When you really look at the facts, you’ll see that most kids and teenagers will show up at your church less than 50% of the time. That means, for example, you will have about 25 hours this year to actually invest in the life of a middle schooler.
30% of those 25 hours will be spent . . .
trying to find the room
interacting in games
updating their social media
saying bye to each other as they leave.
So, your time with them is limited. Of course, you can hopefully add a retreat, some digital messaging, and maybe food to get them to stay longer. But here’s something else to know about that same kid or teenager.
The Truth About Time with Kids or Teenagers
They will spend 200 hours studying math.
And they will watch 500 hours of TV.
They will look at their smart devices for 900 hours.
Realistically, you have somewhere between 20 and 40 hours with them this year.
That’s not a lot of time to explain to the average kid or teenager everything they need to know about God, Jesus, faith, forgiveness, and life. So somewhere along the way, you have to make some choices about how you are going to prioritize what you teach.
What will you prioritize?
Are you going to teach them chronologically through the Bible?
Or are you going to explain to them the 14 doctrinal statements of your denomination?
Are you going to teach them verse by verse through the book of Habakkuk?
Or are you going to amplify whatever your lead pastor says he wants you to talk about because that’s what he just talked about on Sunday morning?
You have 40 hours in a given year to influence the middle schoolers who keep coming back to your church every week, and you are one of the people responsible for their spiritual growth.
So, if you are going to refine your message, you will have to begin by prioritizing which truths are most important.
Refine the Message to Say What Matters Most
That’s why . . .
you will need to refine the message to say what matters most.
We think it’s wise to decide ahead of time the essential truths that you want kids to understand. At Orange, we call these truths the three relational motives and nine core insights. You can disagree with the ones we choose, but no matter what you need to decide because if your goal is to try to teach them everything, then they may miss the most important things.
you need to refine the message to say it again (and again).
For this reason, we we create a scope and cycle that prioritizes core insights and recycles them creatively at every phase of a kid’s life.
What is a scope and cycle?
Scope: A comprehensive plan that prioritizes what you teach
Cycle: Your plan to recycle and reinforce what you teach so it’s effective
We also think in terms of scope and cycle because spiritual growth is not linear.
Growth is not as linear as we think it is, and we’re going to recycle these concepts and truths at every phase, because at every phase we are going to understand it more and more. When you really start thinking in terms of recycling truth, it makes a big difference.
When you recycle what matters most, you say it louder everywhere.
Once you hand your volunteers, parents, staff, communicators, worship leaders, and small group leaders the big core truths, they get programmed to say them too. When you are all saying the same thing, at the same time, and at the same moment the noise gets loud, the attention gets greater. The impact is more.
The beauty of recycling is that it gives everybody an opportunity to know and say what matters most.
When you recycle what’s most important, core truths will take on fresh meaning at every new phase.
The idea is that your scope prioritizes what you teach and your cycle strategically reinforces those ideas over and over again. Every phase is a new opportunity to solidify something they need to know.
Each year is an opportunity to remind kids and teenagers of what is most important.
This year is an opportunity to remind kids and teenagers of what is most important. You can check out the NEW 2022-2023 Scope and Cycle here so you have a plan to refine the message for your ministry this year.