We have a pretty basic program for our middle school students on Sunday mornings, but what makes it unique (I think) is which segments we feel are most important. Here is our order of service…
20 min of Games/Fun
15 min of Worship/Music
15-20 min of Communication
25-30 min of Small Groups
And here is my opinion of what their ranking of importance is:
(this is just my opinion and I understand every context is different)
1. Small Groups. We believe if we could only do one thing great, it would have to be small groups. I believe above all else our job as Youth Pastors should be to create opportunities for students to discuss their life and faith in a safe place. Discussion and relationships = best opportunity to grow.
2. Games/Fun. Yup, I have games and fun ranked above worship and communication. This is because I believe that we will be most successful in reaching students by offering an environment that is fun and students love to be at. We build trust with fun, we build relationships with fun, and we build engagement with fun. It’s not uncommon for parents to tell us that their kids are the ones dragging their family out the door to church every week. Just think about that. What an amazing idea – middle school students that can’t wait for church.
3. Communication. For us the goal of our communication is to set up great small groups. The speaker is mostly just introducing the topic, engaging students with some sort of illustration, relating the topic to the bible, and then releasing the students into small groups so they can discover the application as a group. There is no pressure on the speaker to deliver an amazing message, their main goal is to set small groups up for a great discussion.
4. Worship/Music. We believe that our worship/music time is important – that’s why it’s a part of our weekly gathering. But in my opinion it is the least important out of our 4 major segments. We do have an awesome worship leader Brian, who is all about getting students plugged in and creates a fun time of worship for us on Sundays.
What do you think?
We value you’re input and want to have discussion with you. What segments do you incorporate into your weekly program? What are most important parts and why? Please, leave a comment and join the fun!