Let’s talk speaking and teaching outside of your ministry, such as at camps and conferences. I feel like this is one of the top 5 questions I get asked from other youth pastors and I have been asked about how to get in the speaking circuit quite a few times in the last 3 weeks.

Young leaders. Listen up. Old leaders. Listen up. Myself. Listen up.

Be called. Do you, and others who love Jesus more than they love you, affirm you are called to teach.

Don’t be a tool. When looking for someone to speak, a majority of the time I want to partner with someone with who I like. Character and heart trumps talent every time.

There is the networking side. You have to network and know people and put your stuff out there, yes, but there is a fine balance of REALLY putting your stuff out there and letting others know you feel a calling. I never have asked to speak anywhere. All have come from invitation because we were friends or I was recommended by a friend who thought I would be a good fit for someone else.

To start, say yes to everything. Nothing is beneath you. Christian clubs. FCA. Friend’s ministry. Do it for free. Doesn’t matter if it’s for 10 kids or 1,000 kids. Say yes (this is how you network organically). You’re not good enough to be picky when you begin. Ha

Get better. Have people pick apart your sermons. Give feedback. Know your ticks and nervous habits. Filler words. Practice your craft. Don’t be other teachers. Be you.

Stop trying to “make it”… people can tell. I tried to put my head down and loved my ministry, my leaders and students. Do well to minister at home and God can expand the reach outside of it. When we ask for the stage it usually means your not ready for it. We usually try to reach for the higher platform but it’s God who usually pulls us up to it.

The question is…
If you never were asked to speak anywhere besides the ministry you are in right now, would you be discouraged? Why? If it doesn’t happen, would you keep doing what you are doing?

My guess is probably so.

Minister well at home and leave your influence and exposure to God and your character and personal responsibility to you. Just be faithful to where you are at. And see what happens.

Thank you for loving and serving students the way you do.


Need some help figuring out how to talk to students? Specifically middle schoolers? Check out this resource in the DYM store!