Ask The Source

I'm new to this preaching thang!

I just took a full time youth pastor position a few months ago and this is my first time. I'm still learning how to do everything, including preaching. I'm getting better at preaching but I don't know how to effectively end the service. Right now I usually conclude with reviewing my points and giving people time to pray and meditate on the challenges I just presented. I don't think that's a bad way to do it, but I do that every week and it seems to get monotonous. How can I creatively end the services and challenge students with the word of God?

Justin, Elburn, IL



Thanks for your email.

I'm glad to hear that you care about your preaching and want to make it better. That's a great sign. So many people today are NOT willing to put work into their speaking. So you're already ahead of the game for one reason: you're willing to develop your gift. Teachability goes a long way.

I have spent years working, carving, molding and developing my “craft.” I still have SOOOOO much to learn. Keep being teachable. Be a sponge every where you go. Watch speakers. Take notes every time you listen to a talk. Analyze their outlines and ask yourself why it worked. You'll notice that some people get away with things that others can't. Ask yourself why? What Òup front ability” did they have that made things work that the other person didn't have.

But let's not get too ahead of ourselves. Let's first look at the BASICS. Let me point you in the direction of some resources for the “basics.”

  1. Take a look at our free article on some of the basics in developing a talk for youth: Jump on our web page and click on the left hand side bar where it says I NEED TO KNOW HOW TO… That page is a gold mine of articles about “how to's” in ministry. Scroll down until you see an article titled: HOW DO I SPEAK TO YOUTH? Speaking to Make an Impact, Not Just to Entertain! This goes over the basics in putting together a talk with one clear point- and not going off on tangents.

    This article talks about the whole process. But it will also help you with your question about Òendings.Ó You'll find that it is good to give a one sentence review of what you talked about… but the best closing is a wrap up story that brings it all together.

  2. If you really want to develop your gift, consider going to a speaking conference. Ken Davis has one where you spend a week working on talks and being trained by professionals: The reason this is so good- is that he makes you put together several 5 minute talks. JUST 5 MINUTES! This makes you really have to have your stuff down- and it gets you focused on making your point clearly.
  3. If it would be hard financially to take a week off and attend the above workshop, I recommend this video series as a great way to train:
  4. Here is some great reading about speaking:

Thanks for your ministry. Keep up the good work.

God Bless,

Jonathan McKee
The Source for Youth Ministry


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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