Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Youth Ministry Lite

Welcome back youth ministry addicts! Our first resource this week is a film that received high marks at the San Antonio Independent Film Festival, The Widow's Might. The film was written and directed by a home schooled young man and tells a heartwarming tale about pulling together to help those in need. It is a film that every youth group should watch and it can be used as a precursor to a community service activity.
For our second resource we have a lesson idea which centers around criticism, which is hard for most to take and is rarely given with love in the heart. Have your teens think about the previous two days and ask them to list anything they criticized. You may need to give them a couple of examples to get them going, such as what mom cooked for dinner or the clothes a kid in my class wore. From here discuss the positive role criticism can play as well as the negative role and how it affects the person receiving it. Ask your teens to think about Chris Criticism, the guy who is always criticizing something or someone. Ask them: Do you think anyone will want to be around him? What consequences are there to your criticisms?
Teach your students about appropriate times and ways to offer criticism. At the end of the lesson challenge them to participate in a criticism fast until you meet again. Encourage them to keep notes of when they slip up, what they said, and why they shouldn't have said it or how they could have said it differently. At your next meeting ask them how it went, did they struggle to not be so critical, and give them some ways to become a less critical person.
For our talk sparker I want us to briefly discuss growing relationships with our students. It is vital for us to forge a relationship with every student in our ministry. It doesn't take a whole lot to do this. Some of the key ways to do this, as I have found, are keeping in touch with them via email/facebook/myspace, always greet every student by name and add a personal touch such as, "How is soccer practice going?" Make sure you are calling on and treating everyone equally and be willing to hang around after class to talk with them. They are yearning for love and we need to insure they are receiving that love at youth group!

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