Let Students Be Creative

Teenagers are fountains of many things. Energy, drama, testosterone, body odor. But did you know that teens can also be fountains of creativity?

At my previous ministry, I got into creating video announcements with a handful of the teens that were involved in our ministry. I liked to sit back behind the camera and allow their creativity to flow. Most days, it needed some prodding, but it usually surfaced. And I only went on camera once (and that was only because there was only one teen who showed up that day to film). I learned to allow our teens to communicate and create with little hindrance (there are some limits that should stay in place).

Here in our current ministry I am also seeking to find ways to incorporate both video and our teens’ creativity. I have been creating a lot of stuff on my own, and trying to get a few students interested in creating videos. So far that has been a slow process. But out of the blue, two students came to me with an idea. We have a clause in one of our tow rules in our ministry (Respect the Property and Respect Each Other) known as the “No Purple” rule. Very simply, boys are blue, girls are pink, combine the two you get purple. This could also be translated as a no PDA (Public Displays of Affection) rule.

Their idea follows the Purple Police in a video series as they strive to enforce this rule. But it gets even better. What began as a spoof good for a couple episodes has grown to an entire series drafted out entirely by these two guys that dives into so much more application beyond the “No Purple” rule. Issues of temptation, sexual purity, attitudes, and more have sprung up. There is an arch-villain behind the scenes. Plans to involve our senior pastor. There are costumes, plots, sub-plots, and an entire story arc. And even a “lost episode.” All this is in the works to really support the mission of our youth ministry, and it came from the unfettered minds of two of our teens.

Lesson to be learned from this: Listen to the teens in your ministry. Though many of their ideas may be grounded in an attitude of getting something for themselves out of it, and may not line up with your ministry’s mission, there may be some gold in there. Let them plot. Let them plan. Let them exercise their creativity and their gifts for the advancement of the Kingdom.

And check out the teaser trailer…