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youth worker, youth ministry, leadership, teaching model

Does Our Teaching Model Work?

By Doug Franklin March 12, 2012

Most youth ministry are based on a large group teaching model. At some point each week we sit students down and teach them by walking them through a passage of scripture, illustrating our points, making a few jokes and ask students to make changes in their behavior. Does this work? Are we getting the results we want from this model? I think we all know the answer – no. So why do we keep teaching students by just preaching to them? Are we so stuck in a rut that we can’t change? Here are my thoughts:

1. We do what we see. For a long-time the church has used this same model so we think all we have to do is hype up the message and it will work with students. Wrong! If anything we should know if they are using it in church it won’t work with students. We are the innovators and we need to think differently.

2. We know experiential teaching works but we don’t know how to do it ourselves. We have all seen great experiential teachers but no one trained us how to do it and we think we could look stupid if it goes wrong. It’s high risk teaching and we are not high risk people; we prefer to mimic. Also experiential teaching is best done in small groups. This goes against everything we have ever been told … the larger the group the better.

3. We like the sound of our voice. We like to get up and teach, we have also been told that the path to success flows through our teaching. If you are a good teacher it could mean a job in adult ministry or a teaching pastor role or even a senior pastor spot. This is all well and good for you but what about the students’ spiritual formation?

We need some youth workers to lead out and change the way we think about teaching. If you are doing some things differently in your teaching, I would love to hear about what you’re doing.

About the Author

Doug Franklin

Doug Franklin is the president of LeaderTreks, an innovative leadership development organization focusing on students and youth workers. Doug and his wife, Angie, live in West Chicago, Illinois. They don’t have any kids, but they have 2 dogs that think they are children. Diesel and Penelope are Weimaraners  who never leave their side. Doug grew up in…  Read More