The Youth Ministry Essential 55

Originally published November 2003.

Over the summer I read a great little book called The Essential 55 written by Ron Clark, who was the 2001 Disney Teacher of the Year.  This North Carolina boy purposely teaches in Harlem and has experienced great successes in his students.  It is from these rules he has made and applied that have challenged his students to grow beyond expectations.  He put this book together to help other teachers, and others, to grow successful students.

I encourage you to read this book.  I know you are not a school teacher but you do teach students.  These Essential 55s will help you as you teach godly principles and help your youth find their place in this world.  I include some of them here with small comments but I highly recommend that you get this little book for yourself, read all of it (maybe every 6 months--it is a quick read) and place it next to your PDYM or whatever stuff.

Using Your Church Kitchen as a Youth Ministry Tool

I randomly found this article in the Christian Science Monitor that peaked some brainstorming.  Read also.

To quote from the article: “At Jill Prescott's ecole de Cuisine (a cooking school), it can be as easy as making the perfect omelet or sautéing vegetables. Students learn that when they follow the rules, master the techniques of cooking, and understand some of the chemistry of food, they experience success. When that happens, the kitchen erupts with expressions of joy: The students have taken a glob of dough, kneaded and shaped it, and turned it into a beautiful and delicious pastry.

“Learning to use piping bags, balancing the flavors of a stew, and filling the room with the seductive aromas of baking bread all bring about instant gratification. To highlight the moment, there are lots of smiles and clapping and look-what-I've-just-done remarks.

Use Debate as a Creative Teaching Style

Originally published January 15, 2010.

In Pair of Cleats, we have often encouraged you to stretch your teaching to new creative “frontiers.”We strongly believe in the use of many different creative teaching methods and leaning less on “speaching” methods.So I was encouraged to read this quote from Richard Ross, someone I respect, in the current Group Magazine (January/February 2010):“A strategy I have grave concerns about is one that places students almost always in a passive, listening mode while leaders speak or talk to them about spiritual things.I think brain research is just confirming what we already intuitively know and is clear in Scripture—that students who are not engaged deeply in conversations about faith, who are struggling with issues of faith, who are not closely observing faith being worked out in the life of an adult, they’re not growing that much.We tried that strategy for 50 years, and the experiment didn’t work.But people are still doing this every week.”