Necessity is the mother of invention!
Inventiveness and ingenuity are often stimulated by difficulty. A major calamity can welcome new ways of life, and people make radical changes in how they live their lives. There has never been a better time like now to re-imagine and create new ways of ministering the gospel to this new generation!
At different seasons of life, young people have different needs and will be looking for different ways to fulfill those needs that lead to a ‘good life’. Are you connected to their world to learn their felt needs? How are you keeping up with the changing trends? The young people will only come and stay with us if we meet these needs. This gives us the opportunity to share the word of God, the best source for ‘a good life’!
It is interesting how we can reach many souls, especially those that are hesitant, if we go where they are and address their deepest questions. Using a case scenario of this COVID-19 season, let us consider what are our audience’s greatest needs , and how we can creatively use that to minister to them…
Below are 2 examples shared by Christianity Today on fruitfulness as a result of understanding our audience and the times and seasons they are in;
In the Philippines, a woman named Grace found herself on a website about coronavirus hosted by the internet evangelism organization Global Media Outreach (GMO). “Please help me not to worry about everything…” she wrote in a chat with a volunteer counselor, “What’s happening now is very confusing.” The counselor explained that only Jesus can bring lasting peace, and Grace received Jesus as her Savior!
This example from GMO reveals how we as ministers are creatively making ourselves available so that people can come to us when they do not know where else to go.
In March, the Billy Graham Evangelism Association (BGEA) launched web pages with coronavirus resources in six languages. In the first four weeks, 173,000 people visited the websites, more than 10,000 clicked a button indicating they made decisions for Christ, and there were nearly 30,000 visitors per day. One visitor to the coronavirus page, a 17-year-old named Donmere, told a chat volunteer, “I’m not really a religious person, but I don’t know who else to turn to but God.” Forty-five minutes later, Donmere was a follower of Christ and had been pointed to discipleship resources.
This heartwarming story from BGEA is a wonderful affirmation that providing timely ministry in response to changing circumstances, can bring even the most doubtful to Christ.
How can we stay alert to the needs of our audience as circumstances change?
Empathy Map is one unique tool that can help us begin to better understand those whom we serve. The goal of this tool is to help us step into the shoes of our audience. We fill in each quadrant by asking ourselves the following questions:
What does this person think and feel?
What do they see or hear each day?
What are their beliefs and fears?
What kind of things do they say or do?
All together, these questions reveal the “pain” areas in a young person’s life and then we creatively brainstorm what type of “gains” our ministry can create to address those pains.
We encourage you to try out this tool the next time you are thinking with your team about how to respond to changing times. You may be surprised to discover how valuable it can be to your children and youth ministry !
Thank you for all that you do to reach, rescue, root and release the Next Generation. If you are interested in growing yourself as a minister to children and youth, we are constantly developing new engaging content for you. Please continue to look out for our monthly blogs!