I recently contributed to the SLANT33 blog when they asked the question – How do you decide what to teach? I gave a wide variety of answers from where I find my inspiration, here is a selection of them, head there for the complete article on the subject:
Create a focus group and run your ideas by them. Every Tuesday during the school year at 4pm, you’ll find me in my office surrounded by a select group of high school student leaders who are my focus group. I run everything by them: rough drafts of sermons, object lessons, ideas, icebreakers, series ideas. They give invaluable insight into what they and their fellow students need to hear and how the message can best be shaped to meet them where they are living. And yes, they have veto power. It kills me when they use it, but I know it is for the greater good.
Be inspired by others. I love nothing more than devouring sermon and series ideas from other people! Youth pastors are creative, so if your idea well is running dry, find some people out there who are killing it. Stolen ideas I’ve had recently: a series on Facebook and a question/answer message where students text in questions to be answered live in the service.
Hit the majors. There are certain topics we are going to cover every year in our youth group. The majors for us would be things like friendship and purity. We make sure that specific perennial topics are being covered, though we might change the number of weeks or the voice speaking so it always feels fresh.
Excited to unpack these and much more at my NYWC seminars this weekend, too!