"Stop riding dead horses. "
Phil Miglioratti Interviewed Greg Speck: Communicating With Impact in the 21st Century
"I am seeing God work in awesome ways, teenagers and adults are coming to Jesus Christ for the first time, marriages are being saved and lives changed. God is choosing to work through this ministry in powerful ways!" Greg Speck
PHIL>>> How has American culture changed since we were youth leaders in the same city in the early 70's?
GREG>>> There are huge changes, a gender identity revolution, sexual constraints are mostly gone, religion is seen as irrelevant, social media impact which has led to information at our finger tips but also an increase in hate, more divided as a country, the shattering of the family, etc. But in the midst of all this brokenness and hate God is raising up heroes of the faith. Today teens are very open to the Gospel, they may not readily accept it but they have tried everything else and it hasn't worked so they are desperate for help.
PHIL>>> Agree/Disagree :
The centuries old model of school (listen to lectures, read books, study for tests) does not serve discipleship well in the 21st century
GREG>>> Agree to a point. Young people need to be taught the basics of their faith. What they believe and why they believe it. But growth experiences are also key in developing disciples of Christ, getting them involved in mission trips, evangelism, camps, etc,.
PHIL>>> How does do people (especially younger generations) acquire knowledge/information? How is communcating different today?
GREG>>> We have to adapt to social media. Tic Tok, reels, podcasts, youtube, etc., all reach teens. These are platforms that we are late to arriving at but are important in speaking to teenagers. But also camps, conferences, mission trips, etc are still effective and relevent in reaching students. When we communicate to teens we need to be story tellers. Jesus was the master story teller and so we follow His example. Their attention span is less and we can't go as long but "effective" communication from the front still works.
PHIL>>> Help us reimagine a new process of discipleship that is rooted deeply in Jesus' message and methods …
What questions should leaders be asking in order to reimagine making disciples?
- [Note: Greg's insights apply to student of all ages]
GREG>>> Go in your office, get down on your knees and pray, ask the Lord, "Jesus what do you want me to do?"
God wants to do a unique work in your youth ministry that might be totally different from anything around you.
What works for one group doesn't necessarily work for your group.
Teenagers are so different today, with so many sub groups, that it makes it difficult to do something that is going to reach all the teens.
Two areas that bridge to all the sub-groups are worship and the Word of God. Do not stray away from those two basics.
If you do, you'll be building on sifting sand. To help you to be relevant remember that every teen has four basic needs, neet to be loved, need to belong, need to achieve and the need to be recognized for those achievements.
Today discipleship needs to be about developing students in Christ but also meeting needs.
-Am I seeking the Lord?
-Is what I'm doing bringing glory to Him?
-Is what I'm doing relevant to the student?
-Am I addressing needs they have right now?
-Do they know what they believe and why they believe it?
-Does my youth ministry include discipleship, outreach, growth experiences?
-Am I evaluating the programs and am I willing to get rid of things that aren't working? Stop riding dead horses.
PHIL>>>Anything more you want to say?
GREG>>> Youth ministry can be a lifetime calling. The older you get the better equipped you are to minister to teens. Because you have more emotional and spiritual maturity.
PHIL>>> Greg, please write a prayer that will give us courage to take up this challenge, to make necessary changes…
GREG>>> "Lord Jesus, thank you for this individual. First and foremost I pray that they will seek you and love you with all their heart. Give them favor in the eyes of the teens and work through them in powerful ways to speak truth and life into the students. Might they never compromise in communicating the good news. I ask you to put your arms around them, love them and protect them. Might they experience your peace and personal presence. I pray your richest blessing on their life and ministry, I ask this in the mighty name of the Lord Jesus Christ!"