Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins is a must for all youth workers. Whilst you may not want to do everything they say in this book, over 249 pages they share in a really easy to read manner so much on sharing the gospel with young people. I found many practical tips ranging from the layout of the room, how I research material for topics, to how you create the message – how do you bring the different elements together to create a blend that shares the gospel.
As I alluded to earlier the key changes for me are focussing firstly on how I retain material so that when it comes to a topic I already have a file full of illustrations, bible verses, other peoples thoughts, key quotes, great photos etc. I have rearranged my filing cabinet so that I now have an A to Z thematic filing system to drop things in straight away. I realised over Christmas that over the last three years I had done in the region of 60 lessons, thoughts, and assemblies on Christmas and yet I have hardly been able to reuse the material as it wasn’t easily accessible – this new filing system should change this. Alongside this thematic approach I have found my old A4 folders with a loose-leaf NIV Bible where I will file passage specific material. I hope this combination will lead to it being easier to recycle material but also to be constantly researching for a wide-range of topics, not just one or two.
My second focus is to up my preparation time, and to really ensure that we are sharing as a team what it is we want to teach earlier, so that more volunteers can play their part in the Bible teaching, and so that I have more time to pull the pieces together for each different session I am involved in.
As I hope you can tell, it has certainly challenged the way I prepare my messages, it has helped me clarify where I am strong and where I need to work harder. It certainly isn’t all sorted, but I hope in the next few months there will be a noticeable improvement in my messages.