Why Do You Teach That Way?

Another great question (click here for the first question) I ask myself regularly is “Why do I teach ‘it’ this way?” I wish more children and youth ministries asked that question. Again, the answer is probably “I don’t know” or “We’ve always done it this way”. I just can’t get myself to believe that those are good answers, especially from those leading.

Here are some other common reasons we “teach that way”:

It’s easy

Please, please don’t ever do something just because it’s easier. I’m all about working smarter and not harder, but I’m not all about doing something just because it’s more convenient for me. The reality of ministry is that it’s often times inconvenient.

We don’t know how to do it any other way

If this is your reason, please start networking with others, read books or just google something like “creative teaching methods”. In other words, put a little effort into searching for ways to be more creative and effective. It doesn’t have to cost money.

It’s what the kids/teens like

This is only okay if you’re seeing growth both spiritually and numerically. If the same 20 kids/teens for the past six months like how you teach, I’d think about changing it up because something isn’t working.


This is not a negative. If this is you—keep teaching, keep moving forward, but be mindful of your effectiveness. Don’t be afraid of constructive criticism. Don’t be afraid to try new things. The only way to get past inexperience is experience.

Give yourself some time and ask, “Why do I teach (or do it) this way?” You may realize that you have no idea why. That’s okay. Begin a journey to discover the “whys”. As you do that, you’ll discover more about yourself and other effective ways of ministering.

How do you teach (method) and why do you to it that way?

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Justyn Smith is married to an amazing wife and is a father to five children. He is the children's pastor at South Hills Church in Corona, CA and has a passion to help other children’s pastors become great leaders in their local church and ministry. He consults, writes, and is a frequent conference speaker. Justyn is the host of Celera Kidmin (click http://www.celeragroup.org/network-coaching/kidmin.aspx for more info) and has recently been named one of "Children's Ministry Magazine's" Top 20 to Watch. Twitter: pastorjustyn Facebook: facebook.com/pastorjustyn