Home Youth Leaders Youth Leaders Blogs Turning Youth Ministry Sermons Upside Down: Allowing Teens To Become The Preacher

Turning Youth Ministry Sermons Upside Down: Allowing Teens To Become The Preacher

In our youth ministries how are we educating and empowering our teens to do ministry?

What if we created a safe, supportive, and structured environment that cultivated student preachers and teachers?

What if we let our students be the teachers in youth group?

I really wish I would have experimented more with allowing teens to be teachers.  However I did a lot of youth Sundays where the senior leadership allowed for multiple teens to become the preacher for the entire church.  I also allowed core high school students to occasionally teach the junior highers and all students were encouraged to preach whenever we were on a mission trip (either local or global).

I think that turning students into teachers is a primary way to educate our teens in Bible and how to do ministry.  Having students only “hear” the Word can only go so far.  The standard teaching model is:  watch me do it, learn how I do it, and now you do it.

So it may be time to teach students how to be Bible teachers.

Disadvantages to students teaching:

–  possibly teach heresy

–  not trained in public speaking

–  no Bible degree

–  no authority or credibility

–  to young

–  don’t have enough life experience

Advantages to students teaching:

–  learn more when having to teach it yourself

–  tests for Biblical literacy

–  allows for creativity to be unlocked

–  possibly becomes passionate about learning theology

–  many of the great Bible preachers and teachers had opportunities to do it at an early age

–  frees up youth pastor to disciple teens who want to teach

Youth workers are so discouraged with the fact that this teenage generation is BIBLICALLY ILLITERATE.  Youth workers believe in order to solve the Biblical illiteracy problem the youth worker needs to teach teens more Bible. What if we did the reverse.

We teach teens how to teach the Bible to others. Maybe they would want to learn more about the Bible if they had to teach it??

Ministry and Bible education are not a spectator sport.

When I started teaching the Bible, it made me realize how much I don’t know about the Bible, which as a result turned me into a passionate life long learner of the Bible.  So much so I am still paying off a lot of school loans because of this passion.


A Few Questions For Reflection:

(1)  Are we okay with students messing up in order to teach them about ministry and the Bible?

(2)  How are you allowing your students to be the teacher?

(3)  At what age were you given an opportunity to teach the Bible?  Is there ever a right time to become a teacher?

(4)  Do you agree that teaching others is a primary way to educate teens?

(5)  Why wouldn’t we allow students to teach?

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Jeremy Zach easily gets dissatisfied with status quo. He reeks with passion and boredom is not in his vocabulary. He becomes wide awake when connecting with student pastors, thinking and writing about student ministry, experimenting with online technology, and working out. He is married to Mikaela and has two calico cats, Stella and Laguna. He lives in Alpharetta, Georgia and is a XP3 Orange Specialist for Orange—a division of the REthink Group. Zach holds a Communication degree from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities and Masters of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.