Ben Crawshaw and Clay Scroggins work in the student ministry at North Point Community Church and shared some of their strategies for putting together creative meetings for their students. They suggested that creativity starts within a framework, and it’s through that framework that they plan for each meeting. Once they realize their framework (a basic plot for how their meetings look) they determine what the goal is for their students to learn and how they will go about teaching them. They package topics in a series, and the goal would be that every volunteer is able to say, “Our series is about ____________, and the title of the series is ___________.” They frame each series by determining what the “bottom line” will be each week. The bottom line is the main idea that will be communicated each week and includes a scripture and idea outline. From there they determine music, specific speaking elements, and hosting ideas for giving announcements and welcome students.
Ben referenced the book, Made to Stick, and suggested six principles for planning each meeting from that book:
- Be simple (a military mission has one objective – we should use that concept)
- Use surprise (keep people wondering what will happen next)
- Express concrete ideas (don’t speak in generalities)
- Use credibility (e.g. someone who didn’t choose to live out this principle and what happened in that person’s life)
- Consider emotions (people connect with emotions)
- Tell stories
I really appreciated the great ideas of seeing how a creative meeting can work at engaging students and challenging them to remember on Friday what they learned on Sunday. This was a great session, and I will try to put these ideas into practice when I get back!