This Year… Guest Speakers

image Over the summer I normally try to post a couple things that I learned over the previous school year. If you have anything you learned from last year that you would like to tell me about, send it my way smcgever (at) pv dot younglife dot org

One of the things I love about YL is that we use volunteer leaders to do a lot of the speaking and talks in our clubs. On occasion I will meet a youth leader or parent who has a great lead for a “guest speaker” for our YL or WL clubs. If the opportunity is right I will let them know that my philosophy is that I would rather have a relatively inexperienced and possibly not the most gifted speaker do the talk if they know the kids in the audience. Another way to say it is, often the person I want speaking up front is the person who knows the most kids in the audience personally. Kids listen to people who know them personally, and we extend the impact of a simple talk through the ongoing relationship of the leader and student. Our goal isn’t only the “best talk”.

So this year I did not start having guest speakers in our YL or WL clubs, in fact I’ve never had a guest speaker at a local YL or WL club. But for the first time I invited a guest speaker to our monthly area leadership. It occurred to me that in almost 10 years we had never had a guest speaker at our monthly gathering. So I decided this would be the “year of the guest speaker” at our monthly area leadership meetings. I subtitled it, “lessons from old people”. We are blessed to have a rich community of YL veterans who live in our area. And what do you know… this year was easily one of the best and most memorable years of area leaderships we’ve ever had. There are a lot of reasons this was true: top-notch speakers, hearing similar ideas from different people always impacts people differently, etc. We won’t do this every year, but we will be doing it more in the future.

How do you utilize “guest speakers” in your club or area?

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