Thursday, June 13, 2024
Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTUDENT MINISTRY: Stepping Up To The Plate

STUDENT MINISTRY: Stepping Up To The Plate

As youth ministers, we are often called to fill the pulpit in our churches. Pastor on vacation, Sunday evening services and youth Sundays all provide opportunities for us to preach the Word. When you aren’t the one who is preaching on a regular basis, it can be hard to step up to the plate. The desire is there, but it is still hard because it is different than speaking to the youth group on a Wednesday night. Recently on the Student Ministry Matters podcast, Chris Vines and I discussed this issue.

How do we get past the nerves and apprehension so we can embrace the opportunity to share with our congregation? What are some things that will help us?

• Realize you don’t have to hit a home run. Too many times, we step into the pulpit feeling that we have to see the masses saved. God has called us to simply preach the Word and trust Him with the results. To keep the metaphor going, a single is just as valuable as it moves the people forward. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.

• Realize you don’t have to share everything. During your preparation time, you are going to come across lots of great stuff. You are going to listen to podcasts and sermons. You will read articles and commentaries. You will pray and seek insight. If you are not careful, you will step into the pulpit and try to share it all. It is important to edit and preach the Word.

• Realize that you don’t need to be someone else. God has given you the opportunity to stand before your people. You don’t need to sound like someone else. You don’t need to emulate your pastor. Your God-given personality is the one God wants to use in those moments.

• Realize that your attire or choice of Bible version should not distract from the message. If we are not careful, we will step into the pulpit over or under dressed for the situation. Ask your pastor what you should wear. If you are filling in somewhere else, talk with a leader at the church. The same goes for which version of the English Bible that you use. There are a lot of choices (i.e., ESV, KJV or NLT) out there, but if you preach from a version the church is not comfortable with, you will simply be a distraction. If you are speaking at a D-NOW weekend, camp or conference, these are also great questions to ask.

As the second man at my church, I count it as a joy every time I get to preach. I am honored to stand before our people and proclaim the Word of God. However, I still get nervous and have to remind myself of a couple of things on this list.

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