I was teaching at youth tonight and observed a few things. I spent a good bit of time preparing for this particular lesson, but I learned through my time in the classroom that that doesn’t necessarily translate to good learning. I had many reactions. Some enrapt. Some not listening. Some bored (really, by me? :)). Some chatting. Something was reinforced within me today.
I bet 5 out of 30 kids will remember a small amount of my lesson later. I think teaching is important, but I don’t think that’s how our youth ministry will grow. It’s about environment.
1. Physical Environment
What is the space like? What is the lighting like? What colors are prominent?
Does it look cared for? What is the sound like? Etc..
2. Emotional Environment
How do we feel when we walk in for the first time? How are we recieved?
Have we created lasting relationships? What associations do I make with it?
3. Spiritual Environment
Do I encounter God when I come in here? Does this place/event stir up the Holy Spirit within me? How do I react to the worship, teaching, fellowship, etc…?
I am cultivating leaders (adult and youth) and therefore ownership. I am cultivating relationships between teens and with adults & teens. I am offering opportunities to serve, worship, be challenged, reach out, and connect with each other. I hope that God will continue to change me and build this ministry within the entire church.
Now my challenge is communicating this effectively…