The Power of a Testimony
I put a heck of a lot of time into my lessons. I know that there is a big debate amongst youth pastors as to whether you should write all of your own material or use pre-fab material, and I don’t want to tackle that debate today. With that said, I write all of my own material. I know that there are a lot of good resources out there, but I am just more comfortable working from my own playbook. Like I said, I spend a lot of time during the week writing my lessons. I would venture to say that out of a 40 hour work week I probably spend 8 to 10 of those hours lesson planning either for the week or for upcoming weeks. I spend time studying the word, watching pertinent YouTube clips, and practicing my talk. I think it’s important to know your message and live you message. However, don’t underestimate the power of a testimony.
At the beginning of the year I had one of my student leaders approach me asking if he could speak on a Sunday night. This is a student that has huge potential to be a youth pastor, and I wanted to foster that desire but I was not going to simply give up my youth group with no foreknowledge of what was going to be said. I decided to meet with him 2 times before his talk. The first meeting we had was simply a sit down to talk about how I prepare. When I was growing up my dad would sit down with my brother and I and help us learn how to write a lesson, so I figured I would start there. I took him through the hook, the look, and the took. The hook is how you reel in your audience, the look is where you take them to the Scriptures, and the took is what someone can take away from your talk. I shared some tips and basically told him to be himself and be open. The second time we sat down and went through the talk, but I was honestly a little worried. It didn’t seem like my student had really thought through his testimony, and I was worried that it was going to be scattered but we went with it.
Last night as we got to the church I found out that he had forgotten his notes and again, I began to worry. I was handing over the teaching time to a student, and to know that he had forgotten his notes was not a reassuring fact to this youth pastor. However, I had been praying for him, so I just trusted that God was going to use it. We played dodgeball and then we went upstairs for worship. After worship the lesson began, and it seemed like such a natural thing for him. As he told his story of divorce, depression, and salvation I just sat there seeing all of the potential that God has in him. He has asked me in our meetings if he could give an invitation at the end and I said, “If you feel it, do it” and boy did he do it. As “Give Us Clean Hands” played students came down to the front crying and praying and I got to go down and just bathe our students in prayer. We just finished a series on prayer and here was God bringing our students to their knees in worship. God could not have given me a greater blessing than watching a student lead other students to the cross!
As much time and effort I put into my lessons week in and week out, it was such an amazing opportunity to hand over the reigns and watch God make it not about me. I say all of this to say, never forget the power of a testimony. As much as you can pour yourselves into a lesson, the greater lessons come from the things God has done in people’s lives.
Posted on February 20, 2012, in Leadership and tagged Authentic, Bible, Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Family Ministry, Gospel, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Testimony, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.