The Power of the One on One

Numbers have been a big part of our ministry lately.

We had some huge success with our Catacombs event, and then followed it up with weekly numbers that were a lot higher than they had been.

But I kept telling myself that didn't matter. Youth ministry is about much more than numbers, or having a rock and roll worship service (big time kudos to Ed for incorporating "Shawty" in our worship time last night...). I kept repeating the mantras we've all heard before. "It's all about relationships. It's all about relationships."

And while I kept saying it, I didn't really realize how much I meant it until this week. It's only Thursday, and I've already had a handful of one on one meetings with kids. Some had pretty big problems, some just wanted to talk, some just wanted to blow off steam. And in each case, I really realized how much power there can be in these one on one discussions.

Think about it. Last night, I spoke to our entire youth group about following the star. While I tried my best to include as many points of view and situations in my talk as I could, those 20 minutes could not possibly have reached every single student where they were. If i was lucky, maybe they'll remember that I used a picture from the Simpsons as an illustration.

However, in those same 20 minutes one on one, we get to deal with what that student is going through specifically. We can spend time on what they want to spend time on. I don't have to guess if what I'm talking about will be relevant, that is of course if I'm listening to them and making sure I'm hearing where they are. A 20 minute one on one discussion will almost certainly outlast a 20 minute sermon in a students mind every time. I can almost promise it.

If you find yourself in a medium sized or large group, make sure that you're taking some time out to do the good work of being with students one on one. It's a lot harder and time consuming than preparing a couple of sermons, but it's also more effective in the long run. Your kids will thank you for it some day!