Have you ever been teaching or speaking and you can tell that the students or the people listening just DO NOT GET IT? This has happened to me several times. Sometimes, I leave the Grove, and I feel that I totally connected to the students during my teaching, and then there are times that I feel they do not even have a clue what is going on. We are called by God to try to teach in the most effective ways that we can. You can check out my recent post on becoming a better speaker here. Here are some helpful ways in communicating to students when teaching them a lesson. Notice, this is a bit different in a small group setting, but I am referring to teaching to the entire student ministry.
- Be yourself– Sometimes when I get up to speak, I try to be this “Big, Bad, and amazing” youth speaker. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious or trying to be the most effective as possible, but that does not mean try to be someone who you are not. I struggle after listening to some amazing speakers, I try to get up and duplicate what they did, and that is not what God called me to do. He called me to be myself and teach what He has given me!
- Use humor in the right way– I listen to some student pastors, and they try to make the students laugh the entire time. Now, this makes you a comedian, but not necessarily an effective youth speaker. Occasionally, I use humor, but this should not be your goal in speaking to students, to make them laugh! Make sure you use humor in the right way and effectively. I think humor is good, and I love a good story or joke, but these illustrations need to back up the point that you are trying to get across.
- Look students in the eye– Students love this, and it is the most effective way to communicate to a student.
- Be real– Model what you are teaching. They do not need to see you teaching one thing and then living another! We must be applying the truths of the Word of God just like we expect our hearers too.
- Be practical– I love doctrine, and I think doctrine is extremely important! I love theology, and I believe that this is important. We must not leave out the importance of practicality in our speaking as well. If I am teaching on a heavy subject that requires a great deal of theology and doctrine, I always spend the last few minutes applying the truth to the students’ life. Practicality is where they can take a point or principle, and apply it to a situation that they are going through.