One of the many great values XP3 Students adds to a student ministry is that it provides practical, biblical and theological content. However, one thing it doesn’t provide is context. And the reason is simple—you know your world better than we do. You’re there every day. We are simply guests that you’ve invited in.
With XP3, there is no need to write your own weekly content. You need more time to become a better communicator and to invest in and recruit adult volunteers. That’s why we produce the content so that you can adapt, change and apply XP3 to fit your youth group’s needs.
We want you to take your XP3 teaching script and tailor it to directly speak to your current church context, allow for the communicator’s personality to shine in and through the message and parallel the social scene of your students.
The XP3 Students team highly encourages you to adapt each series contextually to these three important aspects of your student ministry:
Know the Landscape of Your Youth Group Context
Take some time to answer each of the following sets of questions.
1. Who are the student groups in my ministry?
a. What type of student groups gather at your church? How many different student groups come to your church? What student groups will you initially target when you teach?
b. Typically, a student cluster is a homogeneous group of 5-10 students who act, behave, talk and dress the same. Work to understand what they love to do, eat, listen to and watch.
2. Identify your youth ministry distinctive.
a. What makes your youth group different? What does your youth group tend to focus on? What does your youth group do well? What traditions does your youth group have? What makes your youth group remarkable? What does your youth group offer? How can every XP3 bottom line connect with the mission, uniqueness, and values of your student ministry?
Master Teacher’s Styling: Finding Your Own Voice
1. Embrace your uniqueness – God made you. Be yourself! Don’t try to pretend to be like someone else when you teach. Your students need you to be you.
2. Know your strengths and weaknesses as a speaker – Have a few of your adult volunteers give you constructive feedback on your delivery.
3. Tell your own stories – Rely on your experience in order to personalize the message. Allow your students to get to know you through your story telling. You’ll find that we provide stories in our teaching scripts, but they are meant to be prompts for you to know what kind of story might help you illustrate the point we are trying to make. Tell your own stories.
4. Pray and be confident – Thankfully, God gave us His Holy Spirit to empower all ministers of the Gospel. God doesn’t leave His communicators alone on stage.
Student’s Social Scene: Speaking to the Student’s Real Needs
1. Define the top issues that are transpiring in your student ministry.
a. Think through the five social areas students live in: Family, School, Church, Friends and Co-curricular activities (sports, theater, clubs, band, etc.)
b. Observe, talk and survey students. They will tell you their needs.
c. Feel free to cruise social media in order to gain an understanding of their world.
2. Directly speak to the students’ needs by adapting the Application and Landing sections of the teaching script. It is more productive to contextually deal with your student needs than sticking to the script verbatim.
3. Highlight the top issues in the Tension section of the teaching script. It can be helpful to add to the tension by using current issues your youth ministry is experiencing.