You’ve got some leaders showing up to youth group – but after a few weeks they fall into the dreaded trap of standing in the back of the room as chaperones instead of shepherds. They need modeling on how to talk to teenagers and some training! Saw this on the YS Blog and am going to steal it for our ministry, too. Here’s a clip from 10 Tips to a 1st Encounter:
1. Say hello!
Don’t be shy! Take the initiative to introduce yourself. Although their body language may be showing otherwise, students want a warm welcome!
2. Understand the context
Let your surroundings and circumstances dictate how to begin the conversation. For instance, if you’re meeting at a food place, talk about what’s good to eat, at a movie theater, what movie to see, etc.
3. Pay attention
You’ll learn a lot about people from their body language and the words and phrases they use. Listen and watch carefully
4. Pay attention, part 2
Your own body language will determine how willing and interested you are to actually have a conversation. Be authentic. Students know whether you are genuinely interested or not.
5. Let’em shine!
Encourage students to talk about themselves by asking about their interests, tattoos, jewelry, bad breath, etc.