Duffy Robins is a Youth Ministry veteran from the
“I was so busy teaching technique and how that I assumed people knew the why and what. So people became very good communicators of stuff that was nonsense” Watch the video
In another video he says that Theology and content matters. Even after working for years in youth ministry I was struck by that statement, content matters. It got me thinking, and I hope you as well, about the content of the material I teach to others. Is what we teach in our ministries driven by the question “how do we get our group to work?” or is it driven by the question “how can people love Jesus more?”
Whilst many interns and ministry volunteers what to know how to grow their ministry, the real focus should be on why and what.
- Why? – Why does your ministry exist? Why is your parish better off because your ministry is there? Why are the participants getting involved?
- What? – What is the focus of your ministry? What is the content that your ministry teaching? What are the participants in your ministry doing to grow close to God?
Here are three areas where content really matters:
- Evangelisation – when we invite people into a ministry we are not marketing a product (technique) we are being a witness to our faith (content). We are all called to evangelise not just invite people to church. Evangelisation brings a person into contact with a God that loves them and desire a relationship. A good indicator for technique vs content in evangelisation is this:
If someone has said no to an invitation to your ministry, do they walk away knowing more about Jesus? Don’t just work on your ministry sales pitch, work on being a witness to the living relationship you have with God.
- Catechesis: sometimes when we are teaching the faith we water it down to make it more appealing. We sometime believe that people will be turned off by the “God stuff”. We can focus so much on technique that we let the style determine the content. In ministry we need to teach the basics or foundations of faith. A good indicator for technique vs content in catechesis is this:
Are the people in your ministry searching for more? When Catechesis is focused on God rather than style, people are want to know more about how they can deepen their relationship with God.
: mission is not about feel good activity or doing nice things, it is a call from God to make a difference. Mission that focuses on technique can try to shock people into activity or guilt people into activity. Mission focused on content will focus on the desire that comes from within a person. A good indicator for technique vs content in mission is this: Mission
Will participants engage in missional activity even if nobody else does? For some there is no other alternative.
Over the coming weeks we will take each one of these three areas to unpack a little more. Check in each Friday for more thoughts on content driven ministry.