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youth worker, youth ministry, formula

The 6-3-1 Influence Formula

By Doug Franklin September 25, 2012

I have the privilege of serving as a Trustee of the one the top private Christian high schools here in the states. I have learned a lot in this position and I have had the opportunity to see first hand how some of the best teachers and administrators develop students into disciples of Christ while challenging them intellectually. One of their strategies I am most interested in is how they create culture. This school does not only admit Christian students but has a plan to influence students through the culture of the school. Their formula for shaping culture is six out of every 10 students must be a mature believe for their age. Three out of ten can be immature believers and one out of ten can be a nonbeliever. Through years of observation and research they have come to understand that this formula works for influencing students for Christ. With this formula in place they see mature believers influence the immature and nonbelievers to pursue a deep relationship with Christ. With this formula in place the student culture deals with behavior issues and peer pressure is actually invited. This culture along with the transformational teachers make this school a hit with parents and the community.

So how about us in youth ministry, what do we think about this formula? I know it’s a little different for us but what if we work hard at the creating this kind of culture in our ministry? I can see how this would work.

1. First take inventory. Where are your students at, and how many mature believers do you have? Enough to make this work or do you need to put a emphasis on developing disciples. If you don’t have enough mature believers you know that you are going to have a problem with students influencing others in the wrong way. So often we think we just have good kids in our youth group but later we find out all the really bad stuff that was going on. We have to realize that when we don’t have six mature believers per ten in our group most likely there may be some bad stuff happening and we need to get adult volunteers deep into students’ lives. If we do have six or more believers per ten students in our group we need to challenge them to influence all the students in our group. We need to evangelize and disciple their peers, and if that is happening they will be a powerful force for Christ.

2. Give students the opportunity to create culture. Most culture is created out of relationships not out of programing. This is why the best youth ministry culture comes out of mission trips, service days, retreats and camps. Let students have a say in or allow them to create and lead these events. The more students work together towards a goal the more culture is created. When students attend an event and all they’re asked for is a chance to participate, then culture is being created by adult leaders and will be rejected by students. Simply because it’s not theirs.

3. Equip your students to stand. When we put the students in a place where they are the ones who influence their friends, we are preparing for real ministry in the Kingdom of God. Why do we think it’s the responsibility of the adults to reach students or keep students from making terrible decisions. Students can care for each other and challenge each other to live for Christ.

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