For the month of May I’m picking up a tradition I had for quite a while on YLHelp: A list of things I learned this year related to YL. My post from last week is HERE. If you would like to see my previous posts CLICK HERE.
The “So What?” Bubble Over People’s Heads (Thanks Lori Connors!)
This Spring, I had the privilege of helping plan and speak at the national YL summer camp speaker training (we called it “speaker camp” for fun). I learned so much from the other speakers at the training. One great nugget I walked away with was something that Lori Connors said in her training on “Person of Christ” talks.
Here is the nugget: When Lori is planning her talk and delivering her talk, she imagines one of those cartoon bubbles over each person’s head in the crowd. Each bubble has these words: “So What?” Lori added that the “So What” question isn’t something that we only answer at the end of our talk. We need to answer that question throughout the talk.
Throughout the years I’ve thought off-and-on about the “so what” question in my prep, but Lori brought the question into focus for me. To make it more practical, here is an idea: print out a picture of some of your club kids and draw a bubble above their heads that says “so what?” (not theoretical or Googled pictures of kids or even pictures of generic YL kids on a poster – kids that you know their names and/or faces). Then, when you are preparing your talk, have that picture out when you are praying, when you are reading (and rereading) the Bible passage, and when you are making your notes.
One quick note: The “so what” question is a question we lean upon after we understand the central message of the Bible passage first. As I’ve begged many times before (including HERE), we must be aware that the central person in the Gospels is Jesus (not us).
I did something similar last summer when I spoke at summer camp. I printed out pictures of some of the kids from the various areas that were coming to camp and I put them up all around my desk where I prepared my talks. When I got to camp, I recalled some of the faces (and looked for others). It changed how I prepared and delivered my talks.
Master Plan of Evangelism Key Points and Questions
This year I had the privilege, through my role as one of the regional Student Staff trainers, to work slowly through the well-known book by Robert Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism. As a part of my initial training as a YL leader, I read this book for the first time over twenty years ago and have read it many times since then. It is a classic.
This year we went through it slowly (a chapter or two per month). This slow pace helped me to see ideas in it that I had missed in my previous readings. I was reminded of the most important nugget Coleman has ever offered: Focus on few for the benefit of the masses.
In our last regional Student Staff meeting, I reviewed one key point from each chapter and gave a question to ponder related to that nugget. I’ve included those main points and questions below in case you find some of them helpful! (One note: Colman’s thesis aligns really well with the Leadership Tree concept that has been forwarded by Young Life recently; you could translate these points quickly into Leadership Tree language.)
Preface: We should ask ourselves how we gauge effectiveness; is our objective clear?
Q: What is the objective of YL? Does your team all know this?
Ch 1: Selection: Our leaders are more important than our (YL) plans. Key idea of the book: Focus on few for the benefit of the masses, the 70/12/3/1 (24ff.)
Q: Who are your 12/3/1? How did you choose them?
Ch 2: Association: Spending ample time together; Jesus spent lots of time with his disciples.
Q: How have you spent ample time with your 12/3/1?
Ch 3: Consecration: Jesus drew a line in the sand; he required obedience. Jesus left others behind (who didn’t follow him) since he had limited time and capacity.
Q: Who have you “let go” of and why? Who has risen to the challenge and stayed on?
Ch 4: Impartation: Jesus’ life was one of giving and not receiving (Sean: but we, as created beings, need to receive from the Lord and others – we need to be poured into).
Q: How have you poured into the lives of your 12/3/1? Who has poured into you?
Ch 5: Demonstration: Jesus lived the life he wanted them to imitate, especially: prayer, scripture, and service. Jesus did these activities and allowed his disciples to watch him do them publically.
Q: When is the last time your 12/3/1 saw you engage scripture, prayer, or service?
Ch 6: Delegation: Give increasingly important tasks to others by articulating clear instructions.
Q: What is the last new task you gave to your 12/3/1? Did you give clear instructions? What is a task that required increased responsibility that you gave away to your 12/3/1?
Ch 7: Supervision: After delegating, make sure they have training, but, importantly, give them feedback.
Q: When is the last time you debriefed, or gave careful feedback, to your 12/3/1?
Ch 8: Reproduction: Train others as if you were leaving.
Q: If you moved away, would your ministry continue?
Epilogue: Make a plan to evangelize, train, and disciple others. Have this be your life’s work.
Q: What plans do you want to make for the next year for your 12/3/1?
Congrats to the two winners last week Sarah Tellez (@stellez12) and Mackenzie Fredrick (@kenziefredrick), see the pics below. We are back at it this week (see @ylhelp Instagram).
Camp is right around the corner. It takes so much prayer, hard work, and more just to get to camp! But, we must also be proactive in our plan for camp follow-up. So, each Monday in May I’ll be running a contest on my YLHelp Instagram to give away some of the resources I’ve written.
BONUS: Since you have taken the time to subscribe to my email updates (if you haven’t for some reason, you can do that HERE), I’ll run a contest within the contest where subscribers can win two copies of my friend Gayla Irwins’s excellent book/interactive journal Creative Moments of Grace. Just add a note in your Instagram comment that says #subscriber! Who knows, maybe you will hit the jackpot and win both the booklets I’m giving away and Gayla’s books too!