One truth I have learned in life is that experience is a powerful teacher, and we all need experiences to help us develop our different skill-sets.
As a Student Ministry Pastor I must figure out how to strike the balance between teaching them as I was hired to do, and giving them the chance to have experiences that lead them to grow on their own. That is not always an easy balance to find, because sometimes I have different ideas of how to do that than the students I work with and the parents of those students that I kind of work for (since I work with their kids).
This past weekend we had a Student Ministry Talent Show. Students have many different talents, and many like to use them. So we thought it would be fun to have an event where they could display those talents they have for others to enjoy.
Now, I’ve been in Student Ministry full-time for over 11 years, so I have lots of experience at putting on different events like this one. But, I saw this as one of those opportunities to let students gain experience rather than me displaying mine. So this event became a student planned, organized, and led event. I was there, and I had a camera to video it, but I had ZERO input into how this event was organized and I never appeared on stage during the event.
Tim Wood, a senior and one of the Student Leaders in our Student Ministry volunteered to be in charge of this event, and I let him run with it. He recruited a few other Student Leaders to help with the event…to do set up, take the money, sell the raffle tickets, make and sell concessions, etc. He also contacted our Worship Pastor to make sure someone would be at the event to run sound. I text him a couple of times in the month leading up to the event, and I announced it in church and youth group, but that was the extent of what I did. Tim did the rest, including emceeing the event itself.
Tim did a good job, and the event went well…especially since it was the first time we’ve done that kind of event. I was and am very proud of Tim and all the students who helped and displayed their talent. Below is the video I created from the event if you’d like to see it.
After the event was over, I asked Tim a series of questions concerning all his work in setting up and running the event.
Question 1- What was your favorite part about putting this event on? Seeing how willing people were to help out and make something happen. It was cool to see everyone work hard and make it come together.
Question 2- What was the hardest part about putting on this event? For me, keeping all of it straight with everything else that I’m doing. And just the stress of trying to make it all work out. But looking back I don’t know why I was all that stressed anyway.
Question 3- What was a valuable lesson, spiritual or otherwise, that you learned from this experience? God has given us all talents that we can use. Not just the people on stage but also the sound people, Hannah with her baking, and the judges, and we need to always make sure we are using those talents for Gods glory.
Question 4- Are you glad you did this? I loved it, and yes I would definitely do it again
Question 5 – Consider how well you did the event VS if I had done the event. Who do you think would have done a better job all around of planning, organizing, and executing? (I made sure that I prefaced this question by saying this is not a mean question, just an honest one) Hahahaha, obviously you. You’ve had more experience than I’ve had with organizing events and it’s literally your job. But nonetheless it was good to experience it and gain that kind of knowledge.
All his answers are great, but his answer to the last question is the very reason I chose to have this event be student led. Yes, I could have done a better job for this single event…but in not doing a better job for this one event, I was able to actually do my job more effectively; he and all the other students who helped him now have experiences that will help them in their future. That is way more of an impact in the students lives than if I had done it all myself.