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How to Help a Youth Ministry Guest Speaker Win

I do some guest speaking from time to time and was thinking how awesome it would be if I got a Speaker Information Sheet that gave me some details about the culture of the place I was teaching at. If it included several key things, it would help me a TON in understanding the culture and attempting to meet the needs of the people. I suppose it could include just about anything, but here are some of the things that would be of particular interest to me.

  • How am I going to be set up? (Do I need to intro myself, or will you handle it.)
  • What version of the Bible do you use? (So I can line up with it.)
  • What were some of the recent themes/passages/series? (So I don’t teach the same thing someone did last week.)
  • Who is in the audience? (believers, nonbelievers, ages)
  • What type of students are attending? (freshman, homeschoolers)
  • How long should I teach? (Don’t want to go long or run short.)
  • What words should I avoid? (Don’t want to get crap for saying “crap.”)
  • What types of culture references can I make (Should I avoid a “Twerk” reference?)
  • Have there been any recent tragedies or big news items that affected the whole group? (Help me avoid stirring something up.)
  • Are there probably disruptive students in the group? (the funny-sounding sneezer, etc.)

What would you add to this list to help out a guest speaker?  

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Josh Griffin is high school pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. He’s the co-counder of DownloadYouthMinistry.com and host of the Youth Ministry Garage Podcast. He's authored more than 20 youth ministry resources and is the author of "99 Thoughts for Small Group Leaders" with Doug Fields. Josh is a father of 4 who speaks a little, podcasts a little, Twitters a bit, and blogs a lot. You can find him at DownloadYouthMinistry.com!