If the statement upsets you it could be a deeper conviction or perhaps I’m right. However, I’m not here to guilt trip you, but rather offer up one of the best kept secrets I have run into this past year. The method has benefited my student ministry tremendously.
You and I both know that even the most gifted and rehearsed speaker won’t connect with every student. I receive compliments and encouragement from some students while getting blank stares from others. Your audience needs different voices offering up the same truth in different tones. Just as there are a kazillion love songs on the radio, some prefer country music while others like the fat beat of a heavy rap song with a similar story…in both songs someone is stealing the girl or running off with their high school sweetheart (I understand country music lyrics a little bit more clearly than rap…but maybe that’s just me?).
I found that asking guest speakers to take on a speaking series is beneficial to everyone involved in the equation. A couple of quick thoughts:
- Give your audience another voice to connect with.
- Rather than spend time on message prep that week, solve other problems in your ministry.
- Allow a speaker/teacher to grow in their gifting.
- Taking off a Sunday in the future will be much more possible when you share the stage with others.
- Pastoral staff and those with the gift of teaching are selected guest speakers. BE SELECTIVE.
- One day when you leave your position students will be more receptive to hearing from other voices…even the next youth pastor.
How often should you share the stage? The old-school youth pastor and even some modern day yp’s will speak every single Sunday. If you want to burn out and hate your job…then continue this method. Even if you LOVE speaking…your ministry needs your attention in other places other than the stage. I have done some math and it appears over the past year that I speak 40-50% of the time. That means that I am one of if not the most consistent faces on stage but not appearing every Sunday.
Getting off the stage has allowed me to recruit, train and cast vision for my leaders like never before. This year we have a full volunteer staff of almost 60 showing up every Sunday to lead small groups, greet students and serve up a meal for our high school program. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for the team of speakers I have around me that pour in their time to teach our students while I work on other “behind the scenes stuff” during the week.
In case the question came to mind. We use Orange’s Xp3 curriculum as our foundation for a teaching manuscript and small group questions. I allow the guest speaker to add their own stories and even some main points, but they have to stick to the bottom line and use the scripture given.
So, I leave you with this question: Who are you sharing the stage with?