Every teenager that gets into their parents car after the youth service is going to hear their parent ask them two very important questions. Did you have fun? What did you learn?
As Youth Pastors, you need to make sure that students have the right answers to these questions when they get into the car each week. The best way to do that is to have a one strong walk away point in every message. Too many times Youth Pastors have too many topics in one message, too much content for one message, or get off on too many rabbit trails in one message and when this happens the teenagers leave not knowing for sure what they’ve learned.
Here is something very important to remember when crafting your messages.
"It is impossible for a student to live out what they’ve learned at Church, if they can’t remember what was said".
Parents are bringing their teenager to your Youth Ministry every week because they need help in raising their child. Parents want to take their teen to a place that is safe, fun and where they learn something that draws them closer to Jesus and helps them become a better person. Parents want their child to get into the car and be able to spout out exactly what they learned during the service. This will happen if you begin to have one walk away point every week.
Several years ago I started speaking to teenagers using just one walk away point in every message. In these messages I would say the same thing three different ways. Using props, stories and scriptures to solidify the one single point we where making that night. Very quickly we started getting emails and phone calls from parents saying, “What is Pastor Kevin doing every Wednesday night? My child gets into the car and can tell me every single thing Pastor Kevin said during the message. I love bringing my teenager to this student ministry”. I have to say, when we first started getting those emails and calls, I started thinking to myself “Dang, I must be one incredible communicator. These kids are remembering all the points of my message”. Then it hit me. “I only have one point! It is pretty easy to remember one point, I guess I’m really not all that incredible”. The truth is, I wasn’t and I still am not an incredible speaker, however, parents have always loved bringing their teenager to our student ministries because their child actually learned something while they were with us.
If you want to build a bridge to parents, and empower your students to live out what you just taught ... start crafting messages around one walk away point.