Spoon-Feeding or Self-Feeding Youth Ministries? Part 2

In my previous post I talked about the importance of considering he long-term implications of our ministries and whether we help students to truly own their faith through self-feeding. Today, here are a few self-feeding ideas and practices I employ to help ensure that students are learning to develop spiritual habits that will last and bring fruit in their lives.

Here’s some thoughts I have been considering. Feel free to give me more ideas!!!

1) Create Bible Study Opportunities That Will Place The Burden On Students: We are currently doing a summer series Bible study in the 1,2,3 John. At the start of the study we have given students a packet that has questions about the passages we are studying through. We set the expectation that everyone should be reading ahead on a weekly basis and showing up thoughts and ideas about the study. We communicate the excitement of group learning when we all show up with great insights!

2) Use Phrases That Constantly Communicate Self-Feeding Principles: Here are a couple I use: Christians are self-starters and self-feeders. We’re not here to help you become big fat baby Christians who are spoon fed, we are here to help become self-feeders. In many ways, it is about communicating a vision of self-feeding by constantly using key phrases to remind students of the expectation.

3) Give Students Bible Study / Devotion Materials To Take Home: This year I have been creating and adapting simple 30 day devotions for students to take home to use and study. The feedback I have been getting has been fanastic! In fact, when I don’t make these available now, students complain!

4) Have Self-Feeding Students Promote Self-Feeding: Here’s what I mean by this: There’s always students who are already reaping the benefits of being a self-feeder. They are growing in faith and experiencing a closer relationship with God as a result of self-feeding. My job is to find opportunities to get them in front of the rest of our students to talk about how, why, and the benefits of being a self-feeder. Recently, we did a series called “Slice of Life” where we interviewed students who shared how God has been working in their lives. In each video interview I asked every student what habits they practice to feed and fuel their faith. It was great to hear the many different and great ways that students are fueling their faith…

5) Involve Parents: Part of my ministry should be to partner with parents. One of the ways I try to help students become self-feeders is to involve their parents in the process. This involves casting vision for expectations that their kids should be benefiting from daily habits. It also will mean great communication with parents about resources we are providing their kids to help developing self-feeding habits as well as letting them know what we are teaching their kids on a weekly basis.

These are just a few methods I employ currently. What do you do? What ideas do you have? What should we be looking ahead to do? I would love to get your ideas on this. I truly believe that this is one of the most crucial elements of the ministries we oversee…

Phil <><


2 Responses to Spoon-Feeding or Self-Feeding Youth Ministries? Part 2

  1. Brent Lacy July 27, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    Good Points, Phil. I’m rattling around some of those same questions. You are very correct that the parents are an integral part of this strategy!

    • youthworktalk July 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

      Thanks Brent! One of the things I am thinking through is how we can partner with the kids ministries more effectively to help foster self-feeding habits at a younger age. It’s essential that we support parents in these ways when their kids are younger… Thoughts?

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