Youth Ministry Essentials: 5 Tips On The Importance of Shared Experiences
Helping students become more devoted followers of Christ is what discipleship is all about. As we all know, this happens most effectively in relationship. The more authentic your relationship is with your students, the more potential there is for both of you to grow closer to Christ.
Creating shared experiences outside of your normal small group meeting is vital to growing your relationship. Plus, it can be a whole lot of fun.
Here’s five reasons why shared experiences are vital to growing and strengthening your relationship with your students.
Something To Talk About
Having a shared experience opens up conversation in a way that nothing else will. This can be a HUGE advantage if you’re just starting to build a relationship with students, have a couple students who are slow to open up, or have an entire group that just isn’t crazy about engaging in discussion. Being able to talk about an interception in a football game or a funny story from a camping trip can provide you with a great way to get students out of their shells.
Comfortable Environments For Open Discussion
I was struggling last year to get my group of 7th grade guys to really engage in “beyond surface level” conversations. But I found that when we were at a game, or at a mission project, or just hanging out, I could engage students in conversation that felt much more natural and organic. For me and for many students, sitting in a circle in a room at your church or in someone’s living room may not be the most conducive environment for opening up. But shooting a basketball together might be just the thing to create a great environment for conversation.
I’m lucky that all my guys play sports. It’s SO easy to go to a game and both support the student and meet his parents. So many times, the shared experiences we have with students outside of our normal meeting times allow for the opportunity to meet parents. Or at least to involve them.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
The worst thing you can do is to say you’re there for your students, to talk about how much the group means, etc., but then to never follow up with any sort of extra-curricular time together. When you only hang out with students during the “official” designated times, you communicate through your actions that this group or these students are more like a job or a task than a real relationship. Shared experiences show students you care in a way that words can’t.
Not Always Fun, But Always Meaningful
Funerals, hospital visits, tough service projects . . . These aren’t fun. But your presence there will always be meaningful. Don’t shy away from the un-fun stuff. These times are the times when relationship is both needed and grown.
Originally posted at youthministry360.com.
Originally posted on November 8, 2011.
- Kari Baumann published the blogpost what I have been reading (back to school tired brain edition)..
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost The Two Hardest But Most Important Words A Leader Can Say.
- Marie Osborne published the blogpost Fall is for New Friends (also, pumpkin EVERYTHING!).
- Gayle BrownGod is so good. Remember to share His grace. 😇
- Gayle Brown just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Cheri Henderson published the blogpost Don’t Go Breaking Their Hearts: A Message to Young Women.
- Jamie Calloway-Hanauer published the blogpost Seeing an Empathetic Space: The Challenge of a Christian Witness in America.
- John Rutledge published the article Turbans not enough: Canadian helmet law disappoints Sikhs.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost What national voices are saying about Baylor’s McLane Stadium.
- Bill Reichart published the blogpost 4 Simple But Yet Crucial Reminders For Every Leader.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Sanctus Real to release new album, ‘The Dream’ October 14.
- solomon david published the blogpost WordPress Gallery Plugin Displays Images And Video Beautifully.
- solomon david published the blogpost Windows Phone 8.1 Brings Improved YouTube Experience, Lock Screen & More.
- Brad Andres published the blogpost Whether You Walk On Water or Take A Swim, “The Water Feels Alright”.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost ‘I’m Not Religious at All, I Have a Relationship With God’ – Lecrae.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Tips for Engaging Volunteers in your Youth Program.
- Courtney Rowland published the blogpost Grilled Flank Steak Sandwiches with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms #WeekdaySupper.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Meet Worship leader Bridgett Kern, listen to new single.