Methods and Message

It is always a struggle in ministry to stay relevant and interesting, while also being biblical and representing our faith fully. When I teach, often I will teach straight from the Bible verse-by-verse when I know that I can engage my audience with questions. Other times I have a topic that goes in-line with the passage(s) I have selected to teach about. Certain things that I wish that I could do more of are using creative illustrations, technology, object lessons, and experiential learning exercises to engage my audience. My challenges mainly are finding the time and coming up with the material to make this happen. I realize that curriculum helps me because it gives me brainstorming ideas about what to do, and guides me in forming outlines for speaking. Using curriculum isn’t always exactly what I want to do because I do like being able to form ideas and outlines from what I already have studied.
One of the best Sunday school lessons that I ever did was during a study we did on Ruth and the youth pastor asked me to talk about Ruth 3 when Ruth goes and visits Boaz in the middle of the night. I was nervous because I didn’t know how I was going to talk about Ruth in a G-rated way (because of some of the implications of “laying at the feet of Boaz”). So instead of just diving into the passage we started off by reading the whole book of Ruth and examining where the author was taking us and the importance of the information that we knew from the Bible. It was great because when we got to chapter 3 we weren’t just focusing on this one section, but our discussion had intentionally prepared the class to examine the situation and how God was continually blessing Ruth on account of her faithfulness. After coming to this conclusion I decided to ask them how they could apply the principles in Ruth to their own lives and I heard tremendous responses about sacrifice, friendship, and compassion that made me feel like they had really got the point!
This article that I have posted at the bottom is addressing the influence of youth workers. We need to continually be influencing youth with the message of the Gospel and not just the methods and the desire of “cool” that seems to be creeping around a lot of ministry circles these days. Be faithful to the message and adaptable in your ministry context.

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