Whether you are the paid guy or girl, or a volunteer running a ministry program, there is tendency to think that all the messages we give students have to depend on us from week to week. However, I have found that we have more impact on students when give them variation of speakers and utilize the people in our church and communities. Here’s an example from my ministry this week that would be easy for any youth ministry to follow:
We have a former University of Michigan final four basketball player Larry Tregoning, who is an active member in our church and has close ties to Athletes in Action at The U of M. In the summer I simply asked Larry if he could contact and organize U of M athletes to come in twice this year to share their faith and athletics with our high school students. We had done this before and had seen a great response from students…
This week Jordan Morgan, (starting center), Jon Sanderson (strength and conditioning coach), and Bruce Dishnow (Athletes in Action), all came to speak to our students and share powerful testimonies! It was an incredible night! Here are the highlights:
- Students brought friends in large numbers to hear these ‘sports personalities.’
- Students took first steps and deeper steps as they responded to the message.
- Our youth staff made significant connections with new students.
- I was able to connect with new and regular students since I did not have a message to present.
- The message was powerful because it was a new face giving it. Students tune in well when we change up the speaker.
- The message was powerful because a college age athlete was sharing real life with students and applying faith to their athletics.
There are a bunch of other great outcomes I could share, but hopefully you get the idea that making connections with your community, local universities, and campus organizations, is a great way to bring in great guest speakers. So the question I leave us with today is:
How are we using our church and community to provide great guest speakers to have a greater impact on our students?