Teaching the Bible by going Non-Biblical

Do you have to preach from the Bible to have a good  Lesson?

I used to think this was a definite yes. But then our Middle School Ministry started an interesting series.

For the next few weeks, and the past few, we are working our way through the book “Live Large. Be Different. Shine Bright.” By Doug Fields and Josh Griffin. We aren’t necessarily going through the book together, but I have been taking each chapter and rewriting it into a sermon format.

But what has somewhat bothered me is that there isn’t a lot of Bible in the book, per se. More so, it bothers me that I can’t easily find where these Relationship Qualities are biblically based as opposed to just things a good person would have. And to be honest, I almost wanted to can the series because of that as we got closer to it.

What I have found, though, has been that our Middle School Students have really latched on to these truths and have been able to, in our break out groups, really “Shine Bright” by finding how these truths align with the teachings of Jesus. Its been awesome to me to see students take something that we are talking about that isn’t coming directly out of the bible, and be able to bring it back around to the bible, which is far better than I could have hoped for.

So it really got me thinking, do you have to teach from the Bible to have a biblically based lesson?

I think my answer would still be that our messages should be biblically centered, but I also know that there are exceptions to this Unwritten Youth Pastor rule.

With that, though, comes the warning. If my students weren’t able to relate the lesson back to the bible, I don’t think I would be as excited for this series as I have become. Don’t get me wrong, I can see how a lot of these values are based off of Jesus Teachings, and I know Doug and Josh are not saying forget the Bible and just be happy. But I’m the one failing to so far find the space to make these biblically based. If we weren’t opening our bibles at all through the night, I wouldn’t call that a good night of youth group.

At the same time, I love that I’ve seen the potential of how to Teach the Bible by going non-biblical.

How Youthmin.org did in February, and Goals for March

I’m wicked excited that Kolby Milton has joined the team of Youthmin.org Collaborators. I love his blog and his stuff, and can’t wait to see what he brings to Youthmin.org. I mention him because every month he does a goals review, and though he’s certainly not the only blogger to do it, I tend to like his quite a bit because A) he’s a fellow Youth Pastor, and B) he doesn’t come off smug and arrogant about his goals.

Last month, I laid out some of the goals I had for youthmin.org for February, and here is a report on how we did, as well as adjustments and additions to the goals for March.

Goal 1 | January 1st, we had 360 twitter followers, and today (January 31) we are at 531. I would love to be at 1000 by March 1st. Want to be one of the 1000? Follow @youth_min

Failed : As of March 1st at Midnight, we were at 722 twitter followers. I know there was a lot more I could have done, and we could do some of the easy things they say will grow a twitter account, but I’m trying to keep it organic in that sense. the Goal remains: 1000 followers.

Goal 2 | Along those same lines, we are currently are at 281 Fans on our Facebook page. I would love to be at 400 by the end of February. With this, though, I am trying to find a balance. We have a specific strategy with what we tweet with our buffer, but along those lines, I don’t want our twitter streams and Facebook stream to be too identical. Im learning, though, that not all of our Facebook fans are on twitter, so we are missing out, I feel, on traffic when we don’t post on there. Im doing some tests this month about that, and will share them in March. Want to help us out? Like Youthmin.org on Facebook!

Failed : But so close! We had 386 Fans at midnight, and we’ve been adding 4 fans a day on average. So I’m upping the goal, and because of some things we have that may or may not be going on in March, I’m setting the goal at 750 Fans.

Goal 3 | Decemeber was our soft launch, and we had nearly 38,000 views. January was our official launch, and we had 8,000. We’re starting something in February with some of our top contributors that Im hoping pays off, and I’d like to get back to 25,000 views in February.

Failed : Once again, so close.  We finished February with nearly 19,000 views. So maybe not that close, but still, compared to the 8,000 in January, significant improvement. Same goal for March, to have 25,000 views.

Goal 4 | We did 2 or 3 weeks of a weekly round up, a popular flavor on many blogs, where we posted our posts from the week and 10 favorite posts from others. In February, I’m hoping to do this through an email newsletter with some other things incorporated in it. Would love to have 50 people sign up by the end of February for our weekly newsletter.

Failed : We didn’t get this one started.  We only did one weekly round up and and never sent a single newsletter, but we got to 45 subscribers of our email newsletter. For March, I’d like 100 newsletter subscribers.

Goal 5 | Our bi-weekly #youthmin #tweetchats have been awesome. I love hearing the feedback from people about how great they are for youth pastors, and I couldn’t agree more. We only had one in January, but had over 30 people participate. We have a few in February on the books, and I would love to have 50 people participate in our #youthmin #tweetchats.

Failed : Could have gotten closer.  The latter part of February got insanely busy for me and we only had the one tweet chat, but it easily had 35 involved. So the goal lives on for March to have 50 people participate in our #youthmin #tweetchats.

Goal 6 | Adding a goal. Currently we are at 560 comments on just 130 posts. By the end of February I hope to be at 160 posts and I’m aiming big - 1,000 comments

Failed : Made Great progress, but ultimately fell short at 766 comments. Again, with what we may be doing in March, I think 1000 comments will be achieved this month.

Goal 7 | New for March, our Pinterest account has been bringing in a lot of traffic already. Currently were at 27 pins, but I’d like to be at 100 pins by April.