youth ministry, youth worker, teaching, facilitation

Facilitation vs. Teaching

By Doug Franklin January 24, 2013

Youth workers tend to be good at speaking and teaching students. These skills served youth workers well over the past 30 years of youth ministry but times are changing and how we connect with students is different. Students are changing but we are not. The skills that youth workers need today are facilitating and debriefing. Students don’t learn from just listening anymore. Let’s be honest; maybe they never did. We just like to speak so they had to listen. Today students need to discuss, process and verbalize the truth we are teaching before they can internalize. This Facebook and Twitter nation wants discussion. This requires us to facilitate more and speak less. We need to improve in asking questions and following up students’ answers with level two questions (“what does that mean to you” or “how does that make you feel?”) to move students towards making decisions about what they believe. Facilitators engage students in order to move them down a funnel deeper and deeper into application. Once students make applications youth workers need to debrief their applications in order to hold them accountable and to make the learning go deeper. Debriefing again requires asking questions that lead to deeper understanding of self and God. Facilitating a youth ministry vs teaching in a youth ministry causes us to think more about where are students are at then thinking about what we want to teach.

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