Student Ministry Tip: Lesson Follow-Through
Last week I shared about a special WNL that involved interactive stations. Yesterday I shared a little more about some of our teens’ encounters with God during the night. Today, I share a little tip or two about how to maximize your impact in your teens’ lives after an event or program that uses such a setup.
When using a station that asks teens to share their thoughts in an anonymous fashion, you should respect privacy. Otherwise you could damage your connection with your teens. However, as much as you want to offer anonymity to free teens to express themselves, we could be doing more damage than support at times. So here are a couple of tips to help you figure out who writes what.
- Compare handwriting – We use a sign-in sheet to track attendance. In larger groups, this might not work so much, but in a smaller setting it works great. This allows you to have a sample of handwriting to compare a note to.
- Watch Casually – Don’t hover over where your teens are writing (you will make them clam up), but keep a casual eye on where teens are writing their thoughts on the poster, or where they are sticking their Post-It note to the wall. Make a note of it and check on it later.
- Check-In – Walk up to the wall that is being used and glance over what is posted frequently. It will show teens that you are interested, and it will allow you to familiarize yourself with what is written and with where teens are writing their thoughts.
- Talk to your students – The most important part of follow-through. Sometimes the things that they share can be brought up casually in conversation. Sometimes it will require you to be creative, or to set up a special appointment to chat. But make sure that you don’t just sit on what your students have shared. Talk to them about it. Engage them in their thoughts, let their hearts speak. You may find that your relationships with your teens, your ministry itself, will grow dramatically.
- Remember not to jump ahead – Sometimes your conversation will not go smoothly. Remember that every teenager is different, and they may not be willing to open up right away. Keep investing into them, keep showing them that you care, and keep living your life as an example for them to see Christ at work in the world.