Crafting Messages For Students


One of the many joys I’ve had in working with young people over the years, is crafting messages for our weekly gatherings. The thrill of the blank page and capturing God’s message has, and continues to be, life giving for me.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with different teaching styles, but the focus has remained the same: Reading and exegeting the Scriptures, and formulating a message for a specific group of students.

I often dialogue with other youth leaders about the process of crafting messages and I’m always eager to learn how to improve in this area. Here are a few ideas I’m working through.

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Why I read the same two books every year

Les Livres

Les Livres–open

This is my confession, circa Usher 2004 (Just when I thought I said all I could say…you know that jam, right?):

Every December, I read the same two books. Kind of weird? Perhaps. Meaningful? I’d like to think so. The reason? I haven’t found two other books more poetic, inspiring, whimsical, or beautiful. I take a week or two in December, right around Christmas, to read through these beauties. I’ve been doing it for a few years now and it continues to be great fun.

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Rethinking Fear

open hands 2

I’ve been reading some remarkable success stories lately, and there is a common theme tying them all together: the importance of facing your fears. Throughout history, every great success is preceded by someone’s firm decision to not give up, even in the midst of crippling doubt and paralyzing fear.

At some point, these strong and deliberate individuals made the choice to not fold or cower or shrink back, but to face their fear head on. The rest, as they say, is history.

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