Students Need to Know Your "Why" featuring Brian Summerall

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How can you bring more meaning to the elements of your youth group? Brian Summerall talks to youth leaders about how to invite students to be producers of change instead of consumers of programs.  Brian has been on staff at Young Life for over 25 years and is the Director of Ministry Strategy. He travels the country training staff and volunteers to reach more students in existing ministries.

Brian explained when students "Know Your Why," it brings more meaning into your youth gatherings. What are you filling the time with before the message? What are the elements?
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List the "why" of each element. What is the purpose of each skit, game, music choice? How does each element help students interact with each other and engage in the gospel? Consider doing this exercise with your volunteers and youth leaders.
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How does each element help ALL the students interact with each other and become engaged in the gospel? Does anything need to change? How will you make sure everyone feels a part of the gatherings?
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Brian said, "we've made kids consumers of programs rather than inviting them to be producers of change." What do you think of that statement? How is that true or false in your context? Is there anything that needs to change?
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Brian told the story of how a senior student, Gabe, made sure a new student, Tanya, felt welcome. How would your students react in this situation? How can you make sure that everyone feels welcome and wanted by other students?
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This next story could describe two teens in any youth ministry around the country. Leia shares about going her own way until one girl at her school reached out and encouraged her toward a genuine relationship with Christ. 

 "Hi, my name is _____, will you be my partner?" And then eternity changes!

For more RightNow Media training posts, and teaching videos with Brian Summerall, click here

For more information about Young Life, go to