Strategies for Effective Youth Discipleship

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Do you ever wonder what you need to do in order to make a difference in the lives of the students in your youth ministry? In this post, Ric Garland, from Word of Life Fellowship, discusses making the most of discipleship during small group time at the church and in one-on-one meetings during outside time.

Rick is purposed and passionate about helping others to live biblical, principled lives. His ministry includes speaking and teaching around the world and leading Word of Life in evangelism, discipleship and leadership development. 

In this first clip, Ric talks about using the small group time at the church as the beginning of effective discipleship.

Discipleship begins with the relationships you form at the church. Small group time with your students offers a great opportunity to connect.

Where do these conversations with your students normally begin? Where do they usually lead? Do you feel that this time is as productive as it could be? If not, what could you do to make it better?
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Concerning prayer for the students, answer these questions with your current model (if things are going well) or write what you would like this prayer time to become: How you do discern the prayer requests of your students? How do they reveal the deep heart issues that really affect them? When do you pray for the deep things they are concerned about? How do you follow up with them? How has the depth of conversation changed since you have been doing this?
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Ric describes discipleship as "teaching others to be what you already are." In this clip, he gets into strategies for connecting to individual students outside of the normal Bible study time.

As a help for connecting with a student, think about the relationship with the ODG strategy.

Observe his strengths and weaknesses
Diagnose the single most pressing need for this student
set a Goal for one school year or semester of your time together

As you answer the next group of questions, keep one student in mind who you hope to connect with this year.

What are his/her strengths and weaknesses? How do you think he/she is doing spiritually?
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What is his/her single most pressing need? Where do you see a desperate need to draw closer to the Lord and mature?
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What tangible goal can you set for your time in discipleship? When will you assess if the goal has been met? What is your strategy for helping him/her meet this goal?
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Whether you are directing a group after a Bible study, teaching them how to share, or just watching one of them play basketball, remember that prayer is your most powerful tool.

For more RightNow Media training posts and teaching videos with Ric Garland, click here
Ric recommended a quiet time guide from Word of Life. If you would like to see all the resources that Word of Life offers for daily quiet time, click here.