The Band has been rockin’, the speaker has been bringing the Word. Disciple-Now is in full swing this weekend for my ministry. The students just finished up a video scavenger hunt and have gone to a few hours of free time before our next session. In this moment to breathe I have decided to type up a quick blog on some of my methods. It was on my mind last night when I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking of all the details for the next day. If you work with teenagers, I hope this encourages you to take your next event to the next level.
Here are 5 reasons why I write my own material for event weekends like Disciple Now.
- It’s Free– When paying for a band and a speaker, hotel rooms, small group leaders, travel expenses, and the list goes on, here is an area I can save money. If you preach every Wednesday anyway, this is not very different study-wise, other than I just give the material to someone else to teach. By writing my own material I can maximize the funds toward keeping the cost low for the students. This year I charged $10. Bam. Success. There are lots of students who don’t participate in camps and retreats because it costs 100s of dollars. This is an event I want any and every teen to be able to come to. A little more work on my end helps keep it that way.
- Be Theologically Rich– Even though it is free, that doesn’t mean when you write your own material it will be lame! I make sure we tackle deep subjects and dive into the theological deep end! When you purchase a pre-packaged curriculum you do not know the theological leanings of the writer or the depth to which they will challenge your students. I want my students to have the best, so why would I leave that up to an unknown author? This weekend we are looking at Ephesians 3 – a theological treasure trove! Oh yeah!
- The Exegetical Approach– On the heels of #2, I really believe every verse in scripture is important for believers. If that is true I want to instill that into my teenagers. When we take a whole weekend to unpack a single chapter of the bible, that is one message that is communicated. Also when you systematically approach a text, it makes it easier to see the bigger picture the author intended to communicate. I believe this also provides cohesiveness to the weekend. Each time we gather the students know where to turn in their bibles. I have not found any national chain producing exegetical material for events like this, possibly with the exception of Global Youth Ministry, but then again, refer to point #1.
- I know my group– When you write your own material you can tailor it for your specific group. While God can use anything and anyone to speak through, I doubt that same d-now material being used by 43 other churches this weekend can intentionally speak to the subtleties of a specific group better than a prayerful pastor who spends every week with them. So why not use a weekend to address what you want to see happen! It helps when another voice comes in and says the same things you have been saying all along.
- Graphics don’t have to be intimidating– “I cant make great looking flyers and promo material!?!” For real, don’t be scared, you can. Here are two things that make life super easy when it comes to promoting your event. Cool Fonts and Stock Photos. Combining these make great stuff. My d-now was themed “The Mystery”, below is a cool stock photo and a cool font to title it. Bam, easy promotion. Sites I uses for photos are istockphoto.com and Bigstockphoto.com. Make an account and spend a few buck on a high res picture with no copy right issues for your next event. Then go to dafont.com or just google “free fonts” and get some fonts that really add depth to your flyer. It’s not that hard and for a couple bucks you can have a professional looking flyer/promo that corresponds to your personalized material.
I hope these thoughts help as you plan your next d-now or retreat weekend! Pray for me as we wrap up ours! May God be glorified by your efforts!