? I got so much out of that message.” There have been times when I’ve wanted to scream, “She didn’t say anything I haven’t said…every week! Actually, she used MY message.”
I wanted to remind the adult leaders of this reality. I would be saying things that they’ve been trying to communicate to their kids, and because of the setting, the different spokesperson, and a unique style…your kids will hear the same message… in a new way. And, instead of being frustrated, I would encourage you embrace it and allow God the freedom to speak thru other vessels… even if it doesn’t seem like it should happen that way.
“I am, by nature, a ridiculous person. In many ways, I’m barely a member of the human species and probably closer to a wild animal. This isn’t because like the outdoors (actually, I hate the sun), but because normal human behavior isn’t normal for me.”
Question: What is it that you say over and over again that your audience doesn’t seem to grasp?