For me it has to be a combination of both: you can tell if things are going well or not by the number of youngsters who are attending – you have to question if you are doing something wrong if you suddenly went from 30 young people at a group to 5 people at the group each week. But it isn’t just about that, there has to be a measurement of depth of relationship with God, or where they are on their journey. In a previous church where I worked they used to scale each of the young people on a rating of 1 to 4 to highlight where most of the young people were in the group, and how they could therefore support them in furthering their relationship with God. While it is still fairly crude, and used to lead to discussions on how, with 1 hour of contact a week for some of the youngsters, we could make that choice, I think it brought a sharpness and focus to the groups that I long to see.
As the summer holidays approach it is the kind of thing that I hope to develop some thinking on, with the possibility of being able to implement some kind of measuring – both numbers and depth for next academic year.
“A lot of our “youth” work seems diluted by the presence of both pre-teen children and excessive numbers of adults.I have a growing apprehension that “Youth” is being broadened to include anyone younger than 35-40. What do you think?”Some really interesting answers so far .
A. It is best to rely on expository book studies for the steady diet of your people, because this ensures they will get “the whole counsel of God.”
1. Special calendar occasions: Christmas, Easter, etc.
A. Whenever possible, plan out texts weeks or months in advance. This gives the benefit of “subconscious incubation”.
1. Read, re-read, and re-re-read the text.
(This is the purpose of section II.)
A. Your sermon should convey only one major message. All of the details of your sermon should be marshaled to help your people grasp that message and feel its power.
A. Chisel and shape your material. Ruthlessly discard all material which is irrelevant to the dominant thought. Subordinate the remaining material to the dominant thought by using that material to illuminate and reinforce the dominant thought.
A. The introduction should not be elaborate, but enough to arouse their curiosity, wet their appetites and introduce the dominant thought. This can be done by a variety of means: explaining the setting of the passage, story, current event or issue, etc.
A. Writing out your sermon forces you to think straight and sufficiently. It exposes lazy thinking and cures it. After you are thoroughly familiar with your outline, reduce it to small notes.
Do check out their thoughts as this is a key discussion to be having with our young people about how do you decide what to believe in, and what makes you sure of your faith.
You are standing on stage before 100,000 people from every nation on earth and asked to share the gospel in 100 words or less. What would you say?
You are standing before a small crowd from your church’s neighborhood and asked to share the gospel in 100 words or less. What would you say? [Authors were asked to include a couple of words describing their neighborhood. We have included these in italics when provided.]
Answers are from:
Peter Adams—Melbourne, Australia
Greg Gilbert—Louisville, KY
Liam Goligher—London, England
Michael Horton—Escondido, CA
Michael Nazir-Ali—Rochester, England
Frank Retief—Cape Town, South Africa
“Ed Roberts“—Central Asia
Mack Stiles—Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Adrian Warnock—London, England
It is well worth a read so go check it out, and then think about what you would have answered.
Some aweseome quotes – the Archbishop of York is really great at saying some refreshing stuff that the church, and not just The Church of England, really needs to hear now.